Sunday Funnies

When I was a boy, my father read the paper front to back whenever he had a chance.   Because he was usually working two jobs to  give us a better standard of living than he had as a boy, there wasn’t always time.   Sunday was a luxury.   The Sunday New Haven Register would appear at our front door and be waiting for him when we came home from church.  Like many boys, I was interested in only two sections … the sports section and the Sunday Funnies, as we called them (aka the funny papers).   Now, in our house, every section of the paper was Dad’s until he finished reading it, so I had to wait patiently until the funny papers made their way from the carefully folded stack on his lap to the wrinkled discard pile on the hassock.   Still, I couldn’t just grab them.  My Dad was a stickler for protocol.   You asked.   Nicely.  Please.   Can I please have the funnies now?  After he said yes, I could pick them up.

The Sunday Funnies I read reflected a more innocent, gentle time when humor didn’t have to be snide.    Some of the comic strips were more cute … or touching … than outright funny.   Nancy, drawn by Ernie Bushmiller about a chubby, precocious eight year old girl  was a successful strip for years yet I doubt it ever elicited a belly laugh.   Still I read it first … partly because it was on page one until it was displaced by Peanuts

in the 1950s.  I knew Mort Walker’s Beetle Bailey as the mildly humorous exploits of a lazy private at an US Army base, Camp Swampy

and Chic Young’s Blondie as a middle class-family strip creating chuckles as Blondie rescued her inept husband, Dagwood, from one domestic

mishap after another.    Who knew that innocent Nancy took over her aunt’s comic strip, Fritzi Ritz, in a coup d’état after being introduced as a minor character in 1933.   Or that Beetle Bailey started out as a college student who dropped out to join the Army in 1951?   Or that Blondie started out as a flapper, Blondie Boopadoop, and that Dagwood Bumstead was the son of a wealthy industrialist, disowned by his parents for marrying beneath his class?  The things your parents don’t tell you.

Don’t get me wrong.   In my more liberal days, I enjoyed Doonesbury‘s skewering of the right and I love Dilbert‘s dead-on portrayal of the foibles of corporate America.  Far Side is a favorite.    But just as I miss the good-natured late night television of Johnny Carson and the warm family humor of the Bill Cosby show, I miss the gentle chuckles of the Sunday Funnies.   If you do, too, there are some wonderful online resources.  Comics.com has daily comic strips, as well as archives of many of the classics, and even provides widgets to add a daily strip to your blog, webpage or desktop.   Comic Strip Archive also provides many of the classics, like Blondie.   And if you want to learn more, Wikipedia is the place to be.

Do you have any favorite Sunday Funnies?

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122 Comments on “Sunday Funnies”

  1. territerri Says:

    I loved the Sunday funnies and read them faithfully each week. My favorite was one called “For Better or for Worse” and I think I liked it because the characters actually aged over the years until the children in the comic had grown, married and had children of their own. For some reason, I always liked “Fred Basset” and hated “Garfield.”

  2. granny1947 Says:

    Good Afternoon Bud….I also used to go for the funnies first….I must be getting old…now I,too, work my way from the front page to the back.
    So ….when are you coming to Africa?


  3. My favorite is Calving and Hobbes. Always will be, I think.


  4. I was JUST having a conversation with my 11-year-old son yesterday about this very topic — I was waxing nostalgic over the days I used to drink in every single Sunday funny!

    Far Side was my more “modern” favorite. But Dennis the Menace was the classic for me! 🙂


  5. I still work my way from back to the front, from comic strips to news! 😀


  6. um, dad? is this you? i know its not but it sure as hell could be!
    http://dearexgirlfriend.com/

  7. Caron Says:

    Maybe I was an “odd” child, but I always read the obituaries first! Might have been the beginning of my interest in genealogy 🙂 I like your blog photo and title, BTW. As for the “funny paper,” I remember my Dad always liking “Frank and Ernest.” Some of the comics today I read and wonder what was their point – they weren’t funny and they made no sense. Nice blog post …

    • oldereyes Says:

      That is a little odd. But I have a 3 year old grandson who, when asked what kind of animal he’d like to see on the internet, said, “A dead one.” We’re all odd in our own ways, I guess.


  8. I live in Haiti, where we don’t have the equivalent of the Sunday paper or funnies, for that matter.

    However, when I’m back in the US, I love to linger over the Sunday paper–such a luxury!

    Congrats on being freshly pressed–happened to me last week. Hang on for the ride!

    Happy Holidays from Port-au-Prince,
    Kathy

    • oldereyes Says:

      Your country has been through some difficult times … I hope you are doing OK. We do take things for granted here. And wow, being freshly pressed, what a rush!!


