I am and always have been a comic book fan.  I’m drawn to their clever, multi-layered story-telling and character-driven narratives.  I’m also drawn to them because, admittedly, they take me back to my youth.  Like nutella.  And old Hammer horror movies.  And comic strips, what my father would refer to as “comics” back in the day.  I didn’t read that many but the few I did follow I enjoyed immensely.  What follows are My Top F Favorite Comic Strips…

5. Calvin and Hobbes (Bill Watterson)

The quintessential comic strip buddies!  Calvin and Hobbes was at turns funny, brilliant, and surprisingly touching.  The complete, hardcover, three-volume, heavy-as-hell set sits downstairs in my library, waiting to be read.

4. Dilbert (Scott Adams)

If you’ve ever worked in an office, you can’t help but empathize with Dilbert and his co-workers.  To quote Homer Simpson: “It’s funny because it’s true.”

3. Bloom County (Berke Breathed)

Joyously subversive, Bloom County offered up some of the most hilariously colorful characters in comic stripdom, among them Bill the Cat and the ever optimistic penguin Opus.

2. Herman (Jim Unger)

This one takes me back, waaay back to late elementary school.  I used to read Herman along with a fellow fan – my father.  I loved the strip so much that I would assiduously clip every daily installment and then transfer and tape it into a dedicated scrapbook (that, I’m sure, is sitting somewhere in mom’s garage).

1. The Far Side (Jim Larson)

Larson’s awkward, bizarre, and devilishly humorous single panel strip remains my favorite.  It makes me laugh as hard now as it did twenty-five years ago.

So, what are some of your favorite strips I failed to mention?

Big day on the Fantasy Football front for both Ivon and me as both of our teams (his Running Dead and My Snow Monkeys) face must-win games. He’s already at a disadvantage – Bush ran all over him Thursday night – so he’s going to need a big game from all of his starters to have any hope of staying in the playoff race.  My Snow Monkeys suffered a costly loss last week and now need a win to help secure a playoff spot or risk falling out of contention.  I’m rolling with Romo tomorrow against a suspect Bills D.  Petersons my RB1 simply because he’s Adrian Peterson while Maurice Morris slots into my RB2 spot while I await Jahvid Best’s return (I’m sitting Brandon Jacobs against the 49ers #1 ranked rush defense and, until Daniel Thomas can prove he’s healthy and capable of moving the ball, he’s going to ride the bench as well).  Dropped the lacklustre Saints D for the surprising Browns defense.  Crosby is my kicker and Ballard starts at TE.  Which leaves my WR and Flex spots – and therein lies the problem.  Who do I start?  Well, I do know I’m starting Dez Bryant at WR1 as he’ll be facing that porous Bills’ D.  I think he’ll be seeing plenty of looks with Miles Austin out.  That leaves four WR’s for the two remaining spots.  My choices: 1. The underperforming Roddy White whose Falcons have a huge match-up against divisional rivals New Orleans, 2. All-pro pass-catcher Hakeem Nicks who is coming off a hamstring injury, is listed as questionable, and will be playing a tough 49ers defense, 3. KC’s #2 WR Steve Breaston who has been fairly dependable the last four games or so.  He faces a terrible Broncos team and should see plenty of opportunities as the Denver D focuses on shutting down KC #1 WR Dwayne Bowe, and 4. Dark horse Michael Jenkins, the #2 WR in Minnesota that is playing Green Bay in what promises to be a high-scoring affair.  Common sense dictates I go with White and Nicks, but I’ve been burned by White so many times I’m not so sure I trust him, and I’d hate to start Nicks only to have him pull up lame and miss part of the game – or worse, not start at all!  So, what do you guys think?

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular 2cats and Sheryl.  Condolences.

34 thoughts on “November 12, 2011: My Top 5 Favorite Comic Strips!

  1. Out of your five, I like Calvin and Hobbes and Dilbert. It still gives me a chuckle to read both of those now. And now for my big news of the evening, I have gone over the 25,000 word mark for my NaNoWriMo novel. Yeah!!!!

    Have a good night!!!!!

  2. You not only listed my favorite comic strip ever (The Far Side), the example you showed was my all-time favorite one! In fact, I love all of your choices.

  3. I am a big far side fan. I cant get myself to throw away the farside tee shirt I wore throughout high school- a cow grilling hamburgers with the others pointing at him saying: “You’re sick Jesse! Sick, sick, sick!”

    Second fav is Calvin and Hobbes. But nothing comes close to the Far side.

