Wednesday, March 21, 2018

I miss comic strips

There are fewer and fewer comic strips these days. Not surprising considering there are fewer and fewer newspapers. And the one still hanging on are shrinking.

Yet fans of comic strips are DIEHARD fans. Whenever I bring up the topic on this blog I get a flood of comments; most very passionate. And I think that’s great. Keep 'em coming.

There is something about comic strips that instills fierce loyalty. Next to politics I think our country is most divided over Calvin & Hobbs.  But TV series can only dream of such loyalty. 

Since I no longer get a daily paper (I used to for years but they just started stacking up unread – I followed the news through the internet like everybody else), I rarely see the comic page. But when I do I’m usually disappointed. The jokes just aren’t that funny.

Were they funnier when I was a kid and there were way more strips? Probably not. My sense of humor was less than razor-sharp when I was 10. But I loved them. I loved the draftsmanship. I also loved the link to the past. Most of these strips were created before I was born. There was a sense of history and legacy to them. It was kind of cool that my dad and I both loved Popeye as a kid.

At one time, when I was in high school, I thought having a nationally syndicated comic strip would be a nifty way to make a living. I was a pretty fair cartoonist back then. In researching it more closely I learned that it was extremely hard to enter the field. Very very few new strips broke through.

But that wasn’t my biggest deterrent. It was the fact that I would have to come up with seven new jokes a week. Every week. Who could possibly survive under that pressure? Now of course, in television, I had to come up with seven jokes every fifteen minutes and do it for decades. But at the time it was a daunting task.

I did however get a comic strip into one paper. It was the local Woodland Hills weekly paper and this is when I was in high school. My strip was about teenagers (duh!), and I delivered a finished panel (all in pen & ink just like the big boys) every week. The strip ran for maybe three months. But then I was downsized. The paper was cutting back and my strip was a real luxury. I was making $5 a month.

Ultimately, I think I made the smarter choice to go into screenwriting. But it breaks my heart to see the slow decline of comic strips. At its best it’s a wonderful art, and today more than ever, we need all the creative outlets we can find.  Good Grief! 

58 comments :

Anthony Adams said...

I commend Arlo & Janis to you. Though I follow a dozen or so strips, it's the only one I find reliably funny.

Pilot Joe said...

Ken,
Try GoComics you can pick the cartoons you want and they are updated daily.

Cedric Hohnstadt said...

There are still a few consistently funny syndicated strips. Three of my favorites are "Speed Bump" by Dave Coverly, "Off the Mark" by Mark Parisi, and "Bizarro" by Dan Piraro. There are also some really good, clever webcomics out there that put some of the syndicated strips to shame. Most of them you can follow on social media. The trick is sorting the wheat from the chaff (and there's an awful lot of chaff). Some of my favorites include Sarah Anderson ("Sarah's Scribbles"), Gemma Correll, LunarBaboon, Dave Kellett, and Jim Benton.

Southfield_Bob said...

I read about 40 comic strips daily between Gocomics.com and comicskingdom.com. I only read the "funny" ones. Some to check out are Bizarro, F-Minus, and Speed Bump (all absurdist 1 panel comics)

Paul B said...

There is something very perverse in that the newspaper comic strips are being printed smaller and smaller, and the only people who read them need print bigger and bigger!

Anthony said...

Here's a new book you might find interesting: http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/03/17/grown-men-reading-nancy/

Dan said...

I would say that there are more comic strips out there than ever. It's just that they're online instead of in newspapers. And being freed of the space constraints that the physical page imposes has let them do some really innovative things with the medium. See XKCD for an example--its style of humor is not to everyone's taste, but the creator has done some amazing experiments.

Jon Weisman said...

People are divided over Calvin & Hobbes? I thought that was a unifier. Who dislikes it, and how could they possibly feel that way?

BobinVT said...

I also lament the demise of the comic strip. The comic sections still feature old standbys like Blondie, Beetle Bailey, and even Peanuts reruns. But one type of comic has completely disappeared. That would be strips like Steve Canyon, Terry and the Pirates, Prince Valiant and Little Orphan Annie. These were not really “comic strips” in the sense that they often occupied half of a Sunday broadsheet newspaper, and they weren’t comical. They really were serialized graphic novels before that term came into use. The level of detail and quality of the artwork in a Sunday edition of one of these was staggering. Most of them also ran a smaller strip version the other six days of the week, but it was the Sunday strip where the full glory of the form was on display. In my opinion the only “funny” comic that approached this level was Calvin and Hobbes. The Sunday versions of that comic were truly amazing. It hard to imagine how much time it must have taken to produce these mini masterpieces.

