Panel Discussion - The ILX Comic Strip Poll Results

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21 ballots received and dozens and dozens of strips nominated. ahma start with the single votes and try to post about four a day. We should be done by 2015.
quoted text, unless noted otherwise, is from wikipedia.

A Lesson Is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible by Dale and David – 1 vote
On The Web

A Lesson Is Learned but the Damage Is Irreversible is a web comic drawn by David Hellman and written by Dale Beran. Ted Rall describes the comic as "exploring the limits of pessimism and fatal consequence in a universe that would be difficult to imagine on the printed page." The comic was officially "on hiatus” from September 2006 to December 10, 2012, with the comic "I Name Thee Annihilator" marking the end of the hiatus. Dale and David are the primary characters, although they do not appear in every episode, and there is a small cast of real-life supporting characters, including school friend/mad scientist Paul, Dale's sister Sally, and David's mother, Debby Hellman (who dated the Devil in one strip).

A Softer World by Joey Corneau and Emily Horne – 1 vote
On The Web

A Softer World is a thrice weekly web comic by Canadians Joey Comeau and Emily Horne. It first came online on 7 February 2003. Early comics had been published, intermittently, in zine form. With the launch of the website, the comic has gained wider recognition, most notably when Warren Ellis linked to the comic on his blog, and then began to feature it as a "Favored Puny Human". The comic won the first Web Cartoonists' Choice Award for photographic web comic in 2007. It often appears in The Guardian and was profiled in the September 2007 issue of the Australian Rolling Stone. With occasional exceptions of a few double-length strips, each comic is three panels long. The three panels are made up of photographic art, either a series of three photographs, or one photograph that is spread over multiple frames, or repeated with different crops and zooms. The photographs are taken by Horne, then sent to Comeau for text.

Are you just making it up or did Mordy finally had over the ballots?

EZ Snappin, Monday, 9 June 2014 20:27 (eight years ago) link

thank you for lifting this burden from my shoulders, forks. ur my hero :)

Mordy, Monday, 9 June 2014 20:27 (eight years ago) link

hand over! i would've been happy to have someone take over at any point! i appreciate the help from forks and love all of u ilxors etc etc <3

Mordy, Monday, 9 June 2014 20:28 (eight years ago) link

mordy handed over the ballots; i collated over the past few hours, got them in order and did the first batch.

Arlo and Janis by Jimmy Johnson – 1 vote
On The Web

Arlo and Janis is a comic strip written and drawn by Jimmy Johnson. It is a leisurely paced domestic situation comedy. It was first published in newspapers on July 29, 1985. The focus of the strip is tightly on its two title characters, a middle-aged, middle-class baby boomer couple with an easygoing approach to life. Arlo and Janis strips are most often daily gags based on recurring themes, with only rarely any advancement of continuity. Readers may see themselves in Johnson's observations, and have written to his blog jokingly accusing Johnson of looking in their windows.

... did I vote in this?

On-the-spot Dicespin (DJP), Monday, 9 June 2014 20:28 (eight years ago) link

I think I did.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 9 June 2014 20:29 (eight years ago) link

i think you both did. it was months ago.

Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman – 1 vote
On The Web

In 2009, Weissman began a web comic called Barack Hussein Obama featuring the president, his cabinet and family. All the characters have the same names and faces but live in an alternate dimension, living their lives and US government roles in different ways. Fantagraphics published the strips as a graphic novel in September 2012 and the strip continues on the website What Things Do.

so arlo and janis is basically a comic about a married couple fucking?

Mordy, Monday, 9 June 2014 20:30 (eight years ago) link

there's also walks and naps.

pplains, Monday, 9 June 2014 20:32 (eight years ago) link

i have a hard time with the stylization of the faces in arlo and janis.

fit and working again, Monday, 9 June 2014 20:32 (eight years ago) link

Bluey and Curley by Alex Gurney – 1 vote

Bluey and Curley is an Australian newspaper comic strip written by the Australian artist, caricaturist, and cartoonist Alex Gurney. The first strip Bluey and Curley strip appeared soon after the start of World War II. It featured two Australian soldiers, Bluey (who had served in the First AIF), and Curley, a new recruit. By the end of the war, they had served in every Australian campaign — in North Africa, in the Middle East, in New Guinea, in Northern Australia, and in the Pacific Islands — and, once the war was over, they even went to London and took part in the 1946 Victory Parade.

