About a previous rookie list, Mark Johnson said: “An instant big success like Spiderman or Winnie is pretty much impossible today”. Well that happened in the first three years but for this year we have a situation where it was not a new strip but an old strip that gained more papers than any rookie. The top rookie this year really did not make a big splash.
The number one new strip, Goosemyer, got only 26 papers. It probably owed its success to the artist Brant Parker, because he was known from the very popular Wizard of Id. The next strip, Kit ‘n’ Carlyle, got 24 papers, which is not really a success because it replaced the strip Side Glances, getting a bunch of those berths by default (these strips are from the NEA package so one strip took over one spot for another). The new strips for 1980 did not make a big dent in our papers. This was the year that papers were picking newer strips like Garfield, For Better or For Worse, etc. But there was one strip that in the big picture would eventually make a big impact, but had a lackluster start: Bloom County.
- Goosemyer – 26 (Field)
- Kit ‘N’ Carlyle – 24 (NEA)
- Fletcher’s Landing – 10 (NEA)
- Briny Deep – 7 (United)
- Barbara Cartland’s Romances – 6 (United)
- Bloom County – 6 (Washington Post)
- Downstown – 6 (Universal)
- Charlie – 5 (Tribune)
- Graves Inc. – 4 (Register and Tribune)
Here is the list of the top 10 strips in 1981 that had started since 1977.
- Shoe – 68 (1977)
- Amazing Spider-Man – 56 (1977)
- Garfield – 49 (1978)
- For Better Or For Worse – 43 (1979)
- Star Wars – 29 (1979)
- Goosemyer – 26 (1980)
- Kit ‘N’ Carlyle – 24 (1980)
- Winnie The Pooh – 22 (1978)
- Latigo – 21 (1979)
- John Darling, Levy’s Law (tie) – 17 (1979)