Jeffrey Lindenblatt’s Paper Trends: The Three Hundred for 1983 – Rookie Features

 1982 was a year that favored non-rookie strips when papers were looking to add features. However, there were a few successful debuts in the calendar year of 1982 and two of them are still being syndicated in American papers. The big winner with 39 papers was Tom Armstrong’s Marvin, syndicated by Field Enterprises. Coming in second was the Australian import Snake Tales, with 26 papers. This strip was syndicated by NEA and filled a space left when another of the syndicate’s strip was cancelled; in this case it was the end of Short Ribs. Coming in third was another long-term success from Field; Sally Forth debuted  with 21 papers.

Here is the breakdown:

Marvin – 39 – Field Enterprises
Snake Tales – 26 – NEA
Sally Forth – 21 – Field Enterprises
Great John L – 19 – NEA
Conrad – 16 – Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate
Geech – 14 – Universal Press Syndicate
Arnold – 4 – Field Enterprises

The rest of the new strips – Dusty Chaps (3), Evermores (2), Full Disclosure (2), The Gazebo (1)*, Gramps (1), Kaleb (1), Ribbons (1), Sergeant Preston (1), Sorehead** (1), Teenie (1), Tom and Jerry (1)

Bringing us up to date on strips that began between in 1977-1982, here’s how the most successful of those debuts were doing by January 1983:

Garfield – 142
Shoe – 86
For Better or For Worse – 66
Amazing Spider-Man – 45
Bloom Country – 44
Marvin – 39

* sort of a promo strip; it only lasted a month

** actually ran (sporadically) for 15 years starting in 1969, but this is the first time it came within the sights of The 300

3 comments on “Jeffrey Lindenblatt’s Paper Trends: The Three Hundred for 1983 – Rookie Features

  1. I'm vagely familiar with several attempts at a "Tom and Jerry" newspaper strip (one from the 1950s and another that ran in foreign papers), but I don't think I ever ran into the 1980s version.

  2. Hi Brubaker — The one Jeffrey mentions is the Editors Press Service strip, which was only available outside the US (a few of The 300 are Canadian papers).

    –Allan

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