I don't know about you, but right after finishing the front page of the paper I go right to the comics page. I just love comics as an art form. So much can be said in so little space through this media. One thing puzzles me, though, and that's why some comics became as popular as they are. For example, how did "Peanuts" get to be such a revered institution? I admit I still read "Peanuts Classics" dutifully every day in the paper, but I can't remember the last time I saw one that made me chuckle, much less laugh out loud. "Garfield" is a strip that is absolutely positively unfunny - yet nearly every newspaper in the country carries it. WTF?
My personal favorite was Gary Larson's "Far Side" (followed by "Bloom County"). Notice how there was a rebirth of the single panel comic after "Far Side" became successful. Lots of folks tried to imitate Larson's style (e.g. Herman, Bizarro, etc.)
I guess I have always gravitated towards comics with a slightly subversive or edgy underground feel to them (R. Crumb is a genius). I think SAC's avatar comes from one of these, as does mine (Tom Tomorrow). The WWW has also provided a rich environment for aspiring cartoonists. Here's a good 'underground' one:
Dinosaur comics plays with the comic form by using the same pictures and panels each time and simply inserts different dialogue. Pretty innovative and you really need to check out the archives and read a half dozen or so to 'get it'.
Another observation. My home town paper carries "Mary Worth", "Rex Morgan M.D." and "Apt 3G". These appear to be some sort of serial soap opera comics but I don't know of a soul that ever reads them. Why does the paper still run these things?
What are your favorites?