“Pickles” is the favorite for daily readers of Joplin Globe comics, followed by “Zits.”
“For Better or For Worse” was the Sunday favorite, followed again by “Zits.”
The least favorite of those daily comics: “Get Fuzzy.”
The least favorite of those that run Sunday: “Wallace the Brave,” and right next to it at the bottom of the barrel was “Nancy.”
Nearly 500 people voted in the Globe’s recent ranking of daily and Sunday comics, and opinions were as intense and unsparing as any surrounding impeachment.
Mike Hailey was one of those Globe readers who took the survey. “Pickles” was one of his favorites.
“‘Pickles’ I can identify with,” he said. “It seems to resonate.”
Of “Nancy,” he said: “That was pathetic. I tried to give it two or three chances. No, it just went south.”
Glenda Hudelson is another fan of “Pickles.”
“It just pertains to our life,” she said. “We’re both retired, and it reminds me of my husband and I. It’s just real life. I love it.”
As for “Get Fuzzy,” she said, “I just never found it funny.”
“Prince Valiant,” a strip that has been around for more than 80 years, provoked strong passion on both sides. He’s clearly a love-him-or-hate-him character.
“Slay ‘Prince Valiant.’ And ‘Nancy,’” wrote one reader.
“I hate ‘Prince Valiant,’” wrote another. “Take it away!”
“Please do not cancel ‘Prince Valiant,’” said one of his defenders.
It was touch-and-go for the hero for a while, but true to his name, Prince Valiant rallied. He lives to fight another day.
Not so for “Nancy.”
There were a couple of clear lines that developed among readers.
Some not only like politics in their comics, they want more. Others want none.
Some want what one reader called “the old favorites,” but others want new comics.
“Just keep showing the older comics and drop the new junk,” wrote one person.
“I’d love to see all the zombie strips (dead creators) gone and to give young (or new female) cartoonists a chance,” wrote another.
New or old, readers told the Globe they take the funnies seriously, often clipping out panels or sending them on to others.
“I read the Globe from cover to cover,” wrote one Alba resident. “I save the comics for dessert.”
“I am a 35-year Globe subscriber (and) go to the comics second, after the first page,” wrote a Carthage reader.
Not only did the paper invite readers to rank their favorite and least favorite comics, but it also asked readers to recommend comics they wanted to add. Three stood head and shoulders above the rest: “Calvin and Hobbes,” “Non Sequitur” and “Far Side,” in that order.
Unfortunately, “Calvin and Hobbes” and “Far Side” are not available to newspapers today.
As for “Non Sequitur,” readers were forgiving, including Hailey, who thought the author, Wiley Miller, deserved another shot after he scrawled an expletive aimed at President Donald Trump in the bottom right corner of a panel earlier this year and was discontinued.
“Bring it back,” wrote one reader.
“‘Non Sequitur’ deserves another chance,” wrote another.
“Amnesty for ‘Non Sequitur?’” asked a third.
The Globe is using the survey to redesign its comic pages. Beginning today, you will notice changes.
“Get Fuzzy,” “Ziggy,” “Rhymes with Orange” and “The Grizwells” have been dropped from the daily lineup. They will be replaced by “Baby Blues,” “Non Sequitur,” “Big Nate,” “Pooch Cafe” and “Bizarro.”
“Nancy,” “Wallace the Brave,” “WUMO,” “Ziggy,” “Mutts,” “Close to Home” and “Frank and Ernest” are being dropped from the Sunday comic lineup.
Being added Sunday are “Pickles,” “Non Sequitur,” “Big Nate,” “Rhymes with Orange,” “Pearls Before Swine,” “Wizard of Id” and “Broom Hilda.”
The latter has a local connection. A Carthage reader pointed it out. Its creator, Russell Myers, was born in Pittsburg, Kansas.
“My dad was a professor of business at what was then Kansas State Teacher’s College,” Myers said via email. “He was the oldest of six kids born and raised on a dirt-poor farm near Liberal, Missouri.”
The family later moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“I was the usual impressionable kid growing up before TV and that darned old internet,” Myers wrote. “Newspapers were the prime source of information and almost everything else. I was absolutely mesmerized by the comics. Back then, the Tulsa Sunday comic section was 16 pages, and the pages were bigger than they are now and I was smaller. They were thrilling! I studied them like textbooks and drew and drew and drew. I got a paper route at age 12 and used a lot of my meager earnings to buy comic books and out-of-town newspapers to see what was going on all over. By the time I was in high school I was a walking encyclopedia of comic knowledge and wrote from memory a 40-page theme that was supposed to take all the school year to research.”
Myers, who now lives in Oregon, said he submitted his first strip for syndication when he was 16 years old, “and it was rejected everywhere, deservedly so.”
He then went to work for Hallmark creating humorous greeting cards.
“Then the skies opened up. After a lifetime of studying and repeated tries and failures, I became one of those overnight successes you always hear about. Through a friend, I received a call from a man in New York named Elliott Caplin. Elliott was a comic book and strip writer and the brother of Al Capp, creator of ‘Li’l Abner.’ He had an idea for a comic strip about a witch named Broom-Hilda and heard that I might be someone that could do it. All he had was the idea and the name. So I sat down and over one weekend wrote and drew the first six strips. Elliott loved them, trotted down the street and sold the strip to what was then the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate, and I’ve been the sole proprietor ever since.”
3. “For Better or For Worse.”
4. “Family Circus.”
1. “For Better or For Worse.”
3. “The Lockhorns.”
4. “Stone Soup.”