  4. I guess it is just a matter of numbers because you hit them for me. I too dug deep and have the three volume set in case on my book shelf right next too the complete two volume set of Bloom County. I was in Thailand during my Peace Corps days when in the mail someone from home sent me an Outland. I broke out in such laughter that my coworkers thought I had cracked. It was the one were a vivacious blond berates the boys and tells them to look around and reflect on what for them gives life meaning…ya, you know what I talking about. And while walking the then much drier streets of Bangkok (always watch out for doggy dew) I came across a vender (next to the Filo and his dog) with (not so licensed) C&H T-shirts which I can still ware. She is still at the same spot on Sukumvit. Farscape, I keep thinking of the professor who invented the translator devise to understanding what dogs say. I guess I was mistaken to not see Doonsbery on your list. As critically acclaimed as it is it would not be on my list.
    @ Alfredo, I was also thinking about the same strip
    I try to look at the comics today and I am just not taken. Non-sequitur would sometimes be good for a strange laugh, but contemporary strips just to not have that hook. Your blog seems to have come at the right moment as some people right now could use a dose of pleasant thoughts. If there was one reason for me to have a news paper subscription it would be for the comics, but not too day. I guess that is way Wizard of Id, Beetle Bailey, Haagar the Horrible, etc are still going.
    One note: check out Wikapedia for Beetle Bailey and the self censored example.

    Good Luck with the Snow Monkeys, I hope C. Pounder can put a wind under his belt as he had been doing a valiant effort.

  5. My favorite, I think, has always been Calvin and Hobbes, but…I’d probably say:

    4. Snoopy
    3. Boondocks (they had some great stuff during the ’04 campaign)
    2. Zits
    1. Calving & Hobbes

    I did also enjoy Garfield from time to time…

  6. You’ve nailed my top 5 comics! Amazing!

    My favorite Far-side is the one in commercial cockpit where one of the pilots is saying “Hey, what’s a mountain goat doing way up here?”

    Now I have to go see if I can find my Dilbert and Calvin and Hobbes book!

  7. Sadly, my perception of “Calvin & Hobbes” is colored by the popular but (presumed) counterfeit stickers often seen on pickup trucks. The fake Calvin is shown either kneeling before a cross or pissing on something. (I remember fake Mickey Mouse flipping the bird from decades ago, too.)

    As for current favorites, “Luanne” and “Rose Is Rose” are high on my list. Nostalgic strips? “Alley Oop” and “L’il Abner”.

    Just sat through the TNT Network (USA) presentation of WATCHMEN (2009), all four-plus hours (including commercial breaks). Damn, that’s a good flick! Glad I didn’t see it first run, because even sanitized, it was BRUTAL. May seek out the original graphic novel(s?). Does the print version end where the film ended? Are there more (or flashback) adventures? Credits give the impression that half of Vancouver’s population was involved in the production…!

  8. 2cats, Sheryl and Deni, my thoughts are with you.

    @Das
    Thanks for the link to ‘Satyr.’ After you posted the poem I had a quick look at Wilmot at Wikipedia – a naughty boy indeed!

    Mr. M, I love ‘Calvin & Hobbes’, ‘Dilbert’ and ‘The Far Side’! ‘Herman’ is okay, and I’m not familiar with ‘Bloom County’ but the example shown is funny & clever.

  9. My sincere condolences to 2cats and Sheryl. Pets, like people, even when gone in their advancing years still leave a big hole in your life. There’s never quite enough time, that’s for sure.

    Joe, just wondering when Cookie Monster is coming by for another guest blog/recap/review of The Walking Dead. Though, I suppose that would require something actually happening on that show…

  10. My top 5 favorite comic strips are…

    Garfield, Peanuts, Blondie, Mother Goose and Grim, Family Circus. 🙂

    Good luck to the Snow Monkeys! 🙂

  11. I love all those you mention, especially Dilbert, The Far Side, and Calvin and Hobbes. I’d also add in Peanuts from my childhood.

  12. I’ve always been a huge fan of Dog Eat Doug. Particularly after catching one or two Stargate references. And Doctor Who.

  13. I just got back from a family wedding in Houston and saw all the sad news.

    @Deni, 2cats and Sheryl: my condolences.
    @das: I hope your old lady kitty is doing okay.

    @Joe: Far Side is my all time favorite. I used to get Far Side calendars every year for Christmas. I really miss them. I also love Dilbert and used to read Calvin and Hobbes and Bloom County when they were in syndication.

    Non-sequitur can be funny in a tongue in cheek sort of way. And at this point in my life (with a teen and twenty year old in my house) I find Zits and Foxtrot very funny.

    Good luck to your Snow Monkeys. I hope they do better this week.

