The National Cartoonists Society awards last week were like so many other big awards. Some made perfect sense — Richard Thompson’s accolade for Cul de Sac, for example — while others, such for Dustin, make you think, What? That? Seriously?
Which led me to this list below. What have been the greatest newspaper comic strips? “Greatest” as opposed to “favorite.” Best should imply some long-lasting appeal, something groundbreaking.
And with a touch a genius and maybe a little madness, too.
I admit even this list has some strips that were politically and socially reprehensible — you can admire the art even if you don’t want to live next door to the artist
Also, you’ll notice these are all American newspaper strips. The reasons are, a.) that’s pretty much what I’ve seen enough of to be able to judge intelligently, and b.) comic strips came into their own as an American art form, so it seems only fair.
So, in the order in which they occurred to me, here’s my initial stab at the 10 greatest newspaper comic strips. I tried not to make this into a listing of the obvious. But maybe that’s what I got, anyway, because, well, those are the best.
What do you think? Leave me a comment, email me at slippedcomic at gmail or Twitter @MichaelChevy1.
1. Terry and the Pirates
2. Little Orphan Annie
3. Dick Tracy
4. Calvin and Hobbes
6. Gasoline Alley
9. Krazy Kat
10. … well, hmmm. Should this last spot be for Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (weak cartooning if clever ideas)? Tarzan (great art, but kind of weird)? Flash Gordon (ditto, and this did come after Buck Rogers)? Nancy (appreciated by cartoon purists but really not ever very funny)?