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Rediscovered: Pat Oliphant’s ‘Sunday Punk’

Stripper Guide, Allan Holtz, posted samples of a brief lived Sunday feature by Pat Oliphant that ran in the 1980s.

Sunday Punk starred Oliphant’s trademark penguin character from his daily editorial cartoons, and the character was pretty much used in the same way in the Sunday-only comic strip — making wry comments on politics and current events. The strip debuted on March 18 1984, and the latest I’ve been able to find is from September 16 of the same year, a run of just a little more than six months.

The strip was reasonably good, so it’s unclear why it had such a short run. Perhaps Oliphant lost interest in the project, perhaps the sales weren’t good, I dunno. I like to think it’s just desserts for Oliphant’s earlier attitude toward comic strips. He was the guy who yelled foul the longest and loudest when Doonesbury won a Pulitzer in 1975. Oliphant belittled the feature and the form of being unworthy for such recognition. Now less than a decade later he was drawing a comic strip with political content. What goes around comes around?

I vaguely remember these, but I’m not sure where I’ve seen them. It’s doubtful that my home town paper at the time would have picked this up. It’s too bad it didn’t carry on. I like ’em.

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