Bristow by Frank Dickens – 1 vote
On The Web

Bristow was a comic strip character whose everyday office life was recorded in over 10,000 "Bristow" strips created and drawn by Frank Dickens. According to Guinness World Records "Bristow" was the "longest running daily cartoon strip by a single author" since its first publication in the Aberdeen Press & Journal in September 1961. The cartoons follow the daily life of a buying clerk who works in the monolithic Chester-Perry building. He is a fantasist and has delusions of grandeur, wishing he were a brain surgeon and a writer. His epic tome Living Death in the Buying Department has yet to find a publisher, but he is not discouraged. He lives in a small bedsit in East Winchley and commutes to work by train, invariably arriving late. Bristow is surrounded by co-workers, Fudge (his overbearing manager), Jones, Hewitt, Dimkins, hapless typist Miss Sunman, master chef Gordon Blue, the Postboy and the ever-gossiping Mrs. Purdy the Tealady. Bristow has a crush on routine visitor Miss Pretty of "Kleenaphone". Another regular visitor is the pigeon who sits on a window ledge. During the winter, the bird travels to a warmer climate where she visits Bristow's counterpart, a black man in a white suit. Bristow invariably holidays at a beach resort known as Funboys Sur La Plage. Frank Dickens is often credited for "inventing" a cartoon device whereby he wrote the words of the action next to the character, such as "flinch flinch", as he was unable to draw expressions well enough to fit in the comic-strip boxes.

The Arlo and Janis vote was from me. Now that Richard Thompson's too debilitated to draw, it's my favorite daily. The fact that Arlo is the biggest horndog in newspaper comics, and has been for I guess a couple of decades now, is part of its appeal for me. But the strip also has loads of pathos, with Arlo's unfulfilled dreams of ditching the cube-farm rat race and living an idyllic life on a sailboat or a farm, both of which their son Gene has achieved. (Though Gene has his doubts that it's much of an achievement.) And Ludwig is a great cartoon cat.

A&J is the only one I recognize so far.

pplains, Monday, 9 June 2014 21:02 (eight years ago) link

living an idyllic life on a sailboat or a farm, both of which their son Gene has achieved.


What happened to the little kid?!?!?!?!

I didn't start reading Arlo&Janis until I was in college. Neither of the two hometown papers ever carried it. And I haven't read a daily newspaper in years now.

pplains, Monday, 9 June 2014 21:07 (eight years ago) link

It's not quite Gasoline Alley -- Gene grew up but A&J and the cat aren't aging noticeably.

Calculus Cat by Hunt Emerson – 1 vote
On The Web

Hunt Emerson (born 1952) is a cartoonist living and working in Birmingham, England. He was closely involved with the Birmingham Arts Lab of the mid-to-late 1970s, and with the British underground comics scene of the 1970s and 1980s. A trip to the U.S. put him in touch with Rip Off Press who published his Thunderdogs, comic book for the underground market; while Don and Maggie Thompson included him in their mini-comic series, for which he created Calculus Cat, and he later contributed to their Eclipse Monthly magazine. Emerson art also appeared in the U.S. underground Commies From Mars. Dogman, and Large Cow Comix (a five issue series with separate subtitles) were all Emerson work cover to cover, and highly sought-after by collectors now, but it was Knockabout, a British comic book-sized and later album-sized anthology that featured some of Emerson's best strips, including the characters Alan Rabbit, Calculus Cat, Max Zillion and Alto Ego, Pusspuss, Momo and Fuzi, Charlie Chirp, plus the bizarre one-shot tales "Cakes And Bricks" "The Dentist" and "Mouth City".

