This & That

Story published: 12-18-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Newspaper comics provide a lot of chuckles

By Jack Swift

I am a big fan of the comic pages in newspapers. I know I’m not alone in that respect. I look forward to each issue to peruse the comics and tackle the crossword puzzle. I try to solve the crossword puzzle each day. Most days I’m successful but occasionally I just can’t think of the right word. Then I say, “Oh well, there’ll be another one tomorrow. I’ll solve the one in tomorrow’s paper.”

If I have time each day, I get to the comic pages pretty fast after I check out the news on the front page, the editorial, columns and sports pages. Some cartoons continue the actions and adventures in each issue of the paper while some are completed each week. Some of the cartoons that run each day are sure to create a chuckle or two for the reader. One of my favorite comics is “The Griswells”, usually a dialog between a bear and a porcupine. Other characters appear occasionally in that strip. I like them all but “Blondie,” Beetle Bailey” and “Born Loser” are always good for laughs.

My love of newspaper comics began when I was young — about 11 or 12. At that time my family didn’t subscribe to a newspaper, but my uncle received the Knoxville Journal in the mail each day. I walked to his house almost every day to read the “funnies”, as the comic section was often called. It was a treat to keep up with the adventures of “The Phantom,” “Terry and the Pirates,” “Little Orphan Annie,” “Joe Palooka,” “Dick Tracy,” “Superman,” and others.

I read recently that the comic strip or comic panel dates back to the late 1800s. A comic strip called “The Yellow Kid” first ran in the New York World and later the New York Journal. It was created and drawn by Richard R. Outcault.

The political cartoon is another story. I wrote about that type of cartoon several months ago. Often those types of cartoons get the desired message out as well as the printed word.

I referred to another favorite part of a newspaper at the outset of this column: the crossword puzzle. Upon investigating, I found that the layout of crossword puzzles vary according to the country in which they are created.

I learned that the little squares that make up the crossword puzzle are called cells. I just didn’t know there were so many things about the crossword puzzle to know. Rather than learning all the nomenclature and rules about the puzzles I think I will just go on trying to solve them.