Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
E-mail Michael  |  On Facebook: Comic Riffs  |  On Twitter: Comic Riffs  |  RSS Feeds RSS Feed
Posted at 2:15 PM ET, 12/ 7/2009

Which comic strip do we deem 'Best of the Decade'?

By Michael Cavna

Not only is it that time of year -- it's also that time of the decade, when The TV Hosts, The Media and The Grand Poobahs of Pop Culture Punditry assign rankings to everything notable in the 10-year rear-view mirror that they can get their "we-need-holiday-copy" mitts on.

So in the spirit of this anything-goes "Decade Land Grab" (even if officially, the Aughties don't end for some 12 months yet), Comic Riffs is joining in the list-happy fun. (Although with the folks at Time magazine declaring it "The Decade From Hell," we're not sure how much fun they're having, let alone remote historical perspective.)

Anyhoo, between now and year's end, 'Riffs will look at some of the top graphic novels and animated films and political cartooning of the decade. Today, though, it's all about the comic strip.

So the official 'Riffs Question is: What is your favorite comic strip over the past decade? The strip needn't have been launched in the past decade -- simply, which comic do you think has been the most engaging, the most beguiling and/or the most inventive since 2000?

Feel free to list multiple candidates, too, even ranked. And webcomics, of course, are also eligible.

So, that said, the floor is all yours.


A quick reminder that today is the deadline for entering the "Color Your Own 'Cul de Sac' Contest." This contest was spurred, you'll recall, by "Cul de Sac" running in black-and-white for more than a month after the strip relocated to its new neighborhood in The Post's Arts&Style section.

We should note, too: For the past four Sundays, the strip has run in color in The Post. So whether this was spurred by reader complaints, by Comic Riffs's harping or simply by the editorial wisdom of Post decision-makers, color this reader grateful and pleased.

By Michael Cavna  | December 7, 2009; 2:15 PM ET
Categories:  General, The Charts  | Tags:  Cul de Sac, Richard Thompson  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Should 'Pickles' be canned? Time to Defend That 'Toon
Next: Take the 'Riffs Reader Quiz: Test your comical tastes in 60 seconds


THE strip is : Non Sequitor.

of course, I get Shoe and Raising Duncan in email every day. The problem is sorting out the Very Favorites from my special favorites....the list could get lengthly. Non Sequitor is the IT of 'toons.

Posted by: ZeldaJane | December 7, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

1. Cul De Sac
2. Lio
3. Pearls Before Swine
4. NonSequitur
5. Pooch Cafe
6. Get Fuzzy
7. Foxtrot
8. Speed Bump
9. Ink Pen
10. Tom the Dancing Bug

Posted by: greasypores | December 7, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Babyblues is the best comic of ALL TIME...

Posted by: mizzywhoisdizzy | December 7, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Havta agree with Zeldajane: Non Sequitur. but don't forget Wizard of Id, Bizzaro, Cornered, and of course Doonesbury

Posted by: TDog66 | December 7, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"Doonesbury," for its amazing treatment of soldiers and vets of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's astonishing to me that a strip that covered Watergate is still so incredibly relevant, clever and FUNNY. Honorable mentions: "Get Fuzzy" and "Candorville" for excellent work in the "traditional" newspaper comics format. "New Adventures of Queen Victoria" and "xkcd" for innovation in both content and form.

Posted by: ishkabibbleA | December 7, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh, no question, for me it's Pearls Before Swine, with Doonesbury second. (Non Sequitur is too uneven for me: Danae & her horse are total duds, but non-Danae strips hit it out of the park.) Agnes is terrific--probably what NS's Danae aspires to. Other greats are Frazz, Candorville, Pooch Cafe, Bizarro, Pickles, Overboard, the Argyle Sweater. Big Nate is my replacement for Calvin & Hobbes. And Brewster Rockit it might be worthy of a long-term list but I've only begun reading it.

Posted by: 5232news | December 7, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Ranking them is difficult, but my top three are almost equal. There are some later ones I might change, but not those three. I laugh at all of them on a daily basis.
1. Pearls Before Swine
2. Cul De Sac
3. Get Fuzzy
4. Frazz
5. Pooch Cafe
6. Arlo & Janis
7. Heart of the City
8. Speed Bump
9. Agnes

Posted by: elyrest | December 7, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

1. Doonesbury (read every day)
2. Dilbert (read occassionally)
3. Tom Toles (read occassionally)
4. I miss Calvin & Hobbes
5. I miss Bloom County
6. I sort of miss Foxtrot

I'm somewhat aware that there are other comments, but none that I can remember offhand that are worth looking at.

Posted by: reggiepv1 | December 7, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Best- Doonesbury
Worst-Get Fuzzy
Most missed-POGO

Posted by: owl-hoo | December 7, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Previous note, I meant I'm somewhat aware that there are other COMICS (not comments)

Posted by: reggiepv1 | December 7, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh please, all you who like Pearls Before Swine - did you notice Foxtrot completely kicked Pearls' butt yesterday (Sunday)? Pearls is completely overrated in my book. Best ones are:
Get Fuzzy
Watch Your Head
and of course, Doonesbury

Posted by: mksfromvienna | December 7, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

By far the most creative, innovative, (and least appreciated) comic strip of the decade is Tom the Dancing Bug. I am constantly amazed at the genius of Reuben Bolling. Close second would have to be Doonesbury for its high level of consistency over the past 4 decades. And for both artwork and storyline creativity, I would have to rate Pibgorn near the top as well.

