Waiting for and finally reading the Sunday funnies first thing in the morning was a ritual followed by many across the globe. With the advent of technology, changing lifestyles, more interest in current events, and the world going digital, sadly these comics are a thing of the past. Luckily, available as book collections, these tiny comic book strips of amusement still invoke a sense of nostalgia. They are a reminder of the time when humour was pure, and traditions meant more than they do now.
Archie, Veronica, Jughead, Betty, Reggie and the many other quaint and quirky residents of Riverdale have been entertaining readers with their humorous antics ever since their first standalone comic in 1942. A fascinating look at American culture over the years, the Archie comics have since broadened their appeal by introducing more diverse characters. Still, there's a certain joyous sentimentality associated with the early strips where Archie and his gang go about living a carefree life, drinking milkshakes at Pop's, dating, playing football, doing school assignments, riding cars, and forming lifelong friendships.
In a world that is perpetually in a rush, Garfield has taken a back seat. Not that the over-weight, lasagne loving, sarcastic, always sleeping cat would complain about it. Garfield and his quick taunts towards his "human servant" Jon and Odie the dog won the hearts of its readers from the very beginning when the comic strip first appeared in 1976. So influential is the art of Jim Davis that sometimes the comic book panels have no words and yet we know precisely what Garfield is thinking. Although there have been live animation movies and cartoons based on Garfield, nothing beats picking up one of his collections and reading the original material that will have you in splits within seconds.
John Stanley's take on Nancy, a happy-go-lucky child, and her everyday adventures, is full of small-town happenings that leave readers cheerful. Along with her best friend Sluggo, and recurring eccentric characters like Aunt Fritzi, the scary Oona Goosepimple, aptly named librarian Ms Tome, the bully Spike, this first volume sees Nancy go ice fishing, cooking a meal, and coming up with unique money-making opportunities. Each one of these comic book episodes comes packed with funny and endearing escapades. Nancy is a light-hearted read that takes us back to the good old times when children could roam around the streets without a worry in a world and take delight from the simple pleasures of life.
Hergé'sTintin has fascinated readers of all ages for decades now. Creating a world of adventure, mystery, and thrilling action, the Belgian cartoonist, took our imagination on a journey around the world with the mild-mannered, brave and honest reporter Tintin, his faithful dog Snowy, and the eternally entertaining Captain Haddock. So diverse are Tintin's adventures that we saw him travel to the far corners of the earth, all the way into space, in pursuit of truth. Each story has new and recurring villains and personalities that further make the comic books memorable. That Tintin has been translated into 110 languages is further proof of its continuing significance.
A nod towards the power of imagination and brimming with profound anecdotes about life, Calvin and Hobbes is so distinct that both adults and children can learn different lessons from the very same comic. The exploits of Calvin and his stuffed tiger, which comes alive in Calvin's mind, tend to have a deeper, more contemporary meaning than just being funny and naughty moments from his daily routine. There's honesty, mischief, introspection, and Calvin's desire to question everything, that makes these much-loved comics by Bill Watterson a mirror to society, one that leaves the reader in a happy and sometimes soul-searching mood.