My very first job was delivering newspapers, back in the 1980s, and one of the best parts of the job was getting to read the comic pages.  It was a glorious time, when you could read the works of Gary Larson, Garry Trudeau and Berke Breathed day after day.  It was a time when Calvin & Hobbes would play Calvinball on the same page that Charlie Brown played baseball and Funky Winkerbean didn’t leave you profoundly depressed.  (At least, not every day…)  Many bits of pop culture aren’t what they used to be, but the fall of comic strips in the modern-day is particularly sad, given the zombies, knockoffs and banalities on many comic pages today, leading to today’s serialized query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is also saddened every time I open a newspaper and can’t read ‘The Far Side’ but can peruse the unfunny mess that is ‘D*lb*rt’, asking: What comic strip of days past do you miss the most?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. October 13, 2017 at 2:54 pm — Reply

    Many things, like Far Side, Calvin, Zippy, I encountered or preferred only in collected editions. But for daily/Sunday reading:

    Walt Disney’s Treasury of Classic Tales (the Tron and Condorman ones really stick with me)
    And the big bamboo: Apartment 3-G

    I think the one I wish I had read in the papers but didn’t have a chance to is Terry and the Pirates.

  2. October 13, 2017 at 6:46 pm — Reply

    I have no idea what is still around as my local paper (the only paper I’ve gotten for the bulk of the last couple of decades) has always had a very limited comic section, and as Lemmy pointed out, most of the good ones are available in collected editions anyway. I miss The Amazing Spider-Man comic strips, but it is still around, I just don’t get a paper that publishes it (a friend’s mom used to cut it out of her parent’s papers for me every week until she moved away about 18 years ago).

    So I’ll have to go REALLY far back and say the Star Wars newspaper strip. I was just barely at the reading age when it ended, but I have vivid memories of my older siblings reading it to me (I even recognized a few all these years later in the collected editions).

  3. October 14, 2017 at 4:37 am — Reply

    Väinämöinen. It’s a comedy strip about one of the main characters of Kalevala returning to modern day Finland. Humor is pretty low key and mostly about mythic hero from the dawn of time encountering contemporary things and people in everyday situations.

  4. Frank
    October 14, 2017 at 8:32 am — Reply

    “Calvin and Hobbs” and the original “Bloom County” are the two I would love to see again.
    I wish I could find an archive of “Bringing up Father” that debuted in 1913.

  5. Daniel Langsdale
    October 15, 2017 at 3:05 pm — Reply

    Cul de Sac. Sadly, it ended before its time, and Richard Thompson is truly missed.

  6. Slappy
    October 16, 2017 at 12:48 pm — Reply

    Calvin & Hobbs,
    Bloom County

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