Sunday, April 5, 2009

You Are the Comics Editor

Often, when people find out that I draw a comic strip I end up in a heated debate with them which usually turns into me having to defend the medium, in particular the lineup in our local newspaper the San Francisco Chronicle. Most people it seems don't seem to understand that the selection needs to appeal to a broad demographic and can't just be the editors favorite strips. It can't be an easy job. Personally I think the Chronicle has it about 70% right which is more than most.

So here, for the record is the line up of the 20 strips in no particular order that I would pick if I was the paid comics editor for a major metropolitan daily newspaper. Strips only, no panels. It in no way reflects my own personal favorites! (which you can see in the list on the right).

Doonesbury - A no-brainer. One of the most intelligent and greatest strips ever.

Cul-De-Sac - Currently the most interesting strip in terms of complex characters and tapping into that non-gag type Seinfeld humor.

Get Fuzzy - Always great to see a strip pushing the envelope with great writing as well as great art.

Lio - It's dark. It's wordless. It's fabulous to see in so many newspapers.

Pearls Before Swine - Just too funny to leave out of any comics page.

Dilbert - Scott Adams is on autopilot these days but still churns out a consistently high product.

Zits - The best of the crop of "family" strips. although for the record I thought The Norm (RIP) was better.

Bizarro - Consistently quirky and, well, bizarre.

Non Sequitur - It's great to see Wiley run riot in his little space.

Pooch Cafe - Okay, it's Canadian but it's no "For Better or For Worse".

Candorville - Sometimes Darrin Bell strays into nerdiness with his vampire and Star Trek references but his political strips were a happy replacement for The Boondocks when Aaron McGruder packed it in.

Luann - Somehow it always manages to grasp its way out of mediocrity to remain interesting.

Mutts - So well drawn that the artwork trumps the banality of the writing.

La Cucaracha - This is a better strip than most people give it credit for. It's provocative as well as having characters you care for.

Sally Forth - Francesco Marciuliano has done a really great job of writing this strip back into relevancy.

The Duplex - One for the conservatives.

Baby Blues - They sell a lot of books and get away with jokes about squirting breast milk.

Garfield - It kills me to include this but kids love it and it's gotten better since Jon got a girlfriend.

Zippy the Pinhead - In a just and fair world, Zippy would be more popular than Mickey Mouse and parents would take their kids to Griffyworld.

Over the Hedge - Just because Pogo's gone and everyone likes anthropomorphic animals.

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