I read them every so often. I like the art for a few more than the story lines (Spiderman, Rex Morgan MD, Prince Valiant) but the Denver Post/Rocky Mountain News decided to take them out and post them on their website instead. For me that defeats the whole purpose. I like the Sunday paper and comics and if it comes to reading it online someday, I will be very upset. I also think Dilbert and Doonsberry can be funny from time-to-time, but for me that's about it. Everything I read the comics for is gone (Bloom County, Far Side, Calvin & Hobbes). Peanuts is good too and I'm glad another artist did not take over for Charles.
I have a collection of old comics pages dating back to 1913 so I appreciate them and their history and what they did for comic books. The art in Flash Gordon, Terry and the Pirates, Tarzan, Dick Tracy and when Frazetta was doing Lil' Abner are so damn good. I also like the more obscure stuff like the Little King, Henry, the older Orphen Annie and others. The comics that don't need words to tell the gag are great in my opinion. There were some amazing artists back in the day doing the dailies. I have quite a few books of collected strips that I love reading and studying. To tell a gag or story in 4 panels or less is pretty tough. Especially if it is a serial. They had to find a dramatic conclusion and intro to the next days strip and usually were able to develop and maintain the readers interest.
The majority of the dailies today are just so bland and poorly drawn (save the Boondocks and I will admit Fox Trot can be clever at times). The standards have gone down and it's all about artists (if you can call them that) that meet deadlines.
Did anyone mourn the end of Ziggy?
The strips that have kept going through the years deserve some respect for the integrity and ingenuity of the artists/writers. It must be hard to keep coming up with good story lines and also keep track of everything for consistency purposes. Alley Oop, Blondie, Beetle Bailey have all been around for a long time. The one that impresses me most is Gasoline Alley because all the characters have aged with the comic. Most stay the same.
I will rejoice when Family Circus ends it's run. It seems that it's always the comics I like or enjoy that get the ax.
I just hope the tradition of the comics pages continues and doesn't go to a purely digital format. I assume most are submitted that way now. I often see comics that are bitmapped because of a glitch in the translation. I also hope that we see a rebirth of quality and good humor gracing the pages. Gary Larson & Bill Waterson are sorely missed. I do like John Callahan, but he is a bit offensive for a daily strip and because he is a quadrapolegic, his output is a slow process.
Okay, I'm done. Good thread!