The 1980s was a truly classic period in comic strip history. The decade of spiked hair and shoulder pads introduced us to brilliantly off-the-wall The Far Side, the timeless antics of Calvin and Hobbes, and the sociopolitical brilliance of Bloom County. All of these strips were retired at the height of their popularity by their award-winning creators, and fans have hoped ever since to talk them back into syndication with heaps of fan mail and social media begging, all for naught. Until now. Berkeley Breathed has talked himSELF out of retirement after Donald Trump threw his hat into an overpopulated ring of hopefuls for the Republican presidential nomination. Inspired by Trump's promise to "make America great again," Breathed is making the comics page great again with Bloom County 2015. Bloom County’s Opus, Milo, Bill the Cat and all of the residents of Bloom House are back and they aren't wasting a minute mocking the Republican campaign's greatest bloviator and a renewed national ridiculousness. Bloom County is the tale of the residents of Bloom House, a boarding house run by the parents of worldly 10-year-old newspaper reporter Milo Bloom. Boarders include Opus, Steve, Bill the Cat, Portnoy, Oliver Wendell Jones and more. Together, these characters parodied presidential campaigns, the Parents Music Resource Center, labor unions, the war on drugs, and The Donald -- no one was off limits. After his 25-year hiatus, "Silliness suddenly seems safe now," said Breathed.
Bloom County 2016
"Once every 5 or 10 years, a new comic feature emerges that's truly unique, breaking the mold of the tired, formulaic pack that populates most of the comics page. Mike Du Jour is such a feature. The art alone is a joy to look at, bringing a smile to your face and making you linger on it. That alone makes it special in today's comic field, but coupled with Mike Lester's whimsical, unpredictable wit, MDJ is a daily must-read. Mike Lester is truly a master of comic art." —Wiley Miller, Non Sequitur
Mike du Jour
For a family strip with bite, you can't do better than The Grizzwells, starring a four-bear family of grizzlies.
Kevin Fagan's lighthearted family strip chronicles the zany mishaps of the Drabble family, including donut-eating father Ralph, faithful yet frazzled wife, June (aka "Honeybunch"), goofball college student Norman, smart younger brother Patrick and precocious little sister Penny.
Frazz, by Jef Mallett, follows an unexpected role model: an elementary-school janitor. He's a trusted authority figure, but also a Renaissance man and every kid's buddy.
Since 1987, readers have adored the remarkably quiet adventures of Jim as recorded in his daily journal. His work has been collected in several books, including the bestselling "I Went To College and it was okay." Jim's day-to-day meta-observations are penned with little more than stick figures, scribbles, and a few words, but his minimalism speaks volumes.
Tom the Dancing Bug is a unique hybrid of editorial and comic strip cartooning, beloved by people because of its insightful and hilarious social and political satire. The strip appears weekly in newspapers around the country.
Tom the Dancing Bug
Recently widowed Lola moves in with her son, Ray, and his family at his request. The potential disasters of Lola living with her anally retentive adult son and family provide the backdrop for a hilarious story about life. Life according to Lola, that is. Lola is a witty sharpshooter who’s too busy living life to the fullest to worry about political correctness, exercise and proper diet. She’s fiercely independent and struggles with having to live under Ray’s rules…so she doesn’t. A wicked sense of humor and blunt, but often heart-warming honesty are Lola’s tools of trade.
"Dear Tiny..." So begins each episode of Tiny Sepuku, the world’s number one advice cartoon. Begun in 1997 as a parody of Hello Kitty, by 1999 it had evolved into a full-fledged alt-paper syndicated feature. Creator Ken Cursoe credits the strip’s enthusiastic fans with its success - it is their letters seeking advice and counsel, often on matters of the heart, that inspire his sometimes-whimsical, sometimes-cynical, always surprising strips. Ask a lovelorn question, get a heartfelt, hilarious answer.