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The seven most depressing comic strip characters

Chris Joseph takes a dour look at what he calls the seven most depressing comic strip characters in newspapers today.

Sunday morning comics are a bit of a dying art form. Thanks mainly to the interwebs killing off the newspaper industry, reading the comics on a Sunday morning is becoming more and more a thing of the past.

But maybe kids today are better off not reading the funny papers. Because, looking back on it, it’s painfully clear they were filled with some depressing shit. Why the hell were we so eager for our parents to hand over the comic section? Oh look, Charlie Brown needs therapy! Neat!

Community Comments

#1 Scott Lincoln
October/5/2011
@ 10:25 am

Opinion, much? LOL Oy.

I certainly appreciate looking at things from a different angle, but I’m going to side with “Sparky” on this one. He once said something to the affect, “Comics don’t need to always be funny, but they do need to share an experience with the reader”… granted he also said they need to always be entertaining. But some people find comedies entertaining and some people find horror or drama entertaining (etc…etc…). My favorite strips seem to have a combination, but I tend to have a dry/dark sense of humor sometimes too.

#2 Jules Rivera
October/5/2011
@ 10:50 am

I’ve been reading Chris Sims’ long running “FunkyWatch” at Comics Alliance and holy God that comic strip is depressing. I’m genuinely shocked nobody from that strip made the list. That comic is loaded with characters who take sad-sackery to a whole new level.

#3 Ed Power
October/5/2011
@ 11:04 am

Yeah, Les Moore should 100% have been #1 on this list.

#4 Darryl Heine
October/5/2011
@ 1:49 pm

Dagwood Bumstead from Blondie didn’t make the top 7!

#5 Joel Bader
October/5/2011
@ 2:37 pm

I’d add The Family Circus family of melonheads because of my suspicions that they are hiding lots of depression, angst and perhaps drug abuse behind their cheerfulness. Really! No one is that happy all of the time–not even the Keane family! In addition to their depression, I think they need to be in a detox facility where they can get off whatever drugs they are doing, sober up and face reality!

#6 Mike Peterson
October/5/2011
@ 4:01 pm

Is nobody going to point out what an idiot this guy is? It’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing — he’s a moron. He calls Cathy a cat lady when she owns a dog. He lists Casper the Friendly Ghost, which has never been a comic strip. And he picks two characters from the same strip, which is kind of a cheat, though “seven” isn’t any particularly magic number to begin with.

And that’s before we get into his vapid, knee-jerk too-cool-for-the-room opinions, which he is entitled to. And Miami New Times probably makes a profit pandering to a vapid, too-cool-for-the-room audience that revels in knee-jerk snark.

By the way, I found the guy in “Crime and Punishment” kind of depressing, too. Doesn’t mean Dostoevsky isn’t a hell of a writer.

#7 Andrew Farago
October/5/2011
@ 4:42 pm

And Jon from Garfield has been dating Liz for several years now. He’s still a dweeb, but he’s a dweeb with a steady gal. Much less depressing than he used to be.

#8 Neal Skorpen
October/5/2011
@ 7:10 pm

What’s depressing is all the awful, formulaic comic strips that have been treading the same ground for 50+ years.

#9 Ed Power
October/6/2011
@ 9:13 am

@ Andrew Farago:

That’s true, but now the question is how depressing does that make Liz? :)

#10 Terry LaBan
October/7/2011
@ 8:57 am

Casper the Friendly Ghost?! WTF?

#11 Shawn Labadie
October/7/2011
@ 12:52 pm

I laughed out loud! Apparently not everyone caught the irreverent humor in the piece. Most of what he said is true, which is what makes it so funny. The dirty little secret here is he’s simply pointing out, in a very pointed way and with a little too much colorful language, what inherently makes these strips funny and compelling to the reader.

Funny stuff.

#12 donna lewis
October/9/2011
@ 11:57 am

I only like happy characters whose lives are happy all the time. Just like real life.

#13 Steve Hubbell
October/20/2011
@ 11:04 pm

The only thing funny about Chris Joseph’s piece was that any moron who can’t write can become published on the internet where research and editing are not required skills.

And like a lot of contemporary stand-up comedians, swearing is used when the material is severely lacking in humor to start with.

I personally believe even a halfway talented writer could have written a truly interesting and funny article on of this topic.

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