Posted by: aaronridge | December 7, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Newspaper Comics
1. Frazz
2. Get Fuzzy
3. Pearls Before Swine
4. Cul-De-Sac
5. Sherman's Lagoon
6. Mutts
7. Nemi

1. Girl Genius
2. Something Positive
3. Questionable Content
4. Devil's Panties
5. Sinfest
6. Girls With Slingshots
7. Little Dee
8. Wapsi Square

Go away and give somebody else a chance
1. Peanuts
2. Blondie
3. Family Circus
4. Beetle Bailey
5. Barney Google (& Snuffy Smith)

Posted by: cha0ss | December 7, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Non Sequitur.

Sherman's Lagoon.


Does Herman count?

Miss Calvin and Hobbes like a favorite relative

Posted by: olddog1 | December 8, 2009 4:48 AM | Report abuse

Non Sequitur
Sherman's Lagoon
Pearls Before Swine
Ink Pen

Posted by: buckeye96 | December 8, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Toons that came along since 2000 only:

1. Tom the Dancing Bug, and it's not even close---Bolling is the one true comic genius of today

2. Watch Your Head, which has the best collection of characters this side of The Simpsons

3. Lio, which is a one joke strip, but in three years or whatever he still hasn't run it into the ground. Don't know how long he can keep it up, though

4. Candorville, for its stream of consciousness and its acidic commentary

5. Pearls Before Swine, which grows on me and may be higher next time around

6. Frazz, on the days he's not being over the top sanctimonious

7. Cul de Sac, which isn't as good as all that, but it still has its moments

That's it for the 21st century strips, so I'll add 3 more that came along in the late 1990's

1. The Boondocks, a short lived work of pure genius that migrated to TV, alas

2. Close To Home, the best one panel strip since Larsen retired

3. Big Nate, our everyday reminder that Pride Goeth Before The Fall

Posted by: andym108 | December 8, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

I had to go to the web today to read Non Sequitur!! Size up the comics!!!

Posted by: oldgal49er | December 8, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Officially, the Aughties don't end for some 12 months yet? Apparently comic book readers don't count the cover as page 1 like newspaper readers do. The comic character who most epitomized the decade, Zippy, might have an appropriate comment about that!

Posted by: kjcat | December 8, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

The #1 comic not only of this decade, but of a few others, is Doonesbury. Its incredibly insightful treatment (without sacrificng humor) of every issue it has touched upon, particularly its treatment of the wars that have dominated this decade more than anything else, places it in a league of its own.

Non-Sequitur would probably be my second choice, but a rather distant second.

There are some other good ones, but nothing comes close to these two.

Posted by: amirmogh | December 8, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Gold: Cul De Sac, Perry Bible Fellowship

Silver: Lio, Pearls Before Swine, Tom the Dancing Bug, Ink Pen, Bad Reporter, Get Fuzzy, Pooch Cafe, Agnes, Big Nate, F-Minus, NonSeq, xkcd, Get Your War On

Bronze: WT Duck, Argyle Sweater, The Duplex, Pajama Diaries, Doonesbury, Penny Arcade

Lead (as in dead): Family Circus, Peanuts, Prickly City, Mallard Fillmore, Peanuts (again for good measure), FBOFW, Beetle Bailey, Hagar, Hi & Lois

Posted by: rimjo | December 8, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Pearls before Swine, ESPECIALLY the Sunday version two days ago!!!!!

Posted by: Alex511 | December 8, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Pearls Before Swine

Posted by: JBourgeios | December 8, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse


I'm loving Cul de Sac too.
and Get Fuzzy. I didn't used to like that one, I referred to it as Get Funny, but suddenly, I loved it and have ever since.

Posted by: Harise | December 8, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

re web comics, obviously I've been missing out, but I do like Too Much Coffee Man.

Posted by: Harise | December 8, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

oh, the Sharks! Sherman's Lagoon, maybe not best of the decade but certainly a riot, especially when they come ashore disguised as humans.

Posted by: Harise | December 8, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little late to the comment party, but here are my top five — make that six:

1. Pearls Before Swine
2. Ink Pen (would have been my easy No. 1 had it been around for more of the decade. Awesome comic.)
3. Dilbert
4. Cul de Sac
5. Cow & Boy
6. Brevity

Comic I miss the most: Foxtrot (well, the dailies)

Posted by: goldpress | December 8, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

10. Sherman's Lagoon
9. The Argyle Sweater
8. Non Sequitur
7. Foxtrot
6. Pearls Before Swine
5. Devin Crane, Comic Strip Ghostwriter
4. Lio
3. Pooch
2. Cul De Sac

Posted by: lagerfeld | December 9, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Agnes is by far the best comic strip of the decade in my mind. She is the voice of reason in an unreasonable world...and keeps her head and humor about her. Love her!

Posted by: Scadooodle | December 9, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company