how the hell was Calculus Cat eligible and The Spirit not

rage against martin sheen (sic), Tuesday, 10 June 2014 02:16 (eight years ago) link

Since it only got one vote where The Spirit would likely have got several more I'm okay with it.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 10 June 2014 02:18 (eight years ago) link

...why is "it would have got votes" a reason to exclude it?

rage against martin sheen (sic), Tuesday, 10 June 2014 02:57 (eight years ago) link

I have no idea what the deal is with the publication of Emerson's comic, so I don't know whether it should be allowed or not. The Spirit was argued and discussed on the nomination thread, and it was decided that it wasn't a strip.

Regardless, one vote for a possible offender doesn't bother me. Multiple votes for one would have, because it skews the results for the poll in general. These single vote outliers are just that.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 10 June 2014 03:07 (eight years ago) link

It was a sometime full page, sometimes multi-page story that appeared in comics anthologies and magazines. Here's a Kickstarter for a collection from Knockabout.

I'm sure there will be a LOT more webcomics that don't fit outside any of the "not a newspaper strip" reasons for excluding newspaper strip The Spirit skewing the votes to come! (ie wtf at that first one itt)

rage against martin sheen (sic), Tuesday, 10 June 2014 03:22 (eight years ago) link

I had no clue, so thanks for the info.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 10 June 2014 03:33 (eight years ago) link

And I'll be sure to be pissy down the line. I'm saving up my outrage for later.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 10 June 2014 03:33 (eight years ago) link

The Spirit was eligible and received multiple votes

It was? I thought we argued it out of contention. Damn, I don't remember anything about this at all.

Oh well.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 10 June 2014 04:59 (eight years ago) link

Hey - I just found the email I sent - I even voted for it! Giant hypocrite here.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 10 June 2014 05:12 (eight years ago) link

didn't realize this was going on. when did it start? did i nominate calculus cat? i have some vague memory of that, like ages ago. PS i love calculus cat.

sci-fi looking, chubby-leafed, delicately bizarre (contenderizer), Tuesday, 10 June 2014 05:15 (eight years ago) link

maybe i just wanted to nominate calculus cat for something

sci-fi looking, chubby-leafed, delicately bizarre (contenderizer), Tuesday, 10 June 2014 05:15 (eight years ago) link

It started 11 months ago. I sorta forgot about the whole thing, and obviously misremembered arguments and my own damn ballot. I'm losing it.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 10 June 2014 05:22 (eight years ago) link

this poll is tearing us apart

I'll remain outraged just in case.

rage against martin sheen (sic), Tuesday, 10 June 2014 06:14 (eight years ago) link

Even though I just checked and the vote for Calculus Cat was mine.

rage against martin sheen (sic), Tuesday, 10 June 2014 06:17 (eight years ago) link

lol at all of this btw

On-the-spot Dicespin (DJP), Tuesday, 10 June 2014 13:14 (eight years ago) link

best rollout ever.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 10 June 2014 13:19 (eight years ago) link

Carol Day by David Wright – 1 vote
On The Web

David Wright was a British illustrator who drew a series of "lovelies" that epitomized female glamour during World War II. He also created the "Carol Day" cartoon strip for the Daily Mail in 1956, creating a soap opera style of comic strip that paralleled similar work in the USA.

Cheech Wizard by Vaughn Bode – 1 vote
On The Web

Cheech Wizard is a comic book character created by artist Vaughn Bodé and appearing in various works, including the National Lampoon, from 1967 until Bodé's death in 1975. A mysterious character of unknown origins, The Wizard is constantly in search of a good party, cold beer, and attractive women. The Cheech Wizard is often drawn in graffiti murals and street art and has been repeatedly referenced in pop music. Though the character was, according to Bodé, created in 1957, Cheech didn't see print until 1967, when he appeared in various publications being produced by the counterculture developing around the Syracuse University campus (where Bodé was attending school). Cheech Wizard stories ran in the "Funny Pages" of National Lampoon magazine in almost every issue from 1971 to 1975.

