Jeffrey Lindenblatt’s Paper Trends: The Three Hundred for 1984 – Rookie Features

In past years we had many strips that debuted with a big client list in their first year, then  the client list dropped and the features get cancelled in a few years. Other strips have a less impressive debut, and over time gain papers to become highly successful strips. In 1983, on the other hand, we have no really impressive rookie debuts – the best is 18 papers by the strip Mister Men and Little Miss by Paul Sellers and Roger Hargreaves. This seemingly impressive debut owes a lot to it being an NEA replacement strip. This strip replaced Priscilla’s Pop, which in its last year on the survey had 39 papers. So less than half of the papers decided to replace Priscilla’s Pop with Mister Men and Little Miss. The strip would only last for four years.

 None of the rookie strips of 1983 would have a real impact in the comic section, in fact most of them would not survive past the end of the decade. Here is the list, with number of survey papers in which they ran. :

Mister Men and Little Miss – 18 (NEA Syndicate)

Fenton – 12 (Field Enterprises)

Captain Vincible – 10 (King Features)

Elwood – 8 (Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate)

Clout Street – 6 (Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate)

McGonigle of the Chronicle – 5 (Field Enterprises)

Bears In Love – 3 (Universal Press Syndicate)

 The rest of the new strips – Outtakes (2), Balderdash (1), Ernie’s World (1)*, Pig Newton (1), Rudy (1), Silent Partners (1), Speed Walker (1), Wilbur (1)*

 Top 5 Strips for 1984 that began in 1977-1983, with number of papers this year:

Garfield (1978) – 172

Shoe (1977) – 93

For Better or For Worse (1979) – 75

Bloom County (1980) – 66

Marvin (1982) – 48  


 * local strips

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