Thursday, January 30, 2020


Jeffrey Lindenblatt's Paper Trends: The Three Hundred for 1979 -- The Rankings

This year lost ten papers that I had been tracking  – some might have gone out of business, others merged, yet others were alive and well but unavailable to the website at this time. Here are the papers that were counted last year but are lost for this year’s count:

Courier-Gazette (McKinney, TX), Eagle (Bryan, TX), Fort Collins Coloradoan (CO), Globe-Gazette (Mason City, IA), Mercury (Pottstown, PA), Plano Daily Star Courier (TX), Province (Vancouver, Canada), Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, TX), Vancouver Sun (Canada), Vernon Daily Record (TX).

This makes it a little complex to compare our first two years. Let’s take Beetle Bailey for instance. Last year it ran in 169 papers. This year the count was 171, apparently a modest gain of two papers. However, of the ten papers we lost this year, four of them ran Beetle Bailey. So if we were to assume that those papers kept bublishing and stuck with the strip, the actual gain was six. Of course there’s no guarantee they did that.

So what I did was to show for the top thirty features how many spots they lost due to those ten papers being unavailable, shown as a separate figure. That way you can take it into account with the net gain/loss figure.

Here’s an example of how to do so:

Born Loser shows a net loss of three papers this year. You can see also that it lost five papers through their loss from the statistics. Therefore the real gain/loss figure is actually somewhere between a net gain of two (if none of those papers had actually cancelled it or gone out of business) and a loss of three (if ALL of those papers really did go out of business or cancelled the strip).

Title Rank Rank Change from Previous Year Spots Lost Due to 10 Missing Papers Net Gain/Loss from Last Year Total Number of Papers
Peanuts 1 Same -5 2 191
Blondie 1 Plus 1 -4 4 191
Beetle Bailey 3 Same -4 6 171
Doonesbury 4 Plus 1 -2 8 97
Andy Capp 5 Minus 1 -2 2 95
Frank and Ernest 6 Plus 1 -4 7 89
B.C. 7 Plus 1 -3 6 88
Dennis the Menace 7 Plus 4 -1 9 88
Wizard of Id 7 Plus 1 -2 5 88
Hagar the Horrible 10 Plus 4 -2 12 86
Born Loser 11 Minus 5 -5 -3 82
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith 12 Minus 1 -3 1 79
Mary Worth 13 Minus 1 0 0 78
Hi and Lois 14 Minus 1 -4 0 75
Family Circus 15 Plus 2 -2 8 69
Nancy 16 Minus 1 -2 -4 66
Berry's World 17 Plus 4 -3 3 60
Alley Oop 18 Minus 2 -4 -2 57
Archie 18 Plus 2 -1 -3 57
Rex Morgan 18 Same -2 -3 57
Bugs Bunny 21 Plus 1 -2 -2 55
Amazing Spiderman 22 Plus 5 -2 6 54
Dick Tracy 22 Plus 1 -1 0 54
Steve Canyon 22 Minus 4 -2 -6 54
Eek and Meek 25 Plus 3 -3 3 49
Priscilla's Pop 26 Minus 3 -3 -4 48
Shoe 26 Plus 1 -2 3 48
Short Ribs 28 Minus 5 -4 -4 47
Winnie the Pooh 29 Rookie 46
Tiger 30 Plus 1 -1 2 45
Winthrop 30 Minus 7 -4 -6 45

 Here are the rest of the rankings. If you want detailed statistics, including which newspapers ran ech strip, email Allan ( and he'll send you a PDF of the long version of the list.