Daniel said...

Several boutique comics publishers (IDW, Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly) having been putting out high-end, hardcover chronological collections of classic comic strips (Pogo, Peanuts, Terry and the Pirates, Steve Canyon, Gasoline Alley, Rip Kirby, Popeye, etc.). Amazing production values and great reproduction and restorations. There was also that pretty amazing complete collection of Calvin and Hobbes a few years ago.

If you like the classic stuff, the last decade or so has been a golden age for getting this stuff in archival formats (much better than the original reproduction in the newspapers).

Brian O. said...

If papers would allow it they could have someone with talent and clout using a half to full page every Sunday to tell a narrative either funny or compelling. The bar is so low now. There are some talented people working but they’re either slumming it or their syndicate (or whatever runs newspapers today...is there an I Heart Newspapers?) is demanding tepid content. The best of Billy DeBeck’s BARNEY GOOGLE was hilarious. The art of Alex Raymond and Hal Foster was beautiful. Comics used to sell papers. Now? CLOSE TO HOME makes the pages stick together it’s so crappy.

Andrew said...

"Next to politics I think our country is most divided over Calvin & Hobbes."

That strikes me as odd. Almost everyone I know, across every political and social persuasion, loves that comic (if they're old enough to remember it). That is one comic which was a uniter, not a divider.

One exception stands out to me. There was a woman who told me she preferred Garfield. I instantly lost all respect for her. I liked Garfield too, when I was in junior high.

It always seemed to me that the 80's were a golden age of comic strips. Calvin & Hobbes, Bloom County, Far Side, etc. Peanuts still had its moments. Doonesbury was still funny.

The only comic that makes me laugh out loud is Dilbert, but I think it is "sui generis." Dilbert works because it captures reality.

Any Peanuts and/or Calvin & Hobbes lovers, if you haven't read Bill Watterson's review of Charles Schultz's biography, I strongly recommend it. The review is filled with fascinating insights about both cartoonists. Who knew that the character Lucy was based on Schultz's wife?

Find it by Googling "WSJ the grief that made peanuts good." (I won't post the link because it brings you to a WSJ firewall. But Googling gets you around it.)

Andrew said...

Correction: The only CURRENT comic that makes me laugh out loud is Dilbert

Rick said...

There's a subscription service called Go Comics (at go comics.com) on line that allows you to have any combination of the dozens and dozens of the strips they offer sent to you daily. I recommend it.

And I notice--undoubtedly because of Go Comics--that my newspapers often wind up unread.

Emily said...

Berkley Breathed has come out of retirement and brought Bloom County back -- on Facebook! Opus, Bill the Cat, Steve Dallas and all the gang live again, and better than ever (No deadlines and no editors for BB to deal with).

Eduardo Jencarelli said...

It's ironic really. THE SIMPSONS - the most successful animated show ever made - wouldn't even exist if not for the existence of comic strips. How else would Jim Brooks discover Matt Groening?

gottacook said...

Editorial cartoons are also endangered; fewer and fewer newspapers support a staff cartoonist. This might be even more of a tragedy.

Ray Littrell said...

"We have met the enemy and he is us!" --Pogo
I miss Walt Kelly's strip. Some of the best satire ever.

Sean Robbins said...

I even read comics online now. Or did when The Oatmeal was posting comics regularly instead of trying to sell board games.

I really used to like Zits. It captures what raising teenagers is all about. And Dilbert hits home since I am an office dweller.

You can still find some classic comic strips at gocomics.com

sanford said...

I still think pearls before swine is funny

E. Yarber said...

I'm one of the few people who looks forward to jury duty, since it's one of the only chances I find these days of getting away from the house and actually talking to people who aren't trying to push bad screenplays. Last time I got into a conversation with an old guy who remembered how he'd spend HOURS on a Sunday afternoon with the massive newspaper comic sections that were published in the 1930s, obsessively studying each panel of the huge full-page strips.

More production went into the art and publishing of these weekly sections than you'd see in the CGI of an IMAX presentation today, because they were big money. The audience for them was almost universal across the United States. Listening to old Jack Benny radio shows will bring up as many references to Dick Tracy's latest villain as the President. It was a slower time and readers had the attention to really linger on the elaborate work that went into these strips.

