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Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 06/ 8/2010

READERS: Which strips would YOU pick to anchor your comics page?

By Michael Cavna


A change in The Post's comics lineup always makes for a heftier mailbag. And when that change involves the rightly beloved "Cul de Sac," then woe to the virtual mailboy who must lug that fatted satchel.

With Gene Weingarten & Co.'s "Barney & Clyde" debuting this week, Richard Thompson's "Cul de Sac" has moved from the field of print funnies to a full-color place of "more prominence" in The Post's Style section: Page-2, hard past "Doonesbury."

This shift has pleased not all readers, natch -- some of whom tell Comic Riffs they like all their favorite funnies on the funnies page. The reasons are myriad: One-stop shopping. "Organic" reading experience. And said one reader: The comics are just "funnier" somehow when they're all together.

As The Post is peppered with such inquiries, we particularly point to letter-writer Wes Pedersen of Chevy Chase, who says in part about The Post's print comics: "There are only four strips now that offer any reason for being continued." (Mr. Pedersen does not name which four.)

Only four comics, eh? Really? That prompts a thought and a question. Tom Spurgeon of the excellent Comics Reporter blog recently asked some industry folk which five comics they would pick to anchor their personal comics page. So let's make the Official Comic Riffs Question of the Day, with a nod to Mssrs. Pedersen and Spurgeon:

If you were building The Post's comics pages from scratch, which four or five comics would you buy first to anchor your funnies?

Feel free to share your picks below.

By Michael Cavna  | June 8, 2010; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  The Comic Strip  | Tags:  Barney & Clyde, Comics Reporter, Cul de Sac, Doonesbury, Tom Spurgeon  
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Comments

The comics I read everyday are "Pearls Before Swine," "Dilbert," "Doonesbury," "Pooch Cafe" and "Luann." I also read "Foxtrot" on Sundays.

I used to read a lot more but found these 6 were the only ones that consistently make me smile, laugh or think. Occassionally I will sample some others but these 6 would be my anchors if I was building my own Comics Page.

Posted by: dre7861 | June 8, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

This is a hard one because I truly love so many funnies. If I had to do a hard pick though there are three that come out on top.

- Cul de Sac
- Pearls Before Swine
- Get Fuzzy

The next two are more difficult.

- Zits, because the drawing is often just wild
- Bizarro, drawing and zaniness

There are many more that I could list, but if I have to limit it to five these are the ones I'll go with.

Posted by: elyrest | June 8, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Doonesbury
Cul de Sac
Pearls Before Swine
Zits
Get Fuzzy

Posted by: moonwatcher13 | June 8, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

This was tough so I listed six.
Judge Parker
Doonesbury
Zits
For Better or For Worse
Sally Forth
Sherman's Lagoon

Posted by: MARKHAGNER | June 8, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

My top 5:
Pearls Before Swine
Get Fuzzy
Candorville
Rhymes With Orange
Non Sequitor

To balance this list, you should also do a poll for top 4-5 comics that people would like to kill. That would get you some page views . . .

Posted by: bucky_katt | June 8, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, assuming I can only pick from what is currently running in the Post, I would choose:
Pearls Before Swine
Pickles
Get Fuzzy
Zits
Brewster Rocket
and Classic Peanuts
(because after all this time, it's still relevant.)
and if I can ad just one more:
'Classic' Calvin and Hobbes

Posted by: InkSlingerz | June 8, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Cul De Sac
Pooch Cafe
NonSequitur
Pearls Before Swine
Ink Pen
Lio
Dilbert

Posted by: greasypores | June 8, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

These are ones I'll read even when I don't stop to read them all:

Get Fuzzy
Cul de Sac
Frazz


For the last two, it would be a toss-up among Pearls Before Swine, Zits, and Big Nate.

That said, I'm not wholly opposed to printing strips on other pages, especially if they get to be printed a little larger than the cramped versions on the funnies pages (remember when the Post ran four pages of comics?). (and the double-crostic on Saturdays?) sigh.

