Top 10 Best American Comic Strips

A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative. Traditionally, these have been published in newspapers and magazines. The ones who gain popularity grow their brand by releasing books, selling merchandise, making a TV series and even movies. The American scene is especially rich with good comic strips so let's see which ones are the best of the best.
The Top Ten
1 Garfield

Garfield is an American comic strip created by Jim Davis. It chronicles the life of the title character Garfield the cat, his human owner Jon Arbuckle, and Odie the dog. This comic strip touches on a lot of things about daily life, with Garfield being a very relatable character. The Guinness Book of World Records has declared Garfield "the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world" (for those wondering, a comic strip syndicate functions as an agent for cartoonists and comic strip creators, placing the cartoons and strips in as many newspapers as possible on behalf of the artist). Garfield has touched pretty much every aspect of American pop culture since its creation. The comic strip even received cartoon adaptations and movies.

2 Peanuts

Peanuts is a syndicated daily and Sunday American comic strip written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz. A record breaking 17,897 strips were published which could very well make Peanuts the most iconic comic strip of all time. Each character illustrated in this iconic comic strip has different personalities and are all relatable in some way. Most fans consider the 1960s to be the golden age of Peanuts and the comic is noted for being one of the more socially forward strips at the time. Another factor that contributed to the comic's popularity is its cartoon adaptations which became widely popular with kids and adults alike.

3 Dilbert

Dilbert is an American comic strip written and illustrated by Scott Adams, first published on April 16, 1989. It is known for its satirical office humor about a white-collar, micromanaged office with engineer Dilbert as the title character. Dilbert is the typical office character, frustrated by the incompetence and malevolence of his co-workers, especially his boss, and often is sarcastic and snide. The strip even received a cartoon adaptation.

I have never worked in an office but this series is pretty funny. Like all comic strips it's rather repetitive though. There is a trope called "the one sane man" which I think explains this whole series.

4 Calvin and Hobbes

Created by cartoonist Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes follows the adventures of the mischievous boy Calvin and his best friend Hobbes, a tiger who may or may not actually exist. At the height of its popularity, Calvin and Hobbes was featured in over 2,400 newspapers worldwide. In 2010, reruns of the strip appeared in more than 50 countries, and nearly 45 million copies of the Calvin and Hobbes books had been sold worldwide. This comic is very popular because of its theme, humor, illustrations. Sadly its creator decided to stop drawing Calvin and Hobbes in 1995, but the compilation books still sell very well and the comic is still wildly popular.

5 Batman
6 Life in Hell
7 Dennis the Menace
8 Spy vs. Spy
9 Superman
10 Archie

Archie was created by Bob Montana and started out as a comic strip in the newspapers in 1946, and since then the character has become so widely popular that it is now a franchise. It features the misadventures of Archie Andrews and his friends Jughead, Betty, Veronica and others. These comics are fun and lighthearted enough for children to enjoy but also have an underlying layer of sophistication that adults will like. There have been a whole bunch of comic books, which have sold billions of copies around the world, and recently a TV show based on Archie comics called Riverdale.

The Contenders
11 Blondie

Blondie is an American comic strip created by cartoonist Chic Young and has been published in newspapers since September 8, 1930. It is what could be considered an old classic. It features the eponymous blonde Blondie Bumstead and her sandwich-loving husband Dagwood Bumstead. Blondie appeared in more than 2,000 newspapers in 47 countries and translated into 35 languages. It was even turned into a film series and a radio show.

12 Rex Morgan, M.D.
13 Beetle Bailey

Beetle Bailey is an American comic strip published since September 4, 1950. It was created by cartoonist Mort Walker, a World War II veteran. Set on a fictional army post, it follows the protagonist Beetle Bailey, a lazy, perpetual goof-off navigating life in the army. The comic strip features a lot of side characters, the most important one being Sarge, a sergeant who often yells at Bailey. There are also other soldiers who are often as lazy as Bailey. Fun fact, the newspaper Stars and Stripes, published for members of the armed forces, banned Beetle Bailey from its Tokyo edition in 1954, because of the military's concern that discipline would lag after the end of the Korean War and that the comic strip might inspire disrespect for officers.

14 Phoebe and Her Unicorn
15 Zits

Zits is about a self-absorbed teenager named Jeremy Duncan who likes to hang out with his friends and play guitar. The comic strip is very relatable for teenagers and parents alike, showing a bunch of funny gags about what it's like to be a teenager or be a parent. Created by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, it started to be published in newspapers in 1997 and, as of 2022, is still going strong and is now included in more than 1,700 newspapers worldwide in 45 countries and is translated into 15 different languages.

16 Bloom County

An American comic strip created by Berkeley Breathed. It originally ran from December 8, 1980, until August 6, 1989, being retired at the height of its popularity by Breathed until it was brought back in 2015. This comic strip examined events in politics and culture through the viewpoint of a fanciful small town in Middle America, with characters such as children who talk and behave like adults as well as talking animals. When it was at the height of its popularity, it was published in over 1,200 newspapers.

17 Hagar the Horrible
18 Krazy Kat
19 Heathcliff
20 Liberty Meadows
21 Hi and Lois

Spinoff of "Beetle Bailey", centered on Beetle's older sister Lois, her husband Hi (short for Hiram), and their four kids teenager Chip, school age twins Dot and Ditto, and baby Trixie.

22 Baby Blues

One of the co-creators of "Zits" also co-created this strip. Originally about a yuppy couple adjusting to parenthood, the initial baby has since been aged up to school age, as has the second baby. There is currently an actual baby- the couple's third child.

23 Doonesbury
24 Opus
25 Big Nate

Big Nate is an American comic strip written and illustrated by Lincoln Peirce. The strip follows sixth-grader Nate Wright, alongside his family, friends, and foes. He is very rebellious, vain, conceited, and arrogant. He also has greedy and angry tendencies that are usually a disadvantage, and he is very self absorbent. The strip's success led to two series of children's books and an animated television series, which premiered on Paramount+ in 2022.

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