Does anyone at the age of twenty-one and under ever read the Sunday comics anymore? It feels like a very select few do nowadays. Looking back through the years, there was a whole fandom devoted to the funnies, where kids to even adults would be excited to read the back of their newspaper for a good laugh. Not only that, but the merchandising would be unreal – companies would sell off plushies, coffee mugs, and even kitchen utensils of everyone’s favorite comic character. But what we have now is a world where people of all ages can scroll online on social media and read a comic published there, with gags so simple and illogical that they can’t help but laugh. I admit, they make me crack up too. But these comics are unmemorable, non-symbolic. They’re just short random gags that give you a laugh, but you do not love the character, nor do you want to keep reading on for more.
In 1978 Garfield, a comic created by Jim Davis, had been introduced to the world and became a beloved phenomenon. It was so adored by readers of the newspapers that when The Chicago Sun Times decided to cancel the comic in their prints in October 2 of ‘78, they received an unrelenting outburst of phone calls and letters demanding Garfield be brought back to the paper. The cause was so great that on the sixteenth of October that year, it was immediately brought back. (Sourced from Garfield: 30 Years of Laughs and Lasagna)
Not many new funnies have made a name in any state or town newspaper, and when they get taken off it’s like they’ve never even existed.
So is that it then? Do the gags of the Sunday funnies not compare to the more simple and crude ones we see on public media today? The answer is yes, and it’s mostly in part of their gags that don’t really relate with today’s masses, never giving the comic a chance to show off their unique cast of characters to make them loved.