So, remember when the best part about reading the Sunday paper was The Funnies? Most people call them “comic strips”, but I tend to still call them The Funnies. To be honest, I haven’t read The Funnies in years…probably because it’s been years since I actually read the Sunday paper. I have no idea what comics are still being featured in newspapers today.
I had my favorites, of course: Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, The Far Side, Get Fuzzy, and Garfield. I always made sure that if I read any of the funnies, it would be those four. Get Fuzzy and Garfield are still around, but the other three have since gone into retirement. Which is unfortunate, because I still consider those three the best. Let’s reminisce, shall we?
Calvin and Hobbes (1985-1995)
Hands down still the best comic strip there was. It follows the adventures of Calvin, a six-year-old boy, and his stuffed Tiger, Hobbes, though Calvin sees Hobbes as a real tiger that can walk and talk. The pair are named after John Calvin, a 16th-century French Reformation theologian, and Thomas Hobbes, a 17th-century English political philosopher. Calvin and Hobbes was featured in over 2,400 newspapers worldwide, and reruns of the strip still appear in more than 50 countries. Nearly 45 million copies of the 18 Calvin and Hobbes books have been sold. Although the comic was really funny a lot of the time, it’s probably the most heartwarming of the three. Except when snowmen are involved.
Wow, this one ran for a long time. No need for introduction – everyone knows who Charlie Brown is. 17,897 strips were published while it ran in 2,600 newspapers up until the end, though it is still being ran in syndication worldwide. And of course we all know about the TV specials it spawned, the most popular being A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The look has changed throughout the years, beginning with this from October 2, 1950:
And then ending on this sad note:
The Far Side (1980-1995)
Okay, this comic strip was freaking hilarious. I don’t think another one will top this in terms of making me laugh. Its humor is often based on uncomfortable social situations, improbable events, an anthropomorphic view of the world, logical fallacies, impending bizarre disasters, or the search for meaning in life. More than 1,900 newspapers carried the comic strip, and there were also 22 compilation books and calendars. My favorites strips of his were the ones depiction life in hell, for example, The Devil getting upset when he sees graffiti on his walls claiming that “Lucifer is a really nice guy.” I wish I could post a few comics for you on this blog, but I can’t due to this letter from creator Gary Larson. I get where he’s coming from, and I respect his decision to keep his art for himself and no one else. For now I’ll just have to leave you with this.
So there you have it…the three comic strips I miss the most, though thanks to the compilation books, I still have access to. And thank goodness for Get Fuzzy, or else there really wouldn’t be anything funny to read in the paper.
Happy funnies reading!