Single panels usually, but not always, are not broken up and lack continuity. The daily Peanuts is a strip, and the daily Dennis the Menace is a single panel. Jimmy Hatlo 's They'll Do It Every Time was often displayed in a two-panel format with the first panel showing some deceptive, pretentious, unwitting or scheming human behavior and the second panel revealing the truth of the situation.
Sunday comics Gene Ahern 's The Squirrel Cage January 3, , an example of a topper strip which is better remembered than the strip it accompanied, Ahern's Room and Board. Sunday newspapers traditionally included a special color section. Early Sunday strips known colloquially as "the funny papers", shortened to "the funnies" , such as Thimble Theatre and Little Orphan Annie , filled an entire newspaper page, a format known to collectors as full page. Sunday pages during the s and into the s often carried a secondary strip by the same artist as the main strip.
No matter whether it appeared above or below a main strip, the extra strip was known as the topper , such as The Squirrel Cage which ran along with Room and Board , both drawn by Gene Ahern. During the s, the original art for a Sunday strip was usually drawn quite large. Full-page strips were eventually replaced by strips half that size. Strips such as The Phantom and Terry and the Pirates began appearing in a format of two strips to a page in full-size newspapers, such as the New Orleans Times Picayune , or with one strip on a tabloid page, as in the Chicago Sun-Times.
When Sunday strips began to appear in more than one format, it became necessary for the cartoonist to allow for rearranged, cropped or dropped panels.
After the war, strips continued to get smaller and smaller because of increased paper and printing costs. The last full-page comic strip was the Prince Valiant strip for 11 April Comic strips have also been published in Sunday newspaper magazines. Beginning January 26, , it ran on the front covers of Hearst's American Weekly newspaper magazine supplement, continuing until March 30 of that year. Between and , four different stories featuring Flossy appeared on American Weekly covers.
Sunday comics sections employed offset color printing with multiple print runs imitating a wide range of colors. Printing plates were created with four or more colors—traditionally, the CMYK color model: With a screen of tiny dots on each printing plate, the dots allowed an image to be printed in a halftone that appears to the eye in different gradations.
The semi-opaque property of ink allows halftone dots of different colors to create an optical effect of full-color imagery. Zippy the Pinhead initially appeared in underground publications in the s before being syndicated. Underground comic strips covered subjects that are usually taboo in newspaper strips, such as sex and drugs.
Jay Lynch graduated from undergrounds to alternative weekly newspapers to Mad and children's books. Webcomic Webcomics, also known as online comics and internet comics, are comics that are available to read on the Internet. Many are exclusively published online , but the majority of traditional newspaper comic strips have some Internet presence.
King Features Syndicate and other syndicates often provide archives of recent strips on their websites. Some, such as Scott Adams , creator of Dilbert , include an email address in each strip. Please improve the article by adding more descriptive text and removing less pertinent examples. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for further suggestions. December Most comic strip characters do not age throughout the strip's life, but in some strips, like Lynn Johnston 's award-winning For Better or For Worse , the characters age as the years pass.
The first strip to feature aging characters was Gasoline Alley. The history of comic strips also includes series that are not humorous, but tell an ongoing dramatic story.
A number of strips have featured animals ' funny animals ' as main characters. Other strips are centered entirely on animals, as in Pogo and Donald Duck. Gary Larson 's The Far Side was unusual, as there were no central characters. Instead The Far Side used a wide variety of characters including humans, monsters, aliens , chickens, cows, worms , amoebas , and more.
John McPherson's Close to Home also uses this theme, though the characters are mostly restricted to humans and real-life situations. Wiley Miller not only mixes human, animal, and fantasy characters, but also does several different comic strip continuities under one umbrella title, Non Sequitur.
This ranged from the conservative slant of Little Orphan Annie to the unabashed liberalism of Doonesbury. Pogo used animals to particularly devastating effect, caricaturing many prominent politicians of the day as animal denizens of Pogo's Okeefenokee Swamp.
Malarkey, a megalomaniac who was bent on taking over the characters' birdwatching club and rooting out all undesirables. Kelly also defended the medium against possible government regulation in the McCarthy era. At a time when comic books were coming under fire for supposed sexual, violent, and subversive content, Kelly feared the same would happen to comic strips.
Going before the Congressional subcommittee, he proceeded to charm the members with his drawings and the force of his personality. The comic strip was safe for satire. During the early 20th century, comic strips were widely associated with publisher William Randolph Hearst , whose papers had the largest circulation of strips in the United States. Hearst was notorious for his practice of yellow journalism , and he was frowned on by readers of The New York Times and other newspapers which featured few or no comic strips.
Hearst's critics often assumed that all the strips in his papers were fronts for his own political and social views. Hearst did occasionally work with or pitch ideas to cartoonists, most notably his continued support of George Herriman 's Krazy Kat. An inspiration for Bill Watterson and other cartoonists, Krazy Kat gained a considerable following among intellectuals during the s and s. Some comic strips, such as Doonesbury and The Boondocks , may be printed on the editorial or op-ed page rather than the comics page because of their regular political commentary.
For example, the August 12, Doonesbury strip was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for its depiction of the Watergate scandal. Dilbert is sometimes found in the business section of a newspaper instead of the comics page because of the strip's commentary about office politics , and Tank McNamara often appears on the sports page because of its subject matter.
Lynn Johnston 's For Better or for Worse created an uproar when one of its supporting characters came out of the closet and announced he was gay. The Reuben , named for cartoonist Rube Goldberg , is the most prestigious award for U. Today's strip artists, with the help of the NCS, enthusiastically promote the medium, which is considered to be in decline due to fewer markets today few strips are published in newspapers outside the United States , the United Kingdom , and Canada , mainly because of the smaller interest there, with translated versions of popular strips - particularly in Spanish - are primarily read over the internet and ever-shrinking newspaper space.
