Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Comic Strips!

toptentuesday2Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s focus is all about our top ten favourites of a particular genre. I have decided to go with comic strips, as it’s a big bookish love of mine and something I don’t talk about too often here! My picks range from the classic to critically acclaimed, to series that just delight me to no end. So much wonderfulness in these strips, I highly recommend any of these strips to any humour/comics reader!

Here are my top ten- with the first two arguably tied for my all-time number one favourites:

Sherman’s Lagoon by Jim Toomey. I first started reading Sherman’s Lagoon about…15 years ago or so, and haven’t stopped or missed any of the collections. Zany, belly-laugh inducing, and consistently good. It is also a shared bookish favourite of my dad and I!
Cul de Sac by Richard Thompson. A superb comic strip: a deeply funny, wise and incredibly illustrated and written comic from the late Richard Thompson. All I can say about this one is to try it if you haven’t yet. A little taster of the strip is below.
Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis. Out of any authors on this list, I think I have referred to Pastis the most, if not mostly for my love of his children’s series Timmy Failure. Pearls, as I probably mentioned in another post is sharply written, often caustic, but balanced with moments of sudden, intense thoughtfulness and consideration. And of course, it is a hoot as well.
FoxTrot by Bill Amend. I have loved this comic for years and years now! As with Sherman’s Lagoon or Baby Blues, this is go-to comfort reading (well, re-reading!). Amend does family dynamics so well, and makes the characters (who, as with the Simpson’s lot, don’t age) and their well-formed habits into fresh, just about limitless storylines.
Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott. Long, long before I became a parent, I was a huge fan of Baby Blues. Kirkman & Scott make a strip generally about becoming parents and parenting (and the frustrations and utter joy of kids) so readable, crazily likable and relatable. I’ve read and reread the collections numerous times and they still make me laugh out loud.
Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. The main characters are so utterly familiar to me, I can’t imagine growing up without knowing them and their quirks! Sally is one of my stand-out characters- so unexpectedly hysterical, I think, that she doesn’t get enough credit. And who cannot, at one time or another, relate to Charlie Brown’s ennui and agony, or Lucy’s temper and misplaced affections?
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. So much has been said and written about this critically acclaimed, beloved comic strip. I have grown to appreciate the wonder of this series- and the writing– even more as I get older.
Grand Avenue by Steve Breen. I wish the entirety of this series was available in print, but alas, only the first collection! Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Breen does a fantastic job in this series; a great premise with standout and very funny characters, this is a consistent delight to read.
Herman
by Jim Unger. We’ve all read at least a Herman comic at one point or another, haven’t we? I remember seeing dental-related Herman comic strips at my dentist’s growing up! (I always thought they were funny and true). So very dry and so very funny, Herman is a kick in the pants.
The Far Side by Gary Larson. Another critically acclaimed, much lauded, beloved comic strip series! I’ve been revisiting some of the collections this year; so consistently weird, dark and riotous.

Honourable mentions:
Mutts by Patrick McDonnell
Heart of the City by Mark Tatulli
Mother Goose and Grimm by Mike Peters
Get Fuzzy by Darby Conley

 

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What’s on your top ten this week? Be sure to check out some of the other great lists!

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Must Read Monday (47): Looking at Fall 2016 Releases (Part 2)

Continuing on with a Must Read Monday feature on Fall 2016 releases!…

This week’s Must Read Monday is a little bit different. I’ve been looking through various sources (review journals, publisher’s sites, Goodreads, blogs, etc.) as is my norm, but my to-be read pile has grown tremendously in a short span! This is due, in part, to all of the incredible books that are slated for Fall 2016 release! Some favourite authors and/or illustrators are releasing new titles or sequels, and there are new-to-me and/or debut authors with terrific sounding and terrifically reviewed titles.

You can take a look at my picks for Part 1 here!

Here, in no particular order, are my picks for Part 2:

 

The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart
Expected publication: September 27, 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel
Expected publication: September 20, 2016 by HarperCollins Canada

Foxheart by Claire Legrand, illus. Jaime Zollars
Expected publication: October 4, 2016 by Greenwillow Books

Today by Julie Morstad
Expected publication: September 2, 2016 by Simply Read Books

Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems
Expected publication: October 25, 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke
Expected publication: September 6, 2016 by First Second

Mooncop by Tom Gauld
Expected publication: September 20, 2016 by Drawn and Quarterly

Razzle Dazzle Unicorn: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson
Expected publication: September 20, 2016 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

Happy as a Clam: The Twenty-First Sherman’s Lagoon Collection by Jim Toomey
Expected publication: September 20, 2016 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

Stephan’s Web: A Pearls Before Swine Collection by Stephan Pastis
Expected publication: November 22, 2016 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

*For the purposes of these posts, ‘Fall’ will include some August, September and October, possibly some November 2016 releases

Best of 2014, Part 3: Humour

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While much of my 2014 reading from the humour genre came from rereads of my favourite comic strip collections, there were a few new standouts for me:

Tails Don’t Lie: A Decade of Dog Cartoons (70 in Dog Years) by Adrian Raeside I’ve long enjoyed Canadian cartoonist Raeside’s The Other Coast comic strip, along with his editorial cartoons. This was a terrific collection of his canine comics- genuinely funny and loving at the same time.

Breaking Stephan: A Pearls Before Swine Collection by Stephan Pastis Hullo, zeeba neighba! I missed the crocs. While I thought the previous Pearls collection- Rat’s Wars- was good, I thought Breaking Stephan was just great- fresher, sharper, more focused…and pee in the pants funny.

The Little World of Liz Climo by Liz Climo. You can read more about this wonderful find in my review, and take a look at some of Climo’s beautifully drawn work on her site.

Lunch Wore a Speedo: The Nineteenth Sherman’s Lagoon Collection by Jim Toomey Oh Sherman’s Lagoon, how I love you so! I have been a major (I’m talking major) fan of Toomey’s strip for over ten years now. I can’t get enough! I thought the last few collections- and running gags- weren’t as up to par, but this one one was a real treat- crisp jokes, belly-laugh inducing.

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*Note: These are titles I have read in 2014; titles may have been published in previous years. Rereads are not included on this list.