Posted by: dc-native | June 8, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

The Knight Life
Minimum Security
Cul de Sac
Pooch Café
Pearls Before Swine

Posted by: davidessman | June 9, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Pickles
Big Nate
Pibgorn
Non Sequitur
Zits
Candorville

Posted by: vallo | June 9, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

1. Dilbert
2. Watch Your Head
3. Pearls Before Swine
4. Lio
5. Big Nate or Close to Home

And on the now-reduced to one page Sunday section, Tom the Dancing Bug should rate the prime spot.

Posted by: andym108 | June 9, 2010 6:08 AM | Report abuse

1. Dilbert
2.Doonesbury
3.Zippy
4.Pickles
5.Tank McNamara
6.Wizard of Id (online)

Posted by: waynemonroe8 | June 9, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

1. Pearls Before Swine
2. Pooch Cafe
3. Ink Pen
4. Zits
5. Sherman's Lagoon
6. Dilbert

Posted by: buckeye96 | June 9, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

For Better or Worse
Zits
Baby Blues
Pickles
Doonesbury

And a couple one frame comics too:
Argyle Sweater
Brevity

Posted by: panda7 | June 9, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

For Better Or For Worse
Doonesbury
Baby Blues
On the Fastrack
One Big Happy

But that's just me.

Posted by: drazen1 | June 9, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Get Fuzzy
Zits
Big Nate
Brewster Rocket
Pearls before Swine

Posted by: capsfan77 | June 9, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

ANDY CAPP!!! Wizard of ID, Beetle Bailey and Hagar the Horrible

Posted by: boorish | June 9, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

In no particular order:

Non Sequitor
Pearls Before Swine
Candorville
Cul de Sac
Get Fuzzy

A far more interesting (and useful, IMO) question would be to pick 4 or 5 strips you would drop. My choices would start with "Anything no longer produced by the original artist" (that includes the asembly-line product that is Garfield), move to "Reruns from the (brain)dead" (Yes, I'm referring to YOU, Lynn Johnston and Chuck Schultz), swing by the Soap strips (except Judge Parker, natch!) before I even got to individual strips (DIE FAMILY CIRCUS, DIE!!!)

Posted by: drewdane | June 9, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Cul de Sac
One Big Happy
Pooch Cafe
Lio
Zippy the Pinhead only if they'd print it large enough for me to read without a magnifying glass; otherwise, Frazz

Posted by: sonderfred | June 9, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Someone needs to give boorish a strip. S/he knows from funny.

Posted by: byoolin1 | June 9, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Why not put "Barney & Clyde" on p.2, and keep "Cul de Sac" with the comics section? And, of course, move "Classic Peanuts" to Kids' Post and bring "Frazz" back to the real comics pages, but then this is about the 1,463,825th time that this move has been suggested herein, to the complete disinterest of WaPo editors, who read neither this blog nor the actual comics. Why do we bother?

Posted by: seismic-2 | June 9, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Pearls Before Swine
Sherman's Lagoon
Zits

Throw in Frazz, Baby Blues, and
Brewster Rockit as the next 3 on my list.

Posted by: ldf1 | June 9, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

GEEZLOUISE!
I forgot my favorite comic strip-

MUTTS

(That's what happens when you read other peoples lists before you put your own together-)

So my new favs list:

Mutts
Pearls Before Swine
Brewster Rocket
Pickles
Red & Rover
Get Fuzzy

Posted by: InkSlingerz | June 9, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

'Nuff said-

Posted by: InkSlingerz | June 9, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Zits
Lio
Brewster Rockitt
Non Sequiter

[Cul de Sac, Fast Track, Arlo & Janis, Prickly City make the second round]

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 9, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Lets do the top 5 strips you would drop to make way for some funny and new stuff.

Posted by: buckeye96 | June 10, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Zits
For Better or for Worse
Baby Blues
Sally Forth

And for my fifth...either Classic Peanuts, Mutts, or Non Sequitur.