One particularly humorous example of such promotional efforts is the Great Comic Strip Switcheroonie , held in on April Fool's Day, an event in which dozens of prominent artists took over each other's strips. Even the United States Postal Service got into the act, issuing a series of commemorative stamps marking the comic-strip centennial in While the Switcheroonie was a one-time publicity stunt, for one artist to take over a feature from its originator is an old tradition in newspaper cartooning as it is in the comic book industry.
In fact, the practice has made possible the longevity of the genre's more popular strips. A business-driven variation has sometimes led to the same feature continuing under a different name. The competition between papers for having more cartoons than the rest from the mids, the growth of large-scale newspaper advertising during most of the thirties, paper rationing during World War II , the decline on news readership as television newscasts began to be more common and inflation which has caused higher printing costs beginning during the fifties and sixties led to Sunday strips being published on smaller and more diverse formats.
Daily strips have suffered as well, in the strips had an unlimited amount of panels, covering the entire width page, while by most "dailies" had four or five panels covering six of the eight columns occupied by a traditional broadsheet paper, by those four panels would be narrower, and those would have half of the space a daily strip had, and by most strips would have three panels only with a few exceptions , or even two or one on an occasional basis, apart from strips being smaller, as most papers became slightly narrower.
While most cartoonist decided to follow the tide, some cartoonists have complained about this, with Pogo ending in as a form of protest from its creators against the practice. Since then Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson has written extensively on the issue, arguing that size reduction and dropped panels reduce both the potential and freedom of a cartoonist.
After a lengthy battle with his syndicator, Watterson won the privilege of making half page-sized Sunday strips where he could arrange the panels any way he liked. Many newspaper publishers and a few cartoonists objected to this, and some papers continued to print Calvin and Hobbes at small sizes.
Opus won that same privilege years after Calvin and Hobbes ended, while Wiley Miller circumvented further downsizings by making his Non Sequitur Sunday strip available only in an extremely vertical near-page-long arrangement. Actually Universal Uclick and United Media practically have no half-page comics, with the remaining strips from both syndicates in this format are published only as "thirds", "fourths", and "sixths" also called "third tabs".
Format[ edit ] In an issue related to size limitations, Sunday comics are often bound to rigid formats that allow their panels to be rearranged in several different ways while remaining readable.
Such formats usually include throwaway panels at the beginning, which some newspapers will omit for space. As a result, cartoonists have less incentive to put great efforts into these panels. Garfield and Mutts were known during the mid-to-late 80s and s respectively for their throwaways on their Sunday strips, however both strips now run "generic" title panels. With the success of The Gumps during the s, it became commonplace for strips comedy- and adventure-laden alike to have lengthy stories spanning weeks or months.
Between the s and the late s, as television news relegated newspaper reading to an occasional basis rather than daily, syndicators were abandoning long stories and urging cartoonists to switch to simple daily gags, or week-long "storylines" with six consecutive mostly unrelated strips following a same subject , with longer storylines being used mainly on adventure-based and dramatic strips. Strips begun during the mids or after such as Get Fuzzy , Over the Hedge , Monty , and others are known for their heavy use of storylines, lasting between one and three weeks in most cases.
The writing style of comic strips changed as well after World War II. With an increase in the number of college-educated readers, there was a shift away from slapstick comedy and towards more cerebral humor. Slapstick and visual gags became more confined to Sunday strips, because as Garfield creator Jim Davis put it, "Children are more likely to read Sunday strips than dailies. Such strips are known as " zombie strips ".
A cartoonist, paid by the syndicate or sometimes a relative of the original cartoonist, continues writing the strip, a tradition that became commonplace in the early half of the 20th century. Some strips which are still in affiliation with the original creator are produced by small teams or entire companies, such as Jim Davis' Garfield, however there is some debate if these strips fall in this category.
The issue was addressed in six consecutive Pearls strips in He also rejected the idea of hiring an inker or letterer, comparing it to a golfer hiring a man to make his putts. Schulz's family has honored his wishes and refused numerous proposals by syndicators to continue Peanuts with a new author. Assistants[ edit ] Since the consolidation of newspaper comics by the first quarter of the 20th century, most cartoonists have used a group of assistants with usually one of them credited.
However, quite a few cartoonists e. George Herriman and Charles Schulz, among others have done their strips almost completely by themselves; often criticizing the use of assistants for the same reasons most have about their editors hiring anyone else to continue their work after their retirement. Rights to the strips[ edit ] Historically, syndicates owned the creators' work , enabling them to continue publishing the strip after the original creator retired, left the strip, or died.
This practice led to the term "legacy strips," or more pejoratively " zombie strips ". Most syndicates signed creators to or even year contracts.
There have been exceptions, however, such as Bud Fisher 's Mutt and Jeff being an early — if not the earliest — case in which the creator retained ownership of his work. Both these practices began to change with the debut of Universal Press Syndicate , as the company gave cartoonists a percent ownership share of their work.
Creators Syndicate , founded in , granted artists full rights to the strips,  something that Universal Press did in , followed by King Features in The controversy, as reported in Time , centered on Capp's portrayal of the U.
Said Edward Leech of Scripps, "We don't think it is good editing or sound citizenship to picture the Senate as an assemblage of freaks and crooks Stephan Pastis has lamented that the "unwritten" censorship code is still "stuck somewhere in the s.
Many issues such as sex , narcotics , and terrorism cannot or can very rarely be openly discussed in strips, although there are exceptions, usually for satire , as in Bloom County.