Never come across Carol Day before, but I really like the look of it. A real Heart of Juliet Jones/Mary Perkins On Stage feel to it.

Daniwa, guys! Daniwa! (aldo), Tuesday, 10 June 2014 15:44 (eight years ago) link

Conchy by James Childress – 1 vote
On The Web
Childress Interview from 1975

Conchy was a critically acclaimed but only modestly successful American comic strip that ran from 1970 to 1977. Set on a desert island with a group of beachcombers as the main characters, the strip addressed serious issues of its time. James Childress (who committed suicide in 1977, effectively ending the strip) created Conchy in the early 1960s as homage to his love of beachcombing. By 1974, Conchy was appearing in 26 papers, finally attracting a syndicate's interest, from Field Enterprises, who signed Childress up that year. His client list increased to over 150 papers.

Death to the Extremist by Michael Zole – 1 vote

Death to the Extremist is a minimalist webcomic series created by Michael Zole. Initially published in Hampshire College's magazine The Omen, it has been published regularly online since 2001. The final episode appeared on January 1, 2007. The strip follows the strange, often music-oriented adventures of two amorphous entities, named One and Two, each of whom is represented only by quarter circles. The comic is ultra-minimalist and features no artwork, only dialogue and graphics. Each comic consists of nine cells, often with one or more blank cells in which neither of the characters say anything. Each comic has its own background, and starting with season 4 there is an extra short sentence hidden in light text at the bottom of each image and in the RSS feed.

this is the thread that we deserve

pplains, Tuesday, 10 June 2014 16:23 (eight years ago) link

eh, one vote

Thanks for doing this, Forks - that last Carol Day (one of my votes) is especially gorgeous.

The Bristow examples are maybe not so fine.

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Tuesday, 10 June 2014 17:11 (eight years ago) link

i'm unfamiliar with Bristow; don't think it has any american penetration for obvious reasons
i would welcome some better strip examples there? And in general for all these strips if anyone has a favorite or three they'd like to post.

so C&H then

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 8 December 2015 19:38 (six years ago) link

thx so much for doing this sic. it was a wonderful poll and i've been harboring guilt about abandoning it for a while. but i really think it came through wonderfully and you did a better job than i ever could've imo.

Mordy, Tuesday, 8 December 2015 19:41 (six years ago) link

top 5 unimpeachable, PBF maybe doesn't quite seem like it belongs w/ the other 4 tho

Mordy, Tuesday, 8 December 2015 19:42 (six years ago) link

All in all, thanks sic. I'm the hardest on the things I care most about.

pplains, Tuesday, 8 December 2015 19:53 (six years ago) link

Good work sic

Chicamaw (Ward Fowler), Tuesday, 8 December 2015 20:16 (six years ago) link

I'm a little disappointed that sic didn't take a break of several months between posting #2 and #1 but yeah good work

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 8 December 2015 20:21 (six years ago) link

you people still have terrible taste tho :)

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 8 December 2015 20:21 (six years ago) link

lol shakey, everyone is welcome

glandular lansbury (sic), Tuesday, 8 December 2015 20:23 (six years ago) link

damn, should have snuck in a hilarious Shredded Moose #1.

JoeStork, Tuesday, 8 December 2015 20:27 (six years ago) link

Thanks for wrapping this up, sic.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 8 December 2015 20:53 (six years ago) link

thanks sic and voters, this was great and has given me probably years worth of stuff to track down and buy, I think I'm gonna start with those Donald Duck Fanta reprints

sleeve, Tuesday, 8 December 2015 21:07 (six years ago) link

yeah bravo to everyone! results kinda wacky in places but also super interesting. feel like it could look really different if we did it again in ten years say. i can't believe that achewood or dinosaur funnies would still place that high. but i was surprised to see them place at all! honestly the only one of the old old web comics that i'd still express any fondness for would be sluggy freelance, which i haven't read since maybe 2002, but by gosh it makes me happy that that dude has managed to turn his rambling, injokey light-comedy adventure thing (still stubbornly web 1.0 in its presentation) into a living. was the dream of many a high-school doodler, myself included (though i never actually even attempted a webcomic in strip format).

