The Great Newspaper Comics Challenge Part 1

A couple of days ago I noted that Dick Tracy, in a recent strip, cracked that he didn’t really have time to read newspaper comic strips anymore. Aside from the meta reference there, I found it to be a sad but true commentary on the state of the funny pages.

I haven’t made a daily devotion of newspaper comic strips since the passing of Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side. In the newsroom where I worked, we made a daily ritual of weighing in on The Far Side each day. Who got it? Who didn’t?

So I’m checking out the daily funnies again, hoping something will catch my eye and become a regular thang.

For Better or For Worse: If I hadn’t heard that the strip had virtually stopped production and dipped back into its own history, I might wonder why the family’s kids were little again and there was less drama and tragedy in the strip. So there’s a “been there, read that” feel to the strip now.

Baby Blues and Crankshaft: Strips that mine the dawn and sunset of life for humor, these two are pretty dependably amusing.

Beetle Bailey: Hmmm. Has anyone else noticed this trend? It seems like Sarge can be pretty hard on Beetle.

Blondie: Dagwood makes a joke about food or sports. Blondie makes a joke about shopping. Repeat.

Lockhorns: This couple is always kind of insulting each other. I think this is a bad sign for their marriage.

Pickles: After the cantankerous old guy observes his wife putting on makeup and notes, “My grandpa had a saying … Even an old barn looks good with a fresh coat of paint,” He finds himself out on the stoop. “I just realized why grandpa got locked out of the house so often.” Pretty good.

Dilbert: The strip might be most appealing to office workers, but you’ve got to admire Scott Adams’ diligence in exploring the many facets of idiotic bosses and shiftless workers.

Today’s strip is fine, but my favorite Dilbert ā€” maybe of all time ā€” was a few weeks ago.

Be back in a couple of days with part two.

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