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Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 04/ 1/2009

Who Keeps 'Garfield' Alive? Look to America's Youth

By Michael Cavna

As some readers of the Post print comics cast about for what strips they would drop, the question crops up often: WHO wants to keep "Garfield," let alone "Peanuts" reruns?

Well, judging by a recent Nickelodeon poll , you can look to America's youth for your answer. A certain beagle and lasagna-scarfin' kitty live on because of tweens.

Nickelodeon magazine -- timed in tandem with the network's televised Kids Choice Awards telecast -- has announced its comics award honorees. And the winner for Favorite Comic Strip is...yes, "Garfield." In terms of comics, the fatcat remains a gateway drug.

Also winning was Snoopy, as Cutest Comic Character. Tough to disagree with the sentiment; it's just a matter of the real estate his doghouse still takes up on the page.

Elsewhere, big-time huzzahs to the deserving Jeff Kinney, who Comic Riffs spoke with recently.

His "Wimpy Kid" series won for Favorite Graphic Novel, and the cheese from his books won for Grossest Thing in Comics.

The other honorees were:

Best Hair in Comics: Calvin from "Calvin and Hobbes,: by Bill Watterson (Universal Press Syndicate).

Favorite Comic Book Series: "Simpsons comics", Bongo Comics

Favorite Fantasy Graphic Novel: "Bone" (series), by Jeff Smith

Favorite Manga Series: Best of Pokemon Adventures, by Hidenori Kusaka and Mato (Viz)

Congrats to all the winners -- even the ones who are begrudged for the funnypage space they take up.

SPEAKING OF WINNERS...

This year's Peabody Awards were announced this morning. Among the recipients is the mythological epic "Avatar: The Last Air Bender," which aired on Nickelodeon.

By Michael Cavna  | April 1, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  General  
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Next: Where Else Do You Go to Fill Your Comics Needs?

Comments

My 11-year-old daughter thinks Garfield is great. When we were driving into work the other day, she was sitting in the back seat with the Post open, just like some bloated plutocrat.

Posted by: Mrhode | April 1, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that comics strips are pretty much irrelevant to kids these days. They probably struggled to even come up with a list of choices the kids would even recognize. "ummm... oh Garfield, I've heard of that".

Posted by: jessecline | April 1, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Next up: The Association of Blind Dyslexics with their 'Favorite Daily Comics' results...

Seriously, Daily Comics awards from people who clearly don't read Daily Comics?

Posted by: JkR- | April 1, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the kids who voted for Snoopy as "cutest comic character" actually know him from the strip, or just from all the merchandising.

I wouldn't mind the endless reruns of "Peanuts" so much if they were reruns from the strip's earlier days, when there was a little bite behind them. What's running now seems to be a mishmash of blandness from the 70s or so.

Glad to see Avatar getting recognition.

Posted by: MaxineofArc | April 1, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Both of my kids like Garfield, but they'll grow out of it. Already they're into Pogo and Bone and Lio and Pooch Cafe and Calvin and other good stuff.

Posted by: rhompson | April 1, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

My kids were big Garfield fans when they were little, too. At the age of 7, you'd find my daughter scouring garage sales for Garfield, Family Circus, Marmaduke, and Archie collections. They're easy to read, and little kids get the jokes. I don't think anyone much is arguing that kid-friendly comics should disappear from the newspaper pages altogether. They do serve as an entry to the paper-reading habit, which those in the business would do well to nurture.

The point is that there are so many old taking limited places that young artists need a shot at. Some balance on the funny pages, and some input on content from readers to whom comics matter, are what is being asked for.

Another thing that seems to be forgotten is that there are newer kid friendly comics around, that deserve a chance. For example, in my paper, there's a strip about a dog called "Buckles". Mild, inoffensive, not really that hilarious to my critical eye, but considerably fresher and less "phoned in" than Garfield these days. And a 7 year old could get all the jokes.

Posted by: marshlc | April 1, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

My "memory" of most older comics is not! I do not remember most of them which do not have an actual "plot thread" and they remain fresh to ME... just the same, I think that new cartoonists who are really creative and talented deserve a chance. One of those newer is Tony Carillo (F Minus). For those that style after the "anime" or have really vulgar language however, I'd rather see repeats than those ANYDAY!!

Posted by: vldazzle | April 6, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

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