8 Best Classic Newspaper Comic Crossovers

With the 2023 debut of the Berkeley-based animated series Breathed’s Bloom Countythe next seasonal viewing tradition A Charlie Brown Christmasand the November 2022 launch of Netflix Addams Family adaptation Wednesday, Comic book properties continue to be an important part of pop culture. Daily comics were an integral part of life before the internet, and loyal fans followed their favorite cartoon characters week after week.

Occasionally the creators would ‘invite’ other well-known comic book characters into their own strips (with permissions), and there was the infamous April Fool’s 1997 ‘Great Comics Switcheroonie’, where other cartoonists traded drawing assignments without the knowledge of their editors just to give fans of fun pages a cute Easter egg with their morning coffee.


Garfield and peanuts

A multi-panel image of a guest from the Garfield comic featuring Snoopy is displayed.

Arguably the two most widely circulated and popular comic books of all time, as well as the media’s leading licensed product providers, GarfieldThe creator of Jim Davis paid tribute to the work of Charles Schulz Peanuts several times throughout his rich career. In fact, as this list indicates, Schulz tended to be the go-to person when other cartoonists wanted to honor “Sparky,” whom they believed to be the master craftsman of their craft.

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Sometimes they just got permission to use one of his characters in their own work, as this Sunday multi-panel offering shows. On occasion, the two creators would collaborate together and work on a team project. Although the titular lasagna-loving cat in question seems a bit overbearing in this outing.

Blondie’s 75th birthday

A five-panel image of Blondie's full-page 75th anniversary tribute from the comic is shown.

blonde has been regularly published in newspapers since 1930 and is an American staple. A long series of films and a popular radio show in the 1940s were based on Blondie’s comic book characters. The Chic Young designer probably had no idea how long his creation would last, as it would live on throughout the 20th century, appearing in over 2,000 newspapers in 47 countries until his 75th birthday.

For the occasion, Chic’s son, Dean, to whom the creative rights passed after Chic’s death, sought the consent of several other cartoon entities to include in a multi-panel snap to the whole medium. The strip includes characters from BC, Baby Blues, Hagar the Horrible, Mutts, Family Circus, Beetle Bailey, Garfieldand many others.

Flash Gordon and Sally Forth

An image of a Sally Forth multi-panel comic in the style of the Flash Gordon strip is shown.

Adventure comics were far more popular than comedy-focused offerings in the mid-20th century, and offered a brief but scintillating escape for adult and younger readers. comics like Steve Canyon, Brenda Starr, The Phantomand Terry and the Pirates were smaller daily newspapers derived from the actual comic strips found on newsstands across the United States.

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The gold standard in terms of inheritance is usually attributed to Flash Gordonthe sci-fi series that was eventually adapted into a rather infamous B-movie and countless parodies. Sally out Creator Greg Howard, who named his eponymous strip after the phrase “to embark on” an adventure, incorporated his admiration for Flash Gordon into this strip.

Fox Trot and guests

A multi-panel image from Bill Amend's Fox Trot comic with guest characters from other comics is featured.

fox trot Creator Bill Amend was somewhat known for including frequent meta-comments in his strip panels regarding other properties outside of his Fox Family comic book characters. Cartoonists tend to be a kind of brotherhood, and there’s no better proof of that than Amend’s long-term “feud” with fellow creator Stephen Pastis of Pearls before pork fame, in which each cartoonist ridiculed the other for the better part of several years in occasional shots through their characters in their respective strips.

In the strip rendered here, Amend shows his obvious love for his fellow artists by having his signature character Jason Fox take on the appearances of several cartoon characters, including Cathy, Hagar the Horrible, Huey Freeman from The Boondocksand Michael Doonesbury.

The Family Circus and Dustin

A single panel image of comic book guest Dustin featuring Billy from the Family Circus is shown.

Bill Keane The family circus is the most widely distributed single-panel comic book across the world, appearing in over 1,500 newspapers to date. Almost always using a single caption base panel with a rounded border, the slice of suburban Americana has been a consistent part of the fun pages since 1960, based on creator Keane’s own family, marriage, and Catholic faith.

His most iconic renditions include 7-year-old Billy’s ‘guest cartoonist’ panels, the unseen childhood excuse gremlins ‘Not Me’, ‘Ida Know’ and ‘Nobody’, and perhaps its best-known format honored here by Dustin creators Steve Kelley and Jeff Parker, in which the titular character Billy wanders around his neighborhood or home via dotted paths.

Crazy magazine and peanuts

A 4-panel Peanuts strip crossing Alfred E. Neuman from Mad Magazine is shown.

It would be hard to find a Gen X baby boomer or comic writer or author who hasn’t been deeply influenced by their childhood and teenage explorations of Mad magazine literature. The gold standard to which all satirical and parody periodicals owed allegiance, Mad The magazine was first launched as a comic strip of sardonic commentary on American society and television and film parodies.

Schulz’s characters Peanuts are often cited in various Mad satires over the years, and in one of Schulz’s funniest parodies, Charlie Brown suffers from a kind of sports depression after seeing a giant baseball instead of the sun. He ends up going out to check again and sees Madinstead, the eponymous mascot Alfred E. Neuman.

Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes

An image of a Bloom/Calvin and Hobbes County mashup multi-panel strip is shown.

Bloom County and the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed is just as much a rabid fan of Bill Watterson Calvin and Hobbes like anyone else and has shown himself as such with various appearances over the years from the precocious Calvin or his stuffed tiger Hobbes engaging with regulars at Milo Bloom’s boarding house.

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Watterson and Breathed have collaborated to create a mashup of their respective tapes, like this variant of Spaceman Spiff in which Calvin interrupts the private time of Bloom County Lotario Steve Dallas. It’s a box ticker for fans of both comics, as each work ran the finely-edged gauntlet of examining human nature and existential conflict through the eyes of children matured beyond their years and beyond. anthropomorphic animals.

Wonder and Peanuts

An image of a multi-panel Peanuts strip featuring a Spider-Man crossover appearance is shown.

Yes, it’s true, The Amazing Spider-Man indeed had his own daily diary strip for a time from 1977 to 2019. Legendary Marvel artist John Romita Sr. received a fan request to draw a strip in which Spider-Man finally helps Charlie Brown to throw the football, which Lucy regularly withdraws. , resulting in the longtime classic Charlie Brown erasure.

Conceived in a way clearly written by Romita, the tape received clearance rights from Schulz himself, as evidenced by his signature at the top of the backboard, although this is the only known occasion Charlie Brown can actually kick the ball. It’s a hilarious crossover, especially in the way Peter Parker uses his webs to keep Lucy off the ball, much like he might a mean henchman.

Next: 10 Most Iconic Newspaper Comics From The 80s