obviously, penny arcade and pvp have been voided from this category by egregious, career-defining awfulness on the part of the creators. mind you, i would never have voted for sluggy in this poll, but yeah... that's my pick from that era. if you'd asked me in 2001 i would have been repping for sinfest, megatokyo, exploitation now, the josh lesnick oeuvre, and probably some weird not-particularly-strippy stuff out in fancomics web-ring land - god save my freshman soul.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 8 December 2015 21:10 (six years ago) link

Thanks for doing the rollout, sic! I'm pretty sure a ballot I made today wouldn't look exactly like the one I made on 8/8/13:

1. Krazy Kat, by George Herriman
2. Arlo and Janis, by Jimmy Johnson
3. Cul de Sac, by Richard Thompson
4. Doonesbury, Garry Trudeau
5. Nancy, by Ernie Bushmiller
6. Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, by Ben Katchor
7. Luann, by Greg Evans
8. Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson
9. Little Nemo, by Winsor McCay
10. Peanuts, by Charles Schulz
11. Bad Machinery, by John Allison
12. Captain Easy, by Roy Crane
13. Diesel Sweeties, by Richard Stevens
14. Leviathan, by Peter Blegvad
15. Perry Bible Fellowship, by Nicholas Gurewitch
16. Scary Gary, by Mark Buford
17. Scary-Go-Round, by John Allison
18. Achewood, by Chris Onstad
19. Angriest Dog in the World, by David Lynch
20. Buz Sawyer, by Roy Crane
21. Dick Tracy, by Chester Gould
22. Dilbert, by Scott Adams
23. Ernie Pook’s Comeek, by Lynda Barry
24. Garfield Minus Garfield, by Dan Walsh
25. Giant Days, by John Allison
26. Li’l Abner, by Al Capp
27. Life is Hell, by Matt Groening
28. Maakies, by Tony Millionaire
29. Mother Goose and Grimm, by Mike Peters
30. Popeye, by E.C. Segar
31. Red Meat, from the secret files of Max Cannon
32. Tarzan, by Burne Hogarth
33. The Far Side, by Gary Larson
34. Washingtoon, by Mark Alan Stamaty
35. Wondermark, by David Malki
36. Zippy the Pinhead, by Bill Griffith
37. Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman
38. This Modern World, by Tom Tomorrow
39. Bloom County, by Berkeley Breathed
40. Frank and Ernest, by Bob Thaves

The Lockhorns
Mallard Fillmore
Mary Worth
Miss Peach
Andy Capp

Phlegm Snopes (WilliamC), Tuesday, 8 December 2015 21:58 (six years ago) link

feel like it could look really different if we did it again in ten years say. i can't believe that achewood or dinosaur funnies would still place that high.

I dunno, Achewood has been basically over for half a decade. It's already running this high on clear-eyed nostalgia.

glandular lansbury (sic), Tuesday, 8 December 2015 22:15 (six years ago) link

I'd have it higher on my ballot than 18th if I were to revote today, haters be damned.

Phlegm Snopes (WilliamC), Tuesday, 8 December 2015 22:17 (six years ago) link

xpost Hrm, yeah, fair point. Baffling to me but, hey, that's the internet for you.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 8 December 2015 22:18 (six years ago) link

I like yr list WilliamC tho I don't think I know Arlo and Janis. Also disagree a bit with yr worst - I quite like some of the funky line drawing on Miss Peach, and I have fond memories of reading prime-era collections of Andy Capp in English barber shops, doctor's waiting rooms and the like when I was growing up (it was seemingly everywhere). Obviously it is an extremely problematic comic these days ("Andy Capp you lovable wife-beating drunk" etc), but there is def a level of craft there.