  9. I had the same experience as a kid, and I liked Foxtrot as well. Lately, I find myself looking forward to XKCD, which is online.
    Ryan

  10. 4myskin Says:

    Love the comics! B.C., Zits, the Peanuts, For Better or For Worse…so many good ones. 🙂

  11. Lakia Gordon Says:

    Oh wow, I remember Beetle Bailey and Blondie 🙂


  12. We are the transatlantic diablog. We present trends, topics and trivia from both sides of the Atlantic and really like this blog. Great to see a blogger who has some more experience of life than others.

    So why not nominating this (or another) post for our annual blogging award? If you like to, then this is the link to follow:

    http://transatlanticdiablog.wordpress.com/the-transatlantic-diablog-award-2010/

    You’re welcome… And keep on blogging, Mister…


  13. I love the comics in the newspaper and thanks for showing us where to go revist our old cartoon friends online.

    I use the website xtranormal.com and make a Saturday morning animated cartoon for my blog. It’s fun.

    Blessings,

    ava
    xox

    • oldereyes Says:

      Thanks for pointing me to xtranormal.com. Very interesting. I took a brief peek at your blog, too. Very nice … I’ll be by after I weather the comment storm …


  14. Oh I love comic strips!! Charlie Brown was my favorite when growing up- nowadays I love Mutts and Get Fuzzy.

  15. Beth Says:

    The funnies are my favorite section of the paper–Sundays or weekdays. I start out my mornings reading the funnies before the rest of the paper, and then I’ll reread them once I’ve finished.
    I like Peanuts and FoxTrot the best.

    Good post–I liked the trivia about Blondie and Beetle Bailey.

  16. Jennie Says:

    I really liked Funky Winkerbean because I could totally related to the band director, having been a band geek during my formative years. Now I’d say Dilbert is my favorite because working in corporate America requires a good laugh now and then.

  17. billybop428 Says:

    I loved mutts. I cut it out every weekend.


  18. I used to enjoy Calvin and Hobbes (1980s) and now my boys love reading the book collections of it. Naughty little boys never go out of style.

  19. hennabeckett Says:

    cool.. i loved going through these, and i think you have made me a regular visitor here

  20. Lindsay Says:

    I love this post! I owe many of my early reading skills to the comic strips printed in the Chicago Sun-Times. As soon as I learned to read at the age of 5 or 6, I read the comics section every morning before school and continued until I graduated from high school and moved out of my parents house. Over the years, I would finish reading the comics and move on to the rest of the newspaper which has turned me into an avid newspaper reader, which I think it somewhat rare in my generation (I am in my mid-20’s). I owe it all the the comics section of the Chicago Sun-Times, and especially my favorite – The Family Circus. Like Nancy, I don’t think the Family Circus ever elicited a belly laugh, but I do feel like I am a part of their family and that warm connection is probably all that matters. 🙂

  21. CrystalSpins Says:

    I had almost the exact same experience with the funnies growing up. Although I was more impatient and I would often beg my dad to give me the page before he got to it. But I was brilliant at re-folding it so that you couldn’t tell it had ever been opened. (My dad doesn’t have that skill.)

    Crystal
    http://www.crystalspins.com

  22. oldetrip Says:

    Good blog!! I like it!!

  23. Cy Quick Says:

    We in UK never got to the stage of having whole section for cartoons. One page, of a tabloid format, containing six strips, with a couple of other strips at other points in the paper, was about the maximum we ever reached.

    The interesting thing for me, as I grew older and gradually realised that the alien features (a fire hydrant that stuck up out if the ‘sidewalk’ like a baby robot, for example) was that the cartoons were actually FROM THE USA.

    For us, just as with Hollywood films (especially the Warner and Disney moving cartoons) and records (such as “put another nickel in the nickelodeon”) the whole deal was (almost as bad as) learning to recognise what was funny and what was sad.

  24. auntbethany Says:

    Great post! I happen to still like the dry wit of “Garfield”, and the innocence of “Family Circus.” Congrats on being FP!

  25. KanKan Says:

    oh my god…spot on description of the cartoon strips of those times… my grandmom has meticulously cut out and pasted blondie strips in a little notebook that she still loves to look through…

  26. misfit120 Says:

    Great take on the Sunday Funnies. I would have to say that my all time favorite is Lil Abner because I always wanted a Shmoo. (if you’re too young to remember what a Shmoo is…sorry) However, keeping up with the theme of this blog, please check out my humor at http://misfit120.wordpress.com and if you scroll through the various topics you will find one on Shmoos.

    • oldereyes Says:

      Oh, I love Lil’ Abner, too, and not just because Daisy Mae was hot. It was one of the few strips that did some political satire (the other I know of being Pogo). I’ll be by to check out your blog once I get through the storm of comments being Freshly Pressed has brought.