At the top of my list of comics to nix would be Family Circus, hands down!

Posted by: kalster15 | June 10, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I say bah to print comics...

High-quality/Appropriate format (if not necessarily content) webcomics:

1. Least I Could Do
2. Girls with Slingshots
3. Bear Nuts
4. Diesel Sweeties (has been syndicated before, too bad no more.)

Of course, there's more but the freedom of the net means they'd usually have a hard time conforming to the space they'd be allocated.

I can take or leave the comics (or the whole newspaper) of late.

Posted by: akusu | June 10, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Really hate that the continuity strips aren't getting any love. The newspapers have been ignoring them for years. I guess that editors don't want people to read EVERY DAY!

Phantom
Brenda Starr
Rex Morgan
Brewster Rockit
Dick Tracy

Posted by: jeffconn | June 10, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Since my top three (Doonesbury, Cul de Sac, and Frazz) are off the comics pages proper, let's not count them. Therefore:

Mark Trail
Zits
Big Nate
Lio
Get Fuzzy

Posted by: munchie2 | June 10, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

i am addicted to the following strips so i wouldn't mind giving the new one a try:
Curtis
Judge Parker
Mark Trail
Big Nate
The Amazing SpiderMan
Pickles
Zits
Lio

Posted by: mjgavaghan1 | June 10, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm only getting comics online anymore, so my choice is limited only by time. When I'm in a hurry, I read:
Zits: excellent art, excellent gags
Brewster Rockit: consistently funny, visually attractive
Dilbert: the most consistently funny and insightful strip
Doonesbury: I've been reading it for 40 years, since the characters and I started college
Blondie: An old friend that enjoyed a renaissance. I am Dagwood. Everyman is Dagwood.
I still read classic Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes. They set the standard: Few strips are consistently that good, not only funny but insightful. I don't have to read The Far Side anymore; I've committed them all to memory.

Posted by: wlc8 | June 11, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Okay, you have to have Mark Trail, no question. No other strip delivers as much in the way of pure action (okay, right now it's a zoning issue but it will still end up with Mark delivering his Right Fist o' Justice). Environmentally speaking, you need to have representation, and right now, Mark is all you've got.

Mary Worth is also good for laughs (I know it's supposed to be a serious strip, but those of us who have been keeping tabs on Mary's shenanigans over the years--and she's almost as old as the dearly departed Little Orphan Annie--have to search all over creation for her). You should reinstate Mary Worth in the print section.
Get rid of "For Better or for Worse" because it's definitely worse than ever.

What kind of influence can you exert to bring back "The Far Side"--I'd rather see re-runs of that fabulous work than any other strip going, any day. They never get old (unlike "Classic Peanuts").

"Pearls Before Swine" is a classic. Keep it.

I was always a big fan of "Winnie Winkle" who had the absolute best character names in any strip going. "Seth Poole," "Victor Best," and "Perry Winkle" can't be beat for pure pun-ative excellence. If you can't get Winnie on track, I'm up for Rex Morgan, The Phantom (a.k.a. The Ghost Who Walks), or Prince Valiant (although the storylines of late are a little far-fetched, even for me--and remember, I'm a big fan of Mark Trail).

But why limit yourselves to just five comics? There are so many great ones out there. How about you lose some of the salacious stories that aren't even news--for instance, I wouldn't care if I never heard from the White House party crashers again--and make more room on the comics page for more and BIGGER comics?

Posted by: HometownBethesda | June 13, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Seismic-2 hit the nail on the head. It is not rational to expect intelligent decisions from an editing staff that is STILL offering a strip from 2 Nov 2008 as the "current" Opus (even though the link offered in the panel for the "final" picture has long since expired). On the plus side, the Post has finally demoted "Cul de Sac" to "Web Comic" status, meaning that the link no longer produces the outdated "big stick of the month" strip; it now goes "off-site" to get the current strip from the GoComics website.

Posted by: kilby | June 14, 2010 5:39 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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