I can't find my own ballot, but if I were to submit one today I would find room for The Wiggle Much, as recommended by Jim Woodring on his Facebook page recently ("metaphysical sustenance of a high order") - only 14 known strips:

Chicamaw (Ward Fowler), Tuesday, 8 December 2015 22:28 (six years ago) link

great poll! really knew how to milk my didn't-vote-in-it guilt.

silly for achewood to place in this company but achewood really was funny: the consistency of the different characters' strange voices was a bit like krazy kat. (obv the images are incomparable. tho the great outdoor fight storyline, which i kinda think is overrated as a storyline, does some nice, stark stuff with the images' limitations.) reading from the very beginning probably bad advice as for a long time it is a pretty standard early-00s webcomic. i'd probably start here, not because it's suddenly incredibly funny but because the ensemble is in place and actually used for the first time. from here it gradually rises to a peak and then gradually deflates--oddly despite the desultory images this decline coincides imo with a greater and greater indulgence in truly vast slabs of text and increasingly rococo dialogue (partic from cornelius--americans shouldn't try wodehouse). his rhythm starts to go. i interviewed onstad in 2007 or so for a portland alt-weekly and he told me his big ambition was to do shouts and murmurs pieces, which is one of the weirdest things anyone's ever said to me.

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Tuesday, 8 December 2015 22:32 (six years ago) link

re calvin and hobbes i just wanna say how much i love hobbes' horny grin, on display above in the faux-soap strip but used often. (when hobbes wears a tie to susie's birthday party? maybe.)

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Tuesday, 8 December 2015 22:36 (six years ago) link

ha, I kept clicking all the way to the end of the party from that link

glandular lansbury (sic), Tuesday, 8 December 2015 22:54 (six years ago) link

wait i just read that spike strip sic posted. wow i'd never seen that one. destroyed me all the more for schulz's line having just started to wobble.

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Wednesday, 9 December 2015 00:25 (six years ago) link

We should be done by 2015.

― Look at this joke I've recognised, do you recognise it as well? (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, June 10, 2014 6:25 AM (1 year ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Great work sic, and forks, and Mordy.

My ballot, weighted towards my childhood nostalgia, comics from AU/NZ, and ignoring the creator's descent into misogyny and/or born-again Christianity (even if they were, on reflection, apparent within the strips themselves):

Dick Tracy, by Chester Gould
Footrot Flats, by Murray Ball
Peanuts, by Charles Schulz
Robotman, by Jim Meddick
Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson
Hagar the Horrible, by Dik Browne
Ginger Meggs, by Jimmy Bancks
Bluey and Curley, by Alex Gurney
The Far Side, by Gary Larson
Andy Capp, by Reg Smythe
Garfield, by Jim Davis
Ettamogah Pub, by Ken Maynard
Tracts, by Jack Chick
Beetle Bailey, by Mort Walker
B.C., by Johnny Hart
Blondie, by Chic Young
The Wizard of Id, by Johnny Hart and Brant Parker

Top 5 worst:

Fred Basset by Alex Graham
Any webcomic that took inspiration from Penny Arcade
Any webcomic that is an outgrowth of online fandom
Any post-Blondie comic where the main theme is "the battle of the sexes"

Vernon Locke, Wednesday, 9 December 2015 00:45 (six years ago) link

I say we have a do-over.

pplains, Wednesday, 9 December 2015 02:36 (six years ago) link

now accepting ballots

Eugene Goostman (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 9 December 2015 02:45 (six years ago) link

Well having not voted all I shall do is pace back on forth in this room lamenting that Peanuts didn't get no. 1, although I have nothing against C&H. But Peanuts is what I grew up with, I still have my early 80's little paperback comps, all ragged now but still containing the slips of paper I put in some point in the 90's to remind me which frames to photocopy for mixtape/cd covers.
Doonesbury actually taught me about American politics, reading it in the Guardian in front of my mothers gas fire, prolly this was the asterisk for president era? Then PBF was in the Guardian later, yeah I liked that, I appreciated the judicious use of the 3 frame format.
I donno most of the older stuff, but I really need to check out the Krazy Kat bisnes, that is very much appealing to me from these strips.

