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Favorite Comic Strips


Tigercub33
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In recent years I have re-discovered the genius of comic strips.

When I lived in Iowa, I used to read 3-5 papers a day, most of which had comics in them. Moving out to DC, I now only read the Wahington Post Express...which has 2 decent strips.

I would have to rank my favorite CURRENT comic strips as follows:

Get Fuzzy

Pearls Before Swine

Pooch Cafe

In the Bleachers

Calvin and Hobbes will always remain a favorite though.

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I am in the process of acquiring the Complete Peanuts set of books as they come out (I am now through 1962). these are cool and one can see how, especially in the early 1950s, that this was a very sarcastic and even mean-spirited comic at times. Brown was pretty mean to the other kids in the early comics.

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I love Far Side comics - they will never be topped. Dilbert is pretty funny too.

Far Side is neat. The "Midvale School For the Gifted" one is one that hits close to home (I teach in the area of Gifted Education). The other day I was watching a bunch of my students come into the building and they were pushing on the pull door. I was inside and just watched in amazement. when they finally made it in I greeted them with "Welcome to Midvale!"

"Cow Tools" caused a huge stir in Spokane when it first ran. Caused the strip to be cancelled for a time.

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No doubt in my mind:

Calvin ahd Hobbes is hands down my favorite.

I actually did a college speech (dinosaur class) at Purdue on Calvin and Hobbes' interpetation of dinosaurs. Thank God the professor was a huge fan too. She handed me an A for a speech that was a B- at best.

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Get Fuzzy is awesome! I think Mutts is pretty cute. I miss Boondocks. I've taken a shine to Candorville. Doonesbury is a classic. Mr. Boffo is a long time favorite of mine, although I'm not keeping up like I used to. I glance at For Better Or For Worse, Fox Trot, Prickly City, Blondie, Sherman's Lagoon, Zits and Dilbert.

I used to like Far Side, although not crazy about it -- same with Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes.

Speaking of classics, I'm stoked that the papers are running Classic Peanuts, circa 1959, when Snoopy still walked and sat like a dog. I'd forgotten how witty and sharp the writing was.

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why?

Here's a quote from the Wikipedia entry on the Far Side:

Larson's sense of humor, while original, can also be confusing to some, as in a comic dubbed "Cow Tools" (The Complete Far Side 1:251) that caused masses of readers to speculate on the use of the crudely formed tools depicted in the panel, while the cartoonist had just found humor in the idea that if a cow could make a tool, they would most likely look as he had drawn them; in other words, readers were looking for a deeply-embedded punchline which simply wasn't there.

Here is what Larsen wrote about it:

Here is cartoonist Gary Larson's explanation of "Cow Tools" from the book, The PreHistory of the FarSide:

The "Cow tools" episode is one that will probably haunt me for the rest of my life. A week after it as published back in 1982, I wanted to crawl into a hole somewhere and die.

Cows, as some Far Side readers know, are a favorite subject of mine. I've always found them to be the quintessentially absurd animal for situations even more absurd. Even the name "cow," to me, is intrinsically funny.

And so one day I started thinking back on an anthropology course I had in college and how we learned that man used to be defined as "the only animal that made and shaped tools." Unfortuately, researchers discovered that certain primates and even some bird species did the exact same thing - so the definition had to be extended somewhat to avoid awkward situations such as someone hiring a crew of chimpanzees to remodel their kitchen.

Inevitably, I began thinking about cows, and what if they, too, were discovered as toolmakers. What would they make? Primitive tools are always, well, primitive-looking - appearing rather nondescript to the lay person. So, it seemsed to me, whatever a cow would make would have to be even a couple notches further down the "skill-o-meter."

I imagined, and subsequently drew , a cow standing next to her workbench, proudly displaying her handiwork (hoofiwork?). The "cow tools" were supposed to be just meaningless artifacts - only the cow or the cowthropologist is supposed to know what they're used for.

The first mistake I made was thinking that this was funny. The second was making one of the tools resemble a crude handsaw - which made already confused people decide that their only hope in understanding the cartoon meant deciphering what the other tools were as well. Of course, they didn't have a chance in hell.

When the strip ran here in Spokane there was a flurry of complaints from people who thought that it was either subversive or just plain stupid and a waste of ink. They pulled the strip for a while but the outcry over that was far worse than the complaints they had previiously received. A Google search on the topic shows that such confusion was widespread.

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Dilbert, Zits, Pickles,For Better or for Worse, Blondie, Family Circus, Snuffy Smith, Garefield, Peanuts and Beetle Bailey. Many of those mentioned are not in our local paper.

Roger pretty much mentioned most of my favorites--only add Baldo for me. Once in a while I find a Far side cartoon cute, but most of the time that and another comic that is similar (can't remember the name) make me wonder if the author is on drugs when he is working.

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