10 Newspaper Comic Strips of the 1980s: Read the Funnies First!

If you long for the days of newspapers delivered to your doorstep and Sunday mornings spent reading the funnies — first, and maybe only — then these iconic newspaper comic strips of the 1980s are sure to tickle your funny bone … and your nostalgia bone!

“Blondie” by Chic Young

Description: Ditzy Blondie and her gentlemanly husband Dagwood live in a New York City suburb with their two children, Cookie and Alexander, and little doggie Daisy. The comic strip has been running strong since 1930, and it’s still published today as reruns of old comics AND new episodes. It was one of the first successful newspaper comic strips that dealt humorously with working class life and experienced enormous success worldwide during its long run.

“Peanuts” by Charles Schulz

Description: “Peanuts” follows the antics of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and their friends. The strip began in 1950 during a time when comic strips were expertly crafted to appeal to adults as well as children; it ran through early 2000, shortly before Schulz death but remains in syndication to this day.

“For Better or For Worse” by Lynn Johnston

“For Better or For Worse” is about the Patterson family, who live in a small town. The strip began in September 1979 and ran for nearly thirty years before Johnston retired it with her last original newspaper strip published on August 31, 2008. It continues to be syndicated today by Universal Press Syndicate.

“Garfield” by Jim Davis

Garfield” is about a lazy feline who enjoys being full and eating lasagna. The comic strip began on June 19, 1978; Davis still writes new panels for the strip, and it also runs in syndication all over the world.

“Bloom County” by Berke Breathed

Breathed’s comic strip focused on the lives of Opus the Penguin, Bill the Cat, Milo Bloom (the protagonist), Michael Binkley, and a host of other characters. “Bloom County” ran from December 1980 until August 1989; Breathed revived it in newspapers on July 20, 2008 with the strip now being titled “Opus”.

“Doonesbury” by Garry Trudeau

The comic strips focus on American politics as seen through the lives of Mike Doonesbury his family, pets, friends and colleagues. “Doonesbury” first began running on October 26, 1970; it is still published fresh on Sundays and in syndication the rest of the week.

“The Far Side by Gary Larson

Larson’s comic strip was about the lives of everyday animals and their human counterparts dealing with such things as scientific observations and facts. Almost always, Larson takes a sideways, ironic, and comical look at the everyday world around us. The cartoon launched on December 31, 1979, and continues to be active to this day.

“Calvin and Hobbes” by Bill Watterson

Calvin and Hobbes” debuted on November 18, 1985. It follows a six-year old boy named Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes as they have wild adventures in their neighborhood. This popular cartoon ran for over ten years until its creator Bill Watterson ended it to pursue other projects.

“Curtis” by Ray Billingsley

Ray Billingsley’s newspaper comic strip “Curtis” first appeared on October 3, 1988. The gag-a-day cartoon follows the life of an often beleaguered pre-teen named Curtis who lives in and around Seattle with his dog Carl. This popular series still continues today.

“U.S. Acres” by Jim Davis and Brett Koth

“U.S. Acres,” known as “Orson’s Farm” in some countries, debuted March 3, 1986 and ran until April 14, 1989. It also appeared in syndication as reruns on Garfield.com from 2010 through 2020. The series follows the lives of farmer Orson Pig (or just plain old Farmer Orson), his wife Pansy, and their animal friends, the aforementioned Orson’s Farm: Wade Duck, Booker the chick, Sheldon (an unhatched chick), Roy Rooster, and others as they go about daily life on their farm.

(Like Newspaper Comic Strips of the 1980s? Then you might like our article about Newspaper Comic Strips of the 1970s, click here.)

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