  14. @ Sheryl – So sorry aobut your kitty, Pumpkin. {{{hugs}}} You’re in our thoughts and prayers.

    @ Joey – We have the same taste in comic strips! Well, except for Dilbert because I’ve never read that one. And I would have rated Calvin and Hobbes a bit higher on the list. I miss that one so much! My favorite one – which is on my office bulletin board – is when Calvin gives Hobbes a belly-berry attack, and the next frame he’s all tore up, mumbling that their bellies shouldn’t be so fuzzy if you’re not supposed to do that (give belly berries, that is).

    Far Side is my absolute favorite, and the picture you posted is my all-time fav, too.

    And Herman…ahhhhh! What can I say. A near-tie with Far Side. Don’t believe me? Well, I’ve even met Jim Unger, and have autographed Herman books…so, yeah. Love me some Herman! I can’t go into my favories due to time, but hopefully later I’ll have a chance to share. I think my favorite is the one with the cat wearing the false teeth. 🙂

    And Bloom County/Outland always gave me a chuckle. That’s where I get my ACK! from! 😀 This is my favorite one of all:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v54/dasNdanger/outland2.jpg

    😀

    Gotta run!

    das

  15. I do like Dilbert the best, but that’s the highest form of drama for my INTJ personality. I get bouts of post-ridiculous disorder reading it because it reminds me too much of my time at GE.

    I displayed a Dilbert strip at my desk and whoever there was capable of getting the joke had the sense to lay low. I took it down.

    That snow monkey pic is worthy of a new caption contest.

  16. All great choices! I have several soft cover collections of Bloom County and my dad and I used to read Herman all the time. I gave him two or three collections of that strip. He also called them the “comics”. There was a man in our town who so closely resembled Herman in physical appearance I had to duck my head when I saw him, otherwise I would burst out laughing. Poor man always looked at me oddly.

  17. I was definitely a comic strip person growing up. I’m sure Peanuts was my fav back then. I still have the stuffed Snoopy I got in 1967. Which dates me, d’oh. I never really got into comic books except, pitifully, Archie. Ha.

    To your list I’d add Doonesbury for sure. But that one’s so American-politics-focused, I can see why it wouldn’t make your list.

    Good luck with your team today! I wonder if all the defensive players are insulted they don’t get picked as individuals in fantasy football. Where’s the respect? 🙂

  18. Oh yeah, the comics. Or, “the funnies”, as my Dad used to say. I agree with all your choices – especially Dilbert as I work in a office. Luckily my own boss is great, but the upper management can be pretty similar to that. I’ve always enjoyed Peanuts as well.

    I should mention The Family Circle since though I haven’t seen it for some time I always thought it was nice in an “aww” sort of way, and since Bil Keane just passed away.

  19. I just love Dilbert!

    And as an inmate of a local Council, I can vouch much of the humour isn’t far from the truth!

    BTW, good luck to Max. Give him a hug from me.

  20. Love Calvin and Hobbs and Dilbert. Pretty much the same reasons you already listed. Also loved Family Circus by Bill Keane and For Better of Worse by Lynn Johnston. Some of their stuff was very heart touching and could occasionally bring me to tears. Amazing that a simple comic could pack a wallop of a message that way.

  21. G’day Joe

    My comic strip favs include, Garfield, Blondie and Footrot Flats. Classic stuff…

    Condolences to Deni and 2cats and Cheryl. My thoughts are with you all.

    Janet

  22. Hi Joe,

    Knowing the cross-pollenation between Stargate and the Simpsons, I can’t help but wonder if tonight’s Simpsons foodie episode was inspired by you…

    Any backstory you can share? 😉

  23. Thanks for the thoughts, sorry I’m not around much,besides my poor kitty, we had a health emergency which thank g-d is better, hope all is well with you all and you too Joe. Sheryl.

  24. I love Baby blues cause I find it so true to family life and the way young children think and act. I also love Calvin and Hobbes cause I always admired the friendship they shared.

  25. Here is a list of comics I read every day (in no particular order*):

    Argyle Sweater (the closest thing to The Far Side that’s still running new strips)

    Basic Instructions (the only strip to consistently get a laugh out of me)

    Brewster Rockit (totally ridiculous, but sci-fi so it gets points for that)

    Calvin & Hobbes (the best)

    Dark Side of the Horse (visually interesting, always unique)

    Dilbert

    F Minus (I like simply drawn comics)

    Herman

    Luann (Greg Evans draws the best looking hands in the business)

    Real Life Adventures (too true to be funny, but it is)

    Working Daze

    *Not actually true

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