style=”text-align: center;”>Remember newspapers? Neither do we. For that nostalgia-hungry nose, why not sniff out some of your favorite comic strip characters of all time? We’ve got the best of the best comic strips, including your favorite characters like Snoopy, Garfield and good old George Wilson.
One of the most loved comic strips ran for 50 years from 1950 to 2000, the year its creator Charles Schulz passed. With nearly 18,000 published pieces of the four-panel comic, Schulz’s style became the standard for American comic strips, centering around the Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Shermy and Patty characters. The often blunt humor had a viewership of more than 300 million people, its legacy revisited in the recent “Peanuts: The Movie” film in 2015 after decades of television work. Today, Snoopy is alive and well in the colorful fine art works of Tom Everhart, a painter in Venice Beach, California.
The political, cultural voice for small-time Middle America was born, like many great comics, in the early 1980s. Bloom County’s run, started by Berkeley Breathed in 1980, featured children (Milo Bloom) and animals with a grown-up voice. The comic ended its run in 1989, but was revived in summer of 2015 through Facebook.
Everybody’s classic office paperweight and inspirational quote of the day back in the ’90s came from the mind of Scott Adams, author of the Dilbert strip, first published in 1989. The Dilbert comic primarily featured apathetic office workers whose seemingly deadpan wit was a classic satire for unmotivated white-collar employees. Between books, TV shows and a video game, it comes as no surprise that it was the first free, syndicated comic published for the internet.
Although the movie lives on in infamy, the classic cartoon TV show and its comic strip live on as some of our childhood’s best-spent moments. The 1978-born Jim Davis comic strip was born out of a failed comic strip, whose only success was found in its dog parts. Davis noticed a lack of cats in comics, and having grown up on a farm with more than 20 cats, thought it smart to introduce Garfield, a hilarious, lethargic and generally perturbed house cat, whose owner and dog mate, Odie, could never stand. It’s now the world’s most syndicated comic strip. But the movie still sucks!
Created in 1992 by Wiley Miller, the once simple, single-panel comic started its own style of vertical, multi-panel illustrations with progressively more political content. It’s the first comic strip to win the National Cartoonists Society Awards in its first year of syndication, as well as the first to win multiple awards for having the best comic strip and best comic panel.
The Johnny Hart prehistoric panel started up in 1958 with its simple illustrations of cavemen with a modern day spin on its characters. It was the longest-running strip of comics published by its original illustrator until Hart’s death in 2007. The comic continues to be produced by his grandson.
With one of the largest and oldest comic strip casts in history, its creator Mort Walker continues on with his fictionalized military comic at the age of 92. Shortly after World War II, the comic strip was published, giving a hilarious juxtaposition to the life of an army brat who dropped out of school to enlist and remained enlisted since 1951.
Calvin and Hobbes
The daily comic from Bill Watterson was syndicated from 1985 (black and white) to 1995 (color) and considered one of the last great comic strips of the newspaper era. Calvin is the name of a mischievous six-year-old whose friend, Hobbes, is his stuffed animal tiger. The strip hit on broad, controversial issues including environmentalism and politics, its characters named after great philosophers from hundreds of years ago.
The Far Side
Also ending in 1995 was the single-panel Gary Larson comics, which began in 1980. Beautifully combining simple illustration that was as catchy as its use of clever wording, “Far Side” comics were known as one-liner gags about topical daily issues and hilariously improbable situations coming to life. In both 1994 and 1997, Larson produced an animated special of his comic.
Dennis the Menace
Originally written and illustrated by Hank Ketcham beginning 1951, the comic strip centered around a curious and troublesome little boy who antagonized his elderly neighbor, George Wilson, for a living. The comic was so well-received that it was adapted for multiple TV shows and movies, both of the live action and animated variety.