In Spite of What You Read Gasoline Alley, Mary Worth, and The Phantom Continue

San Marcos Daily Record columnist Jerry Hall opens his Sunday column about Peanuts reminiscing:

Let us depart from topics of nature and consider something that has given me a great deal of enjoyment — newspaper comic strips.

Down through the years, I have perused lots of different strips, ranging from Major Hoople and the Katzenjammer Kids to Mary Worth and Gasoline Alley; all long gone. Also departed and sorely missed are Pogo, Smiling Jack and the Phantom.

Half the strips Hall lists as “long gone” are still being produced. He isn’t the first and he won’t be the last newspaperman that will claim a comic strip is no longer being created.

Now we all know that Gasoline Alley and Mary Worth and The Phantom have never stopped being syndicated to newspapers around the world. But none of those have the circulation numbers of Garfield or Blondie or even the rerun Peanuts. And so to most people the old classics that are still available to newspapers are forgotten and assumed to be dead.

Even to newspaper people.

Back to Jerry Hall:

But one comic seems to go on forever. I refer to “Peanuts,” a feature which first appeared under that name in November 1950, in seven newspapers. It eventually inspired television specials and would run in more than 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries in over 25 languages.

The rest of Hall’s short column is about Charles Schulz’s Peanuts and is, other than a typo at the end, accurate.

One thought on “In Spite of What You Read Gasoline Alley, Mary Worth, and The Phantom Continue

  1. The Phantom and Mary Worth are part of my morning routine on Comics Kingdom. Sadly, Wanders of the excellent “Mary Worth and Me” blog is on an extended break; though fans are still adding daily comments to the last blog post.

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