A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions. Traditionally, throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, these have been published in newspapers and magazines, with horizontal strips printed in black-and-white in daily newspapers, while Sunday newspapers offered longer sequences in special color comics sections. With the development of the internet, they began to appear online as webcomics. There were more than 200 different comic strips and daily cartoon panels in American newspapers alone each day for most of the 20th century, for a total of at least 7,300,000 episodes.
Strips are written and drawn by a comics artist or cartoonist. As the name implies, comic strips can be humorous (for example, “gag-a-day” strips such as Blondie, Bringing Up Father, Marmaduke, and Pearls Before Swine).
Starting in the late 1920s, comic strips expanded from their mirthful origins to feature adventure stories, as seen in Popeye, Captain Easy, Buck Rogers, Tarzan, and The Adventures of Tintin. Soap-opera continuity strips such as Judge Parker and Mary Worth gained popularity in the 1940s. All are called, generically, comic strips, though cartoonist Will Eisner has suggested that “sequential art” would be a better genre-neutral name.
In the UK and the rest of Europe, comic strips are also serialized in comic book magazines, with a strip’s story sometimes continuing over three pages or more. Comic strips have appeared in American magazines such as Liberty and Boys’ Life and also on the front covers of magazines, such as the Flossy Frills series on The American Weekly Sunday newspaper supplement.