  27. makingup3000 Says:

    We still have Blondie and I still read it!!! Corny but funny. Didn’t know that about Dagwood.
    Far Side def. an all time fave and Zits always is so true to life.
    Great post!!! Fun nostalgia.
    http://lifebehindthemakeupcounter.wordpress.com/

  28. enjoibeing Says:

    i used to take my older brothers’ newspapers and just read the funnies then give it back to him. oh the memories, now i actually read most of the newspapers.

    http://enjoibeing.wordpress.com/

  29. rtcrita Says:

    What great memories those old comics bring back. Simpler, easier times, because I was just a kid! I loved Nancy, Family Circus, For Better or Worse, B.C., just to name a few. I miss comic books, too. Those were some good times when my sisters and brothers would fight over who was going to get to read which one first.

    I think I’m going to get a cup of hot cocoa and check out those sites you mentioned…and be a kid again for an hour or so!

  30. Yusra Says:

    I love Beetle Bailey, Zits, Garfield and of course, Baby Blues! 😀

    As a student, the paper’s more of a luxury item, so I make-do with the web-comics. My personal favourite is xkcd.com (because it appeals to the geek in me.)

  31. chriss Says:

    love Beetle Bailey!!!


  32. For me, it would have to be Snoopy the Dog, and his antics. When I got into a collection craze in my late forties, it was Snoopy figures of different kinds. One of my prized processions is a large China Snoopy piggy bank. Newly divorced, over thirty years ago, it was the only thing that greeted me with cheer in entering my lonely singles apartment.

  33. evilcyber Says:

    Why have you become less liberal?

    Evil
    http://www.evilcyber.com/

    • oldereyes Says:

      Well, the stock answer would be the old quote “if you’re not liberal when you’re young, you have no heart but if you’re not conservative when you’re old, you have no brain.” I actually don’t believe that. I think my economic status had soemthing to do with it, as did 9-11

  34. Deanna Says:

    Fantastic information – I have missed my funnies, since unsubscribing to the newspaper (I couldn’t bear to see their week long’s bulk in my recycling bin, especially since I only read it half of the time).
    Yesterday, whilst waiting for my daughter to get her hair cut, I picked up a “Garfield” comic book, and was laughing my head off at Garfield’s insouciant behavior. Now there is one funny, fat cat.

  35. elisajoy Says:

    Blondie is my favorite :)there are seven people in my family and when my dad would get the Sunday paper he would always get to read it first and then us kids would claim who got the funnies. and there was no reading over each other’s shoulder! and the section would be passed from each kid until we all finally had our chance. ahh, fond memories. thank you for this lovely post.


  36. In a world without computers, and without endless TV shows, the newspaper that arrived at our door each day was amazing to me. And, of course, the Sunday comics were like a trip to Disneyland. I loved them all. I used to have a dream when I was little, of lying on the railroad tracks. A train would run over me. Pasted to the underside of all the cars would be the Sunday comics, and I would lie there, just watching them rush by. The dream was so vivid and so exciting. I still think about it.

  37. educlaytion Says:

    Do I have a favorite? “Funny” you should ask. I was just lamenting the loss of The Far Side from years ago. I think that was the best ever (http://t.co/TqYSalM)
    I was just turned onto Close To Home as very Far Sideesque though. Nice post!
    http://www.eduClaytion.com

  38. capnstephel Says:

    Good post. 🙂
    gocomics.com also has a bunch of comics. I like a lot of the ones that have already been mentioned and I try to read my favorites a few times a week online

  39. ohkamisvoice Says:

    I’ve always liked the “funny papers”, even though im not as ummmm… aged? They’ve always been fun to pick up and read with my mom on a sunday morning (the good ol’ days)They’re a nice break from the depressing black and white stories that precede the colorful funnies.

    Don’t stop Howling…
    OhKami’s Voice

    ohkamisvoice.com

  40. gen321 Says:

    Peanuts and Family Circus were my childhood favorites. I was so crazy about Peanuts, my mom had a Snoopy cake made for my 5th birthday. Thank you for reminding me of a more innocent and sweet era of my life.

  41. ryoko861 Says:

    I loved those comic strips also! Little Orphan Annie and Dick Tracy were some memories of mine as well as the ones you mentioned. I will ALWAYS love Peanuts!

  42. Neal Skorpen Says:

    There’s definitely something about a big newsprint foldout of colorful comics that is just a joy to experience. Sadly, as newspapers suffer and struggle for revenue, the comics always seem like the first thing to go.
    There are some new web comics that don’t rely on snide cynicism. For some good classic cartoon fun I recommend Jumbo Deluxe: http://jumbodeluxe.com/

  43. simplyvictorious Says:

    I’m younger than most who have commented here, but I remember reading this comic strip called “Kathy.” It always made me laugh :] The Peanuts, Garfield, and Calvin & Hobbes are my other favorites.