Jonathan Hellion Mumble, Wednesday, 9 December 2015 02:49 (six years ago) link

Larson to me is just birthday cards from vaguely-remembered relatives, and my uh Former Partner pishing herself laughing at THE MEMORY of some strip about, I forget... boneless chickens? I was baffled at the time and kinda remain so.

Jonathan Hellion Mumble, Wednesday, 9 December 2015 02:53 (six years ago) link

my ballot:

Peanuts, by Charles Schulz
Popeye, by E.C. Segar
Krazy Kat, by George Herriman
Barnaby, by Crockett Johnson
Little Nemo, by Winsor McCay
Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson
Sick Sick Sick, by Jules Feiffer
Moomin, by Tove Jansson (and Lars Jansson)
Little Lulu, by Marge
Mafalda, by Quino
Life in Hell, by Matt Groening
Little Orphan Annie, by Harold Gray
Cul de Sac, by Richard Thompson
Nancy, by Ernie Bushmiller
Polly and her Pals, by Cliff Sterrett
Great Pop Things, by Colin B. Morton and Chuck Death
The Kin-der-Kids, by Lyonel Feininger
The Family Upstairs, by George Herriman
Skippy, by Percy Crosby
The Inventions of Professor Lucifer G. Butts, A.K. by Rube Goldberg

5 worst:

The Amazing Spider-Man, by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Alex Saviuk
Rose is Rose, by Don Wimmer and Pat Brady
Mallard Fillmore, by Bruce Tinsley
Hi and Lois, by Mort Walker and Dik Browne
Mr. Potato Head, by Jim Davis

(looking back, i'm pretty sure i meant to vote for sally forth, not rose is rose, but oh well.)

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 9 December 2015 04:59 (six years ago) link

i just wanna say how much i love hobbes' horny grin, on display above in the faux-soap strip but used often.

was thinking about when this grin comes over him, because "often" is wrong; his most dramatic expression in most strips is an eyeroll. (i think his big beatific smile in the very early strip above is out of character, even tho beatitude in general is crudely in character. compare it to the dryness of his truly hobbesian smile as he tells calvin what we're here to do--or to the many dailies where he's lying in the sun and calvin provokes him, where he is all regal composure.) it's specific things that make him show teeth. a few times over susie (she gives him a valentine!). a few times over tuna. once over a smock. smock smock smock smock smock smock. i'm sure i'm forgetting things.

peanuts is obviously in so many senses peerless. (apparently when schulz phoned lynn johnston to warmly congratulate her on being syndicated in her hundredth paper, she joked "i'm catching up with you!", an obvious hyperbole, and he snarled "call me when you're in the louvre" and hung up. this is the second-best story about charles schulz and lynn johnston.) and the astonishing expressiveness schulz puts in such a tiny, legible space is in a way more impressive than the gorgeous work watterson was eventually able to do on the lavish canvases he demanded and got. (of course the shrinkability of peanuts is maybe part of the reason watterson had to demand that stuff in the first place. and he was plenty great in four cramped panels himself. in the paragraph-long introduction schulz did to the first c&h treasury, he says "i like calvin's little shoes that look like dinner rolls". god, just imagine getting that.) but i am okay with c&h winning because i am a corny millennial the two characters are eventually such rich, unique elaborations of comic-strip cliches (bratty kid, aloof cat) and they tussle+embrace in such complicated ways, and the focus is always firmly on their multiaxial dialectic, sorry, their friendship. (this narrow focus on a personal relationship that is also in unsummarizable ways an ideological one is something the strip owes to krazy kat besides the rock formations.) peanuts in contrast has a big shifting ensemble that periodically gets usurped by snoopy--tho of course c&h runs for 10 years and peanuts runs for a million. anyway, i was an only child. a philistine on the sidewalk.

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Wednesday, 9 December 2015 08:39 (six years ago) link

This is definitely one of the best threads ever.

I think Achewood is one of the most wonderful things. I regret none of the hours I've spent reading it.