Title Total Number of Papers
Marmaduke 44
Buz Sawyer 42
Funky Winkerbean, Gasoline Alley 40
Tank McNamara 39
Captain Easy, Our Boarding House, Tumbleweeds 38
Judge Parker 37
Heathcliff, They’ll Do It Every Time 36
Funny Business, Herman, World’s Greatest  Superheroes 34
Redeye 30
Apartment 3-G, Dunagin’s People 29
Side Glances, Steve Roper and Mike Nomad 26
Donald Duck 25
Grin and Bear It, Mark Trail, Small Society 24
Broom-Hilda, Crock, Heart of Juliet Jones, Phantom, Ziggy 23
Cathy 22
Miss Peach 21
Kerry Drake, Hazel 20
Better Half 18
Graffiti, Incredible Hulk, Lockhorns, Momma, Ryatts 17
Jackson Twins, Scoops, Zoonies 16
Agatha Crumm, Rip Kirby 15
Garfield, Laff-A-Day, Mr. Tweedy, Sam and Silo 14
Charmers, Flintstones, Fred Basset, Henry, Love Is 13
Conan the Barbarian, Ripley’s Believe It or Not 12
Brenda Starr, Dondi, Ferd’nand, Inside Woody Allan, Joe Palooka, Mutt and Jeff, Winnie Winkle 11
Asterix & Obelix, Encyclopedia Brown, Gil Thorp, The Girls, Moose Miller, Nubbin, Rick O’ Shay 10
Animal Crackers, Ben Wicks, Motley’s Crew, Sporting Life, Star Hawks 9
Catfish, Ponytail 8
A Little Leary, Dr. Smock, Eb and Flo, Gordo, Little Orphan Annie, Mickey Mouse, Moon Mullins, Quincy, There Oughta Be A Law, Wee Pals, Wright Angles 7
According to Guinness, Little Woman, Lolly, Maestro & Amalita, Smith Family, Trudy 6
Amy, Boomer, Bringing Up Father, Captain’s Gig, Dr. Kildare, Flash Gordon, Gumdrops, Mr. Abernathy, Off the Record, Pavlov, Rivets, Scamp, Trim’s Arena, Tucker, Woody’s World 5
Belvedere, Boner’s Ark, Captain & Mandy, Emmy Lou, Flop Family, Frontiers of Science, Health Capsules, Johnny Wonder, Modesty Blaise, On Stage, Rooftop O’Toole, Stanley 4
Alex in Wonderland, Big George, Billy Bob, Brother Juniper, Carmichael, Casey, Circus of P.T. Bimbo, Don Q, Dropouts, Good News Bad News, Guindon, Kelly, Men and Women, Outcasts, Pixies, Simpkins, Spare Time Spanish, This Funny World 3
Basil, Citizen Smith, Clyde & Homer/Homer's Groaners, Freddy, Hap Hazard, Hubert, Kisses, Laugh Time, Luther, Mandrake the Magician, Norbert, Our Fascinating Earth, Queenie, Playing Better Golf with Jack Nicklaus, Sportsman’s Digest, Sports Quiz, Treadwells, Word A Day, Wordplay 2
Another View, As You Were, Benchwarmer’s Sports Trivia, Brick Bradford, Castaways, Ching Chow, Downstown, Elwyn, Fenwick, Figments, F. Stop Fitzgerald, Homemade Brownies, Jeff Hawke, Lansky’s Look, Laughs From Europe, Mark Trail’s Outdoor Tips, Missing Links, Murphy’s Law, Now Society, Pet Set, Popeye, Pot Shots, Quickies, Rocket Shots, Sal A. Mander, Secret Agent Corrigan, Selling Short, Skipping Classes, Smart Chart, Smokey Says, Sorehead, Splitsville, Stan Smith’s Tennis Class, Stoker the Broker, Strictly Business, Strike Three, Tarzan, The Bryds, Today’s World, Toppix, Travels With Farley, You’re Getting Closer 1


I can reassure you that the two Vancouver dailies are still limping along, waiting for Postmedia to expire. (stay tuned. Don't touch that dial!) And of course they are both running the most worn-out, formulaic and forgettable comics.
The two Vancouver papers will return for the 1980 listing. Their was a gap of what available for the first part of 1979.
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