In a reversal of today's adaptations, the movie versions were mostly afterthoughts. The comic strip historian Bill Blackbeard once told me that he went to see the Universal serial of Flash Gordon when it first came out. This was one of the most elaborate fantasy productions of its time, yet Bill found it completely cheesy and wooden compared to the grace and scale of the original Sunday pages.

On the other hand, the whole field began to slide into a routine over time, especially once television took over from newspapers as the primary visual entertainment in the home. Richard Schickel interviewed Blondie's Chic Young in the 1960s, and Young discarded a preliminary gag as they were talking, noting, "That one was too funny. If you let any of those slip into print, the readers will start expecting you to be that good every day."

Now the strips have shifted from IMAX presentation to cell phone size.

Terry said...

Ken, as a fan of comic strips I would highly recommend you check out The Comics Curmudgeon. It is a hilarious blog that constantly takes the piss out of legacy strips that have continued on well past their prime (and well past the deaths of their creators in most cases). Mary Worth, Funky Winkerbean, Hi and Lois, Beetle Bailey and Marvin are frequent targets. It's updated daily and well worth a read.

Steve Bailey said...

I remember in the late 1950's, Charles Schulz did a "Peanuts" comic strip where Charlie Brown goes to read a comic strip and is mortified to find that it's "in reruns." Now I read "Doonesbury" online, and what is it, for six days out of seven? Reruns!

Earl Boebert said...

Well, nobody (at the time I write this) has mentioned Krazy Kat, so I will. One of the best ever, an obvious inspiration to many, and with a fascinating back story.

richfigel said...

If you like the old comic strips, you should check out "The Comics Curmudgeon" daily blog posts by Josh Fruhlinger. He deconstructs the classic strips and often injects very funny observations based on actual research to poke holes in the joke set-ups or punchlines: https://joshreads.com/

Aloha,
Rich

Mike Bloodworth said...

My memories are less about the strips themselves and more about the family aspects surrounding them. I remember when I was a little kid my dad or mom would read the comics to me. Sometimes they would try to do it in character sometimes not. And a lot of times I didn't get some of the more sophisticated gags, but it didn't matter. What mattered was the bonding; the "quality time" with my parents if you prefer. At one time I had the naive fantasy of reading the Funny Pages with my kids. Unfortunately, at this point I may never have any children. And by the time I do comic strips will have gone the way of the dinosaur. More on topic, some of the recent strips I miss ran in the L.A. WEEKLY. Carol Lay's STORY TIME, Matt Groening's LIFE IN HELL, etc.
M.B.

Kevin from VA said...

Mort Walker, the creator of Beetle Bailey died recently and his passing got almost no coverage from the media. Surprising, since Walker was a legend amongst cartoonists. There were times when Walker did take some heat for being insensitive to racial and sexist issues which sometimes found their way into his strip. Still, when Sarge was "at war" with Beetle for loafing, few comic strips were funnier. I still remember one panel from long ago when Sarge went looking to pulverize Bailey for slacking off. When Sarge went to Bailey's barrack of course he found Beetle fast asleep in bed. Sarge's rage ended when he saw a fan blowing air at little American flags attached to the end of Beetle's bed so that the flags were flying high! Brought tears to Sarge's patriotic eyes. "Beetle Bailey" was very funny for a very long time.

Still, Calvin and Hobbes is the best comic strip of all time!

Ramsey said...

Hi Ken,
I grew up reading the comics every day in the 80s and 90s. I thought I was done with them as I became older and more tech-dependent for my news. But I continued to get a newspaper daily. Then I became a parent and one of the most fun things I do with my 3 year old daughter is read the comics to her. She loves Garfield and Beetle Bailey. We would not bond like that over a screen and I keep her away from screens as much as possible given the proliferation of them that will undoubtedly occur as she grows up. She loves Garfield so much that she had me bring a book of Garfield strips into her preschool class to read to her friends. My wife and I read her five strips a night. Her friends have gotten into Garfield since I came to class. I haven’t given up on comics because she enjoys them so much and I’m glad they continue to stick around.
Best,
Ramsey

Tattoo said...

God dammit, 'Hobbes' is spelled with an 'e'! Philistine.

Pat Reeder said...

