On learning of the impending 75th anniversary of Blondie, I checked Wikipedia to refresh my memory about comic strips that I read in my youth. Listed below are some of the other strips that began before 1950 and which, once upon a time, I read daily or weekly (links courtesy Don Markstein’s Toonpedia):
Abbie and Slats (1937-71) — A soaper on newsprint.
Alley Oop (1932-) — A caveman out of his time.
Archie (1947-) — High-school hijinx.
Brenda Starr (1940-) — About a reporter who never seemed to report anything.
Bringing Up Father (1913-2000) — Drank more than the father in Father Knows Best.
Buz Sawyer (1943-89) — Forgettable adventure stuff.
Dick Tracy (1931-) — B.O. Plenty was a fitting character for this strip.
Donald Duck (1937-?, as the main character in a comic strip) — Quacking good fun.
Felix the Cat (1923-66) — Had a lot more energy than Garfield.
Gasoline Alley (1918-) — A family saga that just won’t stop.
Flash Gordon (1934-) — Loved Dale Arden’s outfits.
The Gumps (1917-59) — Small town doin’s.
Henry (1932-) — The silent kid.
Joe Palooka (1930-84) — The great white hope, even before Joe Louis came along.
The Katzenjammer Kids (1897-) — Shtoopid kid stuff.
Li’l Abner (1934-77) — Worth it to see Daisy Mae.
Little Annie Rooney (1927-66) — Gloriosky!
The Little King (1931-75) — Did he inspire the short king in The Wizard of Id?
Little Iodine (1943-86) — Dennis the Menace could have taken lessons.
Little Lulu (1935-48, as a comic strip) — Wanna buy some Kleenex?
Little Orphan Annie (1925-74, by that name) — Daddy Warbucks to the rescue.
Mandrake the Magician (1934-) — Who knows what evil . . . no, that was The Shadow.
Mark Trail (1946-) — No jokes about his girlfriend Cherry.
Mary Worth (1938-) — The comic-strip soap of all time.
Mickey Mouse (1930-?, as a comic strip) — Squeaky clean.
Moon Mullins (1923-91) — Low-life with humor.
Mutt and Jeff (1907-82) — Clean, corny yuks from a bygone age.
Nancy (1933-) — Sluggo’s girlfriend. I read it for yummy Aunt Fritzi Ritz.
Out Our Way (1922-77) — Americana, from when America was a “real” place.
Our Boarding House (1921-81) — Starring the original Hoople (Maj. Amos, that is).
The Phantom (1936-) — The man in tights . . . oops, The Ghost Who Walks.
Pogo (1949-71) — High irony for campus radicals.
Popeye (1929-) — World’s greatest spinach salesman.
Prince Valiant (1937-) — Great haircut Val, still looks good after 68 years.
Rex Morgan, M.D. (1948-) — Finally married his nurse when they were about 80 years old.
Sad Sack (1946-5?) — Beetle Bailey‘s older brother.
Smilin’ Jack (1933-73) — ADDED 11/22/07, after suddenly recalling the character Fatstuff,
Jack’s Hawaiian friend who was always popping his shirt buttons (usually into the mouths of hungry chickens, so under-nourished from eating buttons instead of bugs that they were unable to grow feathers)….
Smokey Stover (1935-73) — Notary Sojac and Gravy Ain’t Wavy. (You had to be there.)
Snuffy Smith (1934-) — Got rid of his host Barney Google. Who’s next, his nephew Jughead?
Steve Canyon (1947-88) — How can a guy go wrong with Happy Easter for a sidekick?
Terry and the Pirates (1934-73) — Dig the Dragon Lady.
They’ll Do It Every Time (1929-) — Wisdom in one panel.
Winnie Winkle (1920-98) — Early and long-running soaper, with a seriously pre-PC character: Denny Dimwit.
See, I was paying attention. But I must admit that I no longer read any of the strips that are still running.
Where are Superman, Batman, and their ilk? They were only in comic books. That’s another post.