Comic Strip & Comic Strip Adjacent News

The Monster and Mike Doonesbury, Milholland and The Mouse, Hugs and Kisses from Peanuts, Bret Blevins and Judge Alan Parker, The Comics Journal’s 2023 Best Name Checks a few Comic Strips, Cleveland Scene’s Comics Issue, and Love to Ramona Fradon on her Retiring at age 97.

It’s that time of year when we get bonus Doonesbury material from G. B. Trudeau.

Elizabeth Izzo of The Adirondack Daily Enterprise reports on the button and poster for the 2024 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival as created by Garry B. Trudeau, as he has for the past 43 years for the buttons.

The design, inspired by 1940s horror comic books and the Creepy Carnival theme, shows Doonesbury character Michael James “Mike” Doonesbury cowering in fear with skis askew as he’s accosted by a giant green monster in an icy pond.

Trudeau said as he designed the button, he took inspiration from horror comics with names like “Tales from the Crypt” and “The Vault of Horror.”


We featured Ruben Bollen‘s January 1st Tom the Dancing Bug on our Facebook page. Here we will put a spotlight on Randy Milholland’s Mousetrapped featuring public domain Steamboat Willie.

Randy who writes and draws the Sunday Popeye and the Friday Olive & Popeye takes on another classic.

Says Randy about the three tier online comic strip:

As of today, the Mickey Mouse cartoon, “Steamboat Willie” is public domain. While all the trademarks and more recent copyrights remain in tact, I decided to do a comic that follows what happened after the steamboat docked. I’ve loved Disney comics since I was a kid, but as most of them are made in Italy and later translated, I’ve long given up on the dream of writing or drawing them officially.

So here’s hoping Disney doesn’t sue me anyway. -R.

Randy notes under each daily comic:


My attempt to scoop Nat Gertler with Peanuts news.

Hershey’s announces Snoopy and Friends Valentine’s Chocolate:

The gang’s all here! Share the love among your circle of besties with these limited edition HERSHEY’S KISSES Milk Chocolate Snoopy™ and Friends Candies. You’ll find an assortment of pink heart and red XO foils featuring the beloved Peanuts Characters. There are 18 unique designs – can you round up them all? Each signature HERSHEY’S KISSES Candy plume features love and paw prints, too.

PR Newswire carries the entire Hershey’s press release.


Bret Blevins (I’m guessing) has returned to art duties on Judge Parker as of January 1, 2024.

And the snarking commenters, who have no idea of the circumstances of Bret’s return, are having a field day(s).


As is our compulsion, we polled contributors to this website (and a few others) with a very broad question requiring no particular answer: “What do you feel reflects the best of 2023 in comics?”

The Comics Journal asked for “the best of 2023 in comics” and three comic strips made the list.

Alex Dueben included Mutts on his list

Mutts by Patrick McDonnell (newspaper strip)

and Dan Schkade’s Flash Gordon and Olive & Popeye got nods from Tom Speelman:

… King Features/Comics Kingdom EiC Tea Fougner invited Milholland and cartoonists Shadia Amin and Emi Burdge (who replaced Amin this past October) to launch the 2x a week adventure strip Olive & Popeye, with Milholland drawing on Popeye’s long, long history of adventures to make something new and exciting (spoiler: Professor O.G. Wotasnozzle is involved), putting Olive Oyl in her own adventures with her own supporting cast in genuinely uncharted territory for a 100+ year old character. It’s a true highlight of the daily Comics Kingdom newsletter that pops up into my email every morning, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

… Schkade turns out to have been an excellent fit. Besides bringing his trademark unique pops of color to the strip, Schkade dropped readers into a new status quo that sees Ming the Merciless seemingly dead and Flash, Dale Arden, Zarkov and co. having to navigate the brave new world they fought for and now have to build. It’s been a genuinely exciting thing so far and wherever Schkade takes it, this is clearly the proper way to revive something and make it matter to modern readers.

Books by comic strip creators Darrin Bell (The Talk) and Bill Griffith (Three Rocks) got more than a few mentions. Also Ed Subitzky’s Poor Helpless Comics National Lampoon collection.


Love and some of those Peanuts Kisses above to Ramona Fradon of comic book and Brenda Starr fame.

Catskill Comics reports:

After an extremely long run in the comic industry, at 97, Ramona has decided it’s time for her to retire. She will no longer be doing commissions. She apologizes to all the fans who have been waiting patiently on her wait list to get one. She did say though from time to time she’ll do a drawing or two to put up for sale on the website.

Reaction on the Catskill Comics Facebook page.


The alternative newspaper Cleveland Scene presents their Comics Issue

with Gabbie Benda, Cass Jerman, Justin Michael Will, Aaron Azar, Sequoia Bostick, and Lee Onkysko.

3 thoughts on “Comic Strip & Comic Strip Adjacent News

  1. I remember when Whitman’s used to do Valentine’s candy boxes with Peanuts characters, now Hershey has the rights.

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