Tuesday, February 23, 2021


Jeffrey Lindenblatt's Paper Trends: The Three Hundred for 1982 - Biggest Winners and Losers

As with the previous year, Garfield continues its rise to becoming one of the most successful strips of all time. From January 1980 to January 1981 Garfield gained 28 papers to reach a total 49 papers, which is the highest gain which we have seen so far. Now from January 1981 to January 1982 Garfield shattered its own record with an additional 41 papers!

No other feature would come near that; the next highest was Herman with a gain of 10 papers. Newer strips like Bloom County, For Better or For Worse, Bloom County, Shoe and Far Side all had nice increases. Here is the rundown:

The Biggest Gainers

  1. Garfield – 41
  2. Herman – 10
  3. Bloom County – 9
  4. For Better or For Worse – 8
  5. Hagar the Horrible, Ziggy – 7
  6. Family Circus, Far Side – 6
  7. Wizard of Id, Shoe – 5

The biggest losers are story strips, long-running strips and recent strips continuing their downward trend from last year. The biggest drop was again Star Wars which lost 21 papers in the previous survey. This year the strip lost 16 more papers making a 37 paper drop in the last two years. Steve Canyon who had been averaging a loss of 6 papers per year lost a new high of 14 papers during the past year.

The Biggest Losers

  1. Star Wars – 16
  2. Steve Canyon – 14
  3. Small Society – 11
  4. Winnie the Pooh – 9
  5. Bugs Bunny, Superheroes – 8
  6. Nancy, Berry’s World, They’ll Do It Every Time – 7
  7. Judge Parker, Tiger, Short Ribs, Donald Duck, Grin and Bear It, John Darling – 6
  8. Amazing Spider-Man, Tumbleweeds, Redeye, Goosemyer, Heart of Juliet Jones, Agatha Crumm, Flintstones, Incredible Hulk – 5

 Among the story strips, only Annie managed to buck the downward trend, gaining a single paper. The only other ‘gainer’ was Lone Ranger, which was a new strip. Here is the breakdown:


The total spots now given to story strips is 429, down from 510 which is a 16 percent drop from last year.


Note: The section on story strip listing is about adventure strips only. Since we are in the return of adventure strip years (1977-1985). Soap style strips are not listed. There downward trend happen years later.
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