  44. Sam Says:

    People used to kid me that I was going to marry Charlie Brown, because I (and still do) love the peanuts strip.

  45. elmer Says:

    When I was a boy, a familiar sight during Sundays was my father sitting crossed leg on a couch with a warm, crisp freshly pressed paper. But no, he wasn’t burying himself with the news. He would grab a pen and flatten a section of the paper in two-folds then heads off to his own world: crossword puzzle. In a few minutes his indulgence would be over, drops the paper and walks out of the house thinking about something more productive to do next. He never rests even on a Sunday. He wont even give a damn about the Funny section.So this has become a problem for me. Each time I would scramble for the funnies, he would be calling out for me, his ever reliable assistant. Ok,ok, my favorite funnies? I think my father’s a kill joy and he looks like HAGAR the horrible 😀

  46. eternallyemo Says:

    I used to read Garfield and Peanuts on occasion, but I’m more interested in the Comics now for some reason. Reading Get Fuzzy and Dilbert every day is a hard habit to break.

  47. whuffie Says:

    Peanuts was always a favorite although as I grew up I shifted over to Far Side, Garfield, and Calvin and Hobbes. As an artist, I love Waterson’s work. As Charles Schulz put in the forward of Calvin and Hobbes, it was more than just humor, Waterson drew great shoes which looked like little dinner rolls, splashes, and nightstands. I love the expressions in Calvin and Hobbes and how they made me laugh with art as well as satire, simple humor, or just because I could relate. They’re fun to look at, and the comic artist’s job isn’t always easy.

    I have all the books and read them often. It’s sorely missed.

    I remember Beetle Baily, Dagwood (who even had a guest cartoon / crossover with Garfield once. Garfield and Jon “visited another strip”), the Born Loser, Far Side, Hagar, Frank and Earnest, Family Circle, BC, and of course, Peanuts.

  48. Kirtana K Says:

    It really makes my day to find something this nice on freshly pressed.
    Specially on a bad day 🙂
    My favourite strip ever is Calvin and Hobbes. My favourite quote from it:

    ‘Some days you get up and you already know that things aren’t going to go well. They’re the type of days when you should just give in. Put your pajamas back on, make some hot chocolate, and read comic books in bed with the covers up until the world looks more encouraging.’

  49. incostress Says:

    Loved your article. Sunday funnies are indeed a way to wind down relax and forget about the rest of the world and its worries for 5 minutes. These guys who make up the Sunday funnies probably don’t realise how much joy they bring to people. Thanks for posting your article.

  50. vanillasense Says:

    I doubt anything can beat Calvin and Hobbes. Most people here too have voted it. Another favorite of mine is Marmaduke. That dog is simply adorable!!

  51. joyceelaine Says:

    Li’l Abner was my favourite growing up. Like you, I had to wait for my mother to read the paper before getting the funnies and the fiction section (mostly Earl Stanley Gardner) before I could read. We got the Sunday Star (Toronto) on Monday at the Drug Store since, in the country, we didn’t have home delivery. One of my mother’s pet names for me was “Daisy Mae”.

  52. gentlenurse Says:

    Thanks for that comic website link. I was on it like a flea on a dog. My favorite comic is Pooch Cafe, which I believe is the ultimate best comic strip in all of history. But I love other ones too and am grateful for this link!

  53. kinziblogs Says:

    Hi oldereyes! I am enjoying all the visitors wordpress is sending my way. I enjoy these older ones too…the snide and sarcastic ways of the new are wearing.

    God bless you!


  54. Great post, now I read the funnies first and throw the rest away.


  55. […] Sunday Funnies (via Older Eyes) When I was a boy, my father read the paper front to back whenever he had a chance.   Because he was usually working two jobs to  give us a better standard of living than he had as a boy, there wasn't always time.   Sunday was a luxury.   The Sunday New Haven Register would appear at our front door and be waiting for him when we came home from church.  Like many boys, I was interested in only two sections … the sports section and the Sunday Funn … Read More […]


  56. Like TerriTerri, one of my favorites was For Better or For Worse. Aside from reading many of the comic strips, I also spent hours trying to draw the characters in a sketchbook. And capturing the images with flattened out Silly Putty carefully peeled back from the newspaper was always a fun and simple pleasure.

  57. Nancy K. Basden Says:

    I need to know if “Dagwood & Blondie” ever appeared in a wedding in the newspaper or Sunday comics? If so, when? Need to know ASAP.


  58. totally-super-hilarious.


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