I used to follow many comics, too, but only catch a few now, and those mostly online (even though I still subscribe to the newspaper, but mostly because we live with 13 rescued parrots and need lots of cage liner.) When I was a kid, our neighbor was a retired employee of the now defunct Dallas Times Herald, and he had several giant bound volumes of papers from 1938-1942 that he let me borrow. That's how I knew comics like "The Katzenjammer Kids" that most kids my age never heard of. If you thought a gag a day was tough, imagine when papers were full size broadsheets, and on Sundays, each cartoonist had an entire page to fill! Some would do two strips, just to break it up. I couldn't imagine how the ones who did really detailed artwork, like "Prince Valiant," managed week after week while also drawing the dailies. The loss of that space has helped kill comics, the same way loss of sitcom airtime to commercials has made it harder to include character development and plot points in scripts.

Aside from being a great jazz singer and comedy writer, my wife Laura is also an excellent artist. Over a decade ago, she created a comic strip called "Up A Tree" that combined topical issues, sardonic humor and cute, simple line drawing characters based on our family of parrots. It was nearly picked up by King Features, but in the end, they passed it over for three family-oriented strips. They told her that was the future, and comics that feature simple line drawings of cute characters saying witty things were over. All three of those strips were gone within six months. Meanwhile, Dilbert and Peanuts just keep going and going and going... I think of that every time I hear the quote about the Decca suits rejecting the Beatles because "guitar bands are over."

I also recommend The Comics Curmudgeon blog, which is my break treat every morning after writing all night. It's given me a new appreciation for the inadvertent hilarity of "Mary Worth." Dan Piraro is a friend from way back, so I always check out "Bizarro." And probably the funniest, most creative strip around now is "F-Minus." It's a gag-a-day stand-alone, and some of the gags are brilliantly surreal. Here's a recent one we bird lovers can really appreciate: http://www.gocomics.com/fminus/2018/03/03

Rod said...

I still get the newspaper every day. While the comics section has seriously been cut back, the strips that I find consistently funny are "Pearls Before Swine," "Wumo" and "Pickles."

VP81955 said...

Let's not forget "L'il Abner," a terrific satirical strip and a national obsession in its heyday. Al Capp was quite clever and frequently spot-on in his lampooning; I wonder whether Alexander Payne came up with the concept for "Downsizing" from the strip's character Dr. Shrinkafeller, a social engineer who discovered a way to make the globe's inhabitants six inches tall to provide more human resources. By the '60s, Capp had devolved into a crusty conservative. (He was also a bit of a lech, as a pre-stardom Goldie Hawn discovered (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/875238.html).

Steve said...

I don't find many comic strips to my liking any more but Sherman's Lagoon is usually good for a laugh.

Xmastime said...

I loved daily comic strips as a kid. I used to read the comics every morning when I was a kid. Not that they were actually funny, but they were a source of comfort in some strange way. Every morning, there they were. Nowadays whenever I try to look at the comics page, I don't recognize anything. Fuzzy? Non-Sequitor? What?

MY DAILY RUN-THROUGH, CIRCA 1978-1990 (TOP 5 FAVORITES LISTED FIRST):

Bloom County
The Far Side
Funky Winkerbean
Garfield
Peanuts
Blondie
Family Circus
Grin and Bear It
B.C.
Wizard of Id
Beetle Bailey
The Born Loser
Calvin & Hobbes
Curtis
For Better of For Worse
Gil Thorp
Hagar the Horrible
Pluggers
Shoe
Snuffy Smith

YEKIMI said...

