It’s time to take a trip down memory lane. Remember ions ago when a newspaper was more than just a a useful weapon to kill a housefly or substitute for paper towels used to clean your windows? As a child I looked forward to getting the Sunday paper in the wee hours of the morning. My mother would take pages of coupons and start clipping, while my brother and I would fight over who would have the opportunity to read the comics section first.
I’m no longer a subscriber of the Sunday paper or any daily news publication for that matter, so I’m not privy the current comic strips of today. However, I would love to share with you my experiences of yesteryear during a time when comic strips were quite popular. Here is a list of my favorite comic strips in no particular order:
Garfield by Jim Davis
I’m VERY partial to this feline. My brother and I would spend our free time in the public library carrying tons of Jim Davis’ Garfield books in hand. I think I’ve read just about every Garfield comic strip book and series book ever published. Not to mention the fact that I was an avid viewer of the Saturday morning Garfield and Friends cartoon. Oh and remember the Garfield primetime specials that aired? Garfield rocks and I will forever be a fan.
The Family Circus by Bil Keane
This comic strip was campy and had its own sense of humor that was attractive to moms and dads rather than kids like myself who could identify with the lows and woes of raising a family. Remember the cool mazes the kids would walk through in their neighborhood? Do you also remember when Thelma cut her hair? It was a big deal and the L.A. Times even ran a story on it! Like seriously what was the deal with that? It’s just a haircut!
Curtis by Ray Billingsley
Opening up the Sunday paper and seeing images of white characters and animals was the status quo. It was refreshing to finally see a comic strip that represented characters that looked like my family. Although I grew up in a working class family and not the inner city, it was the only comic I felt a deep connection with. It wasn’t only Curtis’ African American heritage I could relate to, but also the fact that he was trying to get his Dad to quit smoking. My mother (a former smoker) was someone I convinced successfully to quit smoking. I think in a way Curtis helped encourage that in me.
Cathy by Cathy Guisewite
I was so obsessed with Cathy. I would say in retrospect, Cathy was a comic geared towards an older audience, but I felt a connection to Cathy as a girl. I’ve always struggled with weight and portion control, and I loved how Cathy would combat those very issues in her own humorous way. I also loved the fact that Cathy was always on the hunt to find “Mr. Right”. I read alot of this comic strip when I was in my early-to-mid teens, so even though I was not dating like Cathy was, I connected with her struggle to find a guy who “gets” her. I must say the obligatory phrase…”ACK”
For Better or For Worse by Lynn Johnston
This was the first comic (at least noticed by yours truly) that featured a family that grew and aged over the years. For Better or For Worse played out like a real life comic strip and both children and parents dealt with the same kinds of growing pains we all deal with when the change of life occurs. It really wasn’t one of those comic strips that were funny haha, but it was delightful and refreshing to read from week to week.
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Who could forget the comic that broke into mainstream pop culture with its iconography plastered on pickup trucks everywhere? It was so adorable to see Calvin, a kid with a stuffed tiger go through various adventures and interesting escapades, yet no one was able to see it but them. I always wondered what it would had been like if Hobbes was real instead of just a figment of Calvin’s vivid imagination.
Peanuts by Charles M Schultz
I know what you’re thinking…what took you so long to mention Peanuts? Hey I said it’s in no particular order here! Who didn’t love Peanuts? Charlie Brown is an icon who will always remain indelibly printed into the minds of cartoon and comic lovers everywhere. Snoopy was my favorite character and I always loved the fact that he was a writer. I mean how awesome was that? Lucy was such a meanie and Linus was adorable with his “attachment issues”. Peanuts is by far the most popular comic strip of all time. I don’t know one person who doesn’t know the Peanuts theme song or the “O’ Christmas Tree” song from A Charlie Brown Christmas.
There are so more to add I know and feel free to comment on your personal faves. I could easily add Wizard of Id, Jump Start, Luann, and Marvin to this list as well.