With nerd culture being at an all-time high, when you hear the word comics, you probably think about superhero comics in those plastic covers or graphic novels. You probably don’t think about comic strips. Just a few panels tell a story, often found in the newspaper. Those are the kind of comics I read and grew up reading. Well, those and Archie Comics. And I think they need more respect.
I think it’s really cool how a comic strip can make people laugh with only a few frames and a few sentences. The art has to be on point and concise. The Toronto Star, a large Canadian newspaper that my family receives, has a great array of comics daily. I read them as often as I can, and I force my parents to read particularly funny ones. If you’re looking for some light, fun, pure reading material, I highly recommend the following comics as they are favorites of mine. They’re great for all ages!
1. Calvin And Hobbes
I’ve never laughed out loud more than when I read Calvin And Hobbes. My father has almost all the books, and my brother and I read them when we were far too young to understand most of the dialogue, but it was still so funny as it is a great mix of dumb kid humour and thought-provoking adult humour. The comics follow a rowdy, imaginative six year old boy named Calvin who is far too smart for his age, and his sassy but loyal pet tiger Hobbes, who may or may not be just a toy.
Zits is loved by my parents and I because it’s relatable for all of us. It’s about a lazy, stereotypical teenager named Jeremy and his parents, and the comic does a good job making both the parents and the son the butt of the joke, depending on the situation.
3. For Better Or For Worse
This comic is really cool because it ran in real-time over thirty years, and follows a small town Canadian family, so you see the kids (Michael, Elizabeth, and later April) literally grow up and have their own kids. This comic may not have slapstick jokes that I’m chuckling out loud at, but it’s sweet and honest and Canadian. It’s in its second rerun, and I think it’s cool that people reading it daily can grow up with it even if they missed it the first time around.
4. Pajama Diaries
Similar to For Better Or For Worse, Pajama Diaries also runs in real-time, but has only been going for about 13 years. It follows a Jewish family of two parents and their two daughters, but with a focus on the mom, Jill. The daughters are now teenagers, so the vibe is similar to Zits often. Sometimes the strips are about the family, Jill’s interactions with friends, and even Jill’s job as a graphic designer, so there’s a lot of material, and it’s usually funny, especially on Saturdays where it gets an expanded slot so it’s usually extra creative.
If you’ve ever worked retail, this comic is for you. It exposes the frustrating, funny daily happenstances of a store. We meet a variety of employees, managers, and even annoying customers. Even if you’ve never worked such a job, you’ll still get it and be just as amused.
6. Rhymes With Orange
If you don’t want a story and characters to keep track of, this comic may be better for you. It’s just a joke comic, each one unrelated and sometimes punny. They’re always kind of silly and smart, and I really like how the joke is in just one frame, plus a little bonus mini joke in the title frame.
If you don’t get a newspaper or yours doesn’t have comics, see if your local library has these comics available to read! Or just go buy them from a bookstore. Or see if you can find them online (I spent like half an hour giggling at Calvin And Hobbes comics online when writing this post). Just get your hands on comic strips and appreciate the purity and humour they’ll bring. No one is too old for comics!
What comic strips do you like? Or which ones did you grow up reading?