I'm sorta stuck between two states when it comes to newspapers. Where I grew up, Tampa Bay area, my mom said she can remember me at 3 years old toddling out to the driveway to grab the Saint Petersburg Times [now Tampa Bay Times] on Sundays and I always opened it to the comics first to "look at the pretty colors". Wasn't till I was four that I began to read them....yes, four years old, was reading well before I was in school. Used to be able to get it in bookstores once I moved north but now easier to look online. What I found is that they still carry the same old strips that I remember reading 55+ years ago....at least the last time I checked. Andy Capp, Gasoline Alley, Snuffy Smith, etc. Moved North in 1970 and mostly a totally different comic line ups in the Plain Dealer, Beacon Journal, etc. They still have [or had] some of the old standbys, Peanuts, etc. but usually change things up every 5 years or so. Used to be three or four pages of comics, now it's down to two pages and actually would be one page if they took out some of the non-comic stuff like crossword puzzles, bridge columns, etc. I remember they used to have way more "soap opera" type comics like Mary Worth, Judge Parker, Rex Morgan, Prince Valiant but are now down to only two of them. And I agree about the size of the comics nowadays, I often find myself using a magnifying glass to read the small print. It's almost to the point that the only reason I buy the paper is for the local school sports coverage but even that is fading away. They've jacked the price up to $1.50 but the paper is so thin anymore that I can just about hold it up to a light bulb and read the last page through the front page. Ahhhh, for the days when I had good eyesight and the Sunday paper came close to giving you a hernia when you picked it up from the driveway. This past Thanksgiving Day holiday the local paper almost had me giving it up for good. I noticed that they didn't have the price printed on the paper like normal but didn't think much of it. Got up to the register & they tried to charge THREE FREAKING DOLLARS because it was 75% ad inserts for Black Friday. Since I don't have extra money to go shopping or people to buy stuff for anymore I would have thrown away ALL the ads. I threw the paper back on the pile and told the clerk in the store that they could tell the delivery guy that he can pass on to the paper that they can stuff it up their ass because I'll NEVER pay that much for a newspaper. I must not have been the only one who was pissed off about the price gouging because when I stopped in the next day the majority of the papers were still there and I noticed the same at other stores. They're bitching and moaning that no one reads their paper anymore and then they go and shoot themselves in the foot by pulling a bonehead move like that.

Anonymous said...

@ Kevin from VA
Re: Beetle Bailey and Mort Walker
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-8b-3Gjkuk&t=1s

Dhruv said...

My favorite is "Animal Crackers".

Also "Orson's Farm".

Anonymous said...

I learned how to read from the comics. I would get home from school at 3 just in time for the evening Bulletin to be delivered to my doorstep. Peanuts, Max Factor, Rex Morgan, Doonesbury, Brenda Starr, Family Circus and Lil Abner to name a few were some of my favorites. Janice B.

Kosmo13 said...

Notary Sojac

Rick said...

About the only strips I read in my local paper are PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, DOONESBURY and GET FUZZY. And DOONESBURY and GET FUZZY are new only on weekends these days. Weekdays are reruns. The other strips I read, I have to read online. The local paper's comic section is like the comic strip nursing home. BEETLE BAILEY, BLONDIE, SNUFFY SMITH, NANCY, DICK TRACY, POPEYE, HI AND LOIS, DENNIS THE MENACE, THE FAMILY CIRCUS, THE WIZARD OF ID, B.C., MARK TRAIL, MARY WORTH, GIL THORP, GASOLINE ALLEY. Geezer strips that have been running on automatic for years.

Anonymous said...

Comic strips were introduced in newspapers as a way to encourage young readership. Most of the early ones were focused on that young audience. However as strips became more popular, editors were loath to cancel anything or introduce new strips. These days even new strips rarely focus on the reading interests of small children and thus we have several generations and growing of children and young adults who are uninterested in treading and in reading news in particular.

Gary said...

Anybody remember HERMAN? A daily single-panel strip with some of the ugliest looking characters ever seen. always very funny.

Astroboy said...

The 1980s Los Angeles Times with two full pages of comics (in really decent sized panels) in the daily paper and then the 6 or 8 page Sunday edition with two to four comics per page in full color.....Ah, those were heavenly mornings! I still have an unread December 31, 1995 Sunday edition with the last Calvin and Hobbes strip....."Let's go exploring!" Sigh! The good old days......I'm say that way too often now. Anyway, I just want to mention a comic most folks I mention it to never heard of called "Arnold" (not "Hey, Arnold") by Kevin McCormick that ran a relatively short six years in the 1990s. Had such a great weird humor to it, with Arnold (a grade school student) yelling AIEEE often for no reason. Humor was too odd and snarky for the strip to get into a lot of newspapers, think it was in only around 50. The last strip ended with a giant bird grabbing Arnold and flying off. You can do a image search on Google to find some of the strips. I recommend it.

Astroboy said...

To follow up I want to mention in addition to the great LA Times comic section of decades ago we also had the joy of Paul Conrad's editorial cartoons, brilliant stuff.

Ben said...

I always marveled that Calvin & Hobbes continued to be published. It never once made me laugh. Half the time it made no sense. And people always say it's so smart and witty and the reason I didn't get it was because it was over my head. I have a PhD! There was nothing there there.