I don't have the time or energy to make a counterargument (stevie), Wednesday, 9 December 2015 12:21 (six years ago) link

I've read a bunch of Achewood now and yeah this is not for me you ppl are crazy


Οὖτις, Wednesday, 9 December 2015 21:33 (six years ago) link

the C&H plane/train/earthquake strip above it so expertly done

I lose it every time at "his eye twitches involuntarily"

Number None, Wednesday, 9 December 2015 23:28 (six years ago) link

yes. iirc the caption on that strip in the 10th anniversary book: "One of Calvin's better buildups."

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Wednesday, 9 December 2015 23:30 (six years ago) link

My favorite bit in the Prehistory book:

JoeStork, Wednesday, 9 December 2015 23:40 (six years ago) link

xp still i think my favorite cruel-god-calvin strip is this earlier, cruder one. the timing.

boredom comes so swiftly.

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Wednesday, 9 December 2015 23:42 (six years ago) link

hahaha i'll never get over the petrified skull mixup

Doctor Casino, Wednesday, 9 December 2015 23:49 (six years ago) link

That deer one sure hits a bit closer to home than it used to.

pplains, Thursday, 10 December 2015 01:00 (six years ago) link

some kid in my cub scout "pack" made half of us enact that one as a skit. he worried you a little.

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Thursday, 10 December 2015 01:31 (six years ago) link

later he threatened to kill me over his sister (we were 9)

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Thursday, 10 December 2015 01:32 (six years ago) link

Wow, I just went through the whole thread after only doing sections at a time.

Top Of My To Do List:
~Gasoline Alley
~The Spirit

I used to collect Fox Trot when I was younger. And like lots of things, I got turned off and remain that way. I remember when Jason didn't like school in the first couple books.
Life In Hell is overrated.
Achewood is overrated.

The Once-ler, Thursday, 10 December 2015 03:07 (six years ago) link

ok, maybe I'm being a little hard on Groening

The Once-ler, Thursday, 10 December 2015 03:20 (six years ago) link

i had a lot of foxtrot books too. this was in the dark years after c&h ended. my best friend and i sat in a panda express and talked about it as a potential second coming. of course it wasn't.

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Thursday, 10 December 2015 03:22 (six years ago) link

In my memory, FoxTrot was already past its peak and well into routine by the time C&H ended. It only debuted a couple years after C&H, so I guess that's not so surprising. Or maybe I was just growing out of it. I like the 80s-ness of the early strips, with Peter obsessing over Bruce Springsteen and stuff.

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 10 December 2015 04:03 (six years ago) link

oh yeah i was reading it in collections exclusively; i don't think it was in my paper.

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Thursday, 10 December 2015 04:37 (six years ago) link

a personal second coming i guess.

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Thursday, 10 December 2015 04:37 (six years ago) link

three weeks pass...

so apparently there's a new achewood and it's a good one! (there are 2 new ones actually, the other is a fuck you friday)

nerd shit (Will M.), Tuesday, 5 January 2016 17:22 (six years ago) link

seven months pass...

a brief rumination on recent Achewood:

Shakey δσς (sic), Sunday, 4 September 2016 12:52 (five years ago) link

on the discussion about the degree to which Achewood was native to the web, and to not being stand alone random gags: Tyrell using hypertext there, far more than explicit wording, to reference and allude to the way the accretion of detail is linked through time, both for the reader and the characters' lives within the strip (cf the recent one with Beef divining Showbiz' approach by treating the local papers minor police reports as runes)

although, of course, his doubt over whether this death of Todd's will take any more firmly than any previous can give weight to those who want to dismiss any seriousness of character or tone

Shakey δσς (sic), Sunday, 4 September 2016 12:58 (five years ago) link

recent achewood has been scorchin, reminded me why i loved it in the first place

beer say hi to me (stevie), Sunday, 11 September 2016 08:19 (five years ago) link

six months pass...

RIP New Zealand's David Sim.

Vernon Locke, Sunday, 12 March 2017 23:13 (five years ago) link

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