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Horrible / Comic Strips

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"You're why newspapers are shrinking the comics page."

Newspapers have given us classics like The Family Circus, Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, and Peanuts. Unfortunately, they've also given us several stinkers as well. Common among the trash heap of the funnies are poor art, jokes a 5-year-old wouldn't find funny, poor characterization, and inane plots. There are also bad political cartoons, which have bad caricatures of the opposing side, poor arguments, and little purpose other than being Author Tracts.

For horrible graphic novels and comic books, see Comic Books.

Important Note: Merely being offensive in its subject matter isn't enough to justify a work as Horrible. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there's a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify here. Additionally, to ensure that the work is judged with a clear mind and the hatred isn't just a knee-jerk reaction, as well as to allow opinions to properly form, examples should not be added until at least one month after release. This includes "sneaking" the entries onto the pages ahead of time by adding them and then just commenting them out.

Examples (more-or-less in alphabetical order):

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    Newspaper Comics 
  • Reply All doesn't even have the saving grace of having passable art, as it resembles a 5th-Grader's MS Paint webcomic. Pupils are drawn outside the actual eyes, characters' hairstyles make them seem balding, and blatant copy-pasting makes the characters appear superimposed upon the backgrounds. The jokes are so poorly delivered that they become hard to distinguish from the actual dialogue. Reply All Lite, a single-panel "condensed" version, somehow manages to be worse by removing what little structure the original comic even had.
  • Working It Out is so violently unfunny that it can accidentally get a pity laugh out of the reader. Most of the "jokes" consist of really bad puns, boring and unfunny office "humor" everyone's heard a million times before, and things that seem like they're supposed to be jokes, but aren't. One example is a comic where the boss character is playing with his cell phone with the caption informing us that he likes to fire employees through text messages; this "joke" was used three times. Worse, it doesn't realize which comics are relevant enough to reprint. For example, a strip made in 2007 that references Myspace, which was big at the time, was reprinted in 2012 - after Facebook had overtaken Myspace as the most popular social media platform.

    Political Cartoons 
  • The Leftersons! is a politically-themed comic in the vein of Mallard Fillmore that somehow manages to be more Anvilicious and less funny than its inspiration. The creator of the comic doesn't seem to understand American Liberalism, so the strip fails at satire, and the characters have no personality to speak of. The art is unbelievably lazy: many panels, and even layouts for entire strips, are reused again and again with random background color changes. An example of its failure: the son of this Straw Character family is named Stalin and wears a Darwin-fish shirt, and his hair is done in a random-ass Totally Radical 1980s punk style, which shows you how up-to-date the author is.
  • Many consider the reactions in the political strips of Mallard Fillmore a textbook example of Confirmation Bias. The problem with that idea is that many people with similar views (conservatives, especially older ones) don't find the strip funny, those on the opposite side of the political spectrum tend to find the comic blatantly insulting, and non-political readers just find it unfunny. It tends to substitute talk radio talking points for punchlines, forgets to do its research, and frequently repeats the same "joke" over several strips from slightly different angles. It overuses Straw Liberals and stereotypes of people of color, many of whom are in the regular cast. This is actually pretty sad since Bruce Tinsley's non-political strips can be genuinely funny and do show a flair for observational humor; unfortunately, they make up less than 10% of the strip's output. Not helping is the fact that Mallard Fillmore has horribly lazy and ugly art, which often consists of either the duck's head shoved into a corner by a Wall of Text or Mallard splayed out in front of the television with his (thankfully) undetailed crotch on full display. In 2019, newspapers such as the San Diego Union-Tribune dropped the strip due to antisemitic humor, proving they no longer even found the comic a worthy balance to its liberal cohorts. This led to a long hiatus and Loren Fishman taking over Tinsley's duties making new comics in 2020. And then the entire Gannett newspaper chain dropped the strip over its depiction of trans women athletes.
  • Minimum Security is a naturalist comic about a girl and her anthropomorphic animal friends. It is filled with terrible artwork, Aesops that support using extreme violence note  and Straw Characters representing people the artist disagrees with, which would be: non-vegetarians, Republicans, car drivers, people who use the internet, people who support technological advancement, people who buy things, people who wear clothes, people who exist, etc. The artist has tried doing more conventional humor and failed at it. She also collaborated with another naturist artist to make As the World Burns, which can be found listed in the page for Comic Books. Even the groups in its primary demographic consider it too extreme and enforcing for their taste. You can still read the old strips online in a sense of Irony, as the artist frequently mocks technological advancement. However, some strips haven't been found nor scanned as they were originally printed in obscure newspapers.

Alternative Title(s): Newspaper Comics