As far as new online comics go, I really like Least I Could Do. It's certainly rated R but is consistently funny.

Sean MacDonald said...

For fans of the medium, I recommend a mostly forgotten but very funny comic strip called King Aroo from the 1950s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Aroo

There are currently two volumes of collected strips available (from places such as amazon), and the first volume is certainly a must read.

Robert Forman said...

Perhaps you missed it because it wasn’t around for very long, but Cul de Sac was one of those rare well drawn funny comics that I think you would enjoy. Unfortunately, the artist/writer, Richard Thompson, developed Parkinson’s disease and had to discontinue drawing it. He died in 2016. Fans of comics should check it out. Reprints are available and it’s also at gocomics. Here’s what Bill Watterson had to say about Cul de Sac:
“I thought the best newspaper comic strips were long gone, and I've never been happier to be wrong. Richard Thompson's Cul de Sac has it all—intelligence, gentle humor, a delightful way with words, and, most surprising of all, wonderful, wonderful drawings.”

DyHrdMET said...

I have a Friday Question:
Is it common to see an actor currently starring in one series guest star in another series on another network? And not necessarily when it's a recurring role. Is there a protocol involved in bringing that actor into the other series? I'm assuming they don't need to audition for the part if they're known and already employed elsewhere.
This particular case (on Antenna TV tonight) was the late John Mahoney guest starring on Becker (on CBS, if I remember correctly) in a prominent role in the episode's story while Frasier was still a big hit on NBC. I've seen it a few other times but the specifics don't come to mind right now.

Johnny Walker said...

Very glad to see Calvin and Hobbes is so rightfully universally appreciated. Early Peanuts is also amazing, and worth collecting, but I think Watterson superseded his influence by having more heart, being more beautiful, and by just being outright funnier.

I hear Pogo is also great, but I see only one person has mentioned it so far. I guess it’s not as aged as well as Peanuts.

Frederic Alden said...

Watching kids trying to invoke "The Force" after Star Wars came out reminded me of my own childhood attempts to emulate a comic page magician when "Mandrake gestures hypnotically". It never seemed to work!
But my memories of comic pages were that very few were actually funny...half were soap operas like Mary Worth and Rex Morgan, and a lot of the remainder were action oriented like Steve Canyon, Prince Valiant, and a raft of others. Even the "funny" ones often were just social commentary rather than humor.

Johnny Walker said...

I spoke too soon

Jerod Butt said...

If you haven't already, you should check out GARFIELD MINUS GARFIELD.

Donald Benson said...

It's crazy that so many fantastic collections began pouring out after the strips themselves ended and began to fade from popular memory. I have a few collections I got as a kid, and even big ones like the coffee table Buck Rogers from 1970 were limited to some individual stories picked from many years of strips.

The Prince Valiant and Pogo books are the gold standard. Also fascinating are short-lived forays into strips by Al Jaffee, Arnold Roth and Gahan Wilson.

Donald Benson said...

Pogo did some very specific satire, but it was always great fun to read or even just look at. It's not as widely remembered for the simple reason it didn't outlive it's creator (despite an ambitious, well-intentioned revival attempt). Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes not only ended their runs far more recently, but still appear in the papers as repeats.

Donald Benson said...

And beyond The Funnies, there's the Magazine Gag Panel. Now it's almost down to The New Yorker , but back when magazines ruled the earth most of them had gag cartoons scattered through their pages. Used to be you could walk into a new or used bookstore and find piles of cartoon books, often representing a specific cartoonist or publication.

ScottyB said...

Back in the day, it was widely believed that the strip 'Nancy' was an ongoing program by scientists in Russia to develop the joke.

Jeff_Grubb said...

Let me recommend some new kids -

Breaking Cat News has just made the jump from on-line to in-print, and deals with a household of news-reporting cats. - http://www.gocomics.com/breaking-cat-news

Still on-line (with printed collections) are such strips as Sinfest, Girl Genius, and Sheldon. http://www.sinfest.net/
http://www.girlgeniusonline.com//
http://www.sheldoncomics.com/

Jake Mabe said...

Just off the top of my head, I remember Ed Asner guest starring on "Police Story" on NBC while "MTM" was a huge hit on CBS. Gotta be other examples, but that's all I can immediately recall while up sick at 4:30 a.m. Might be an exception since that was an anthology.