I have loved cartoons and comic strips since I was a kid, for their brilliant, compressed insights.
I have been a Pogophile since the day I first saw a strip in the 1950s. Walt Kelly knew something magical about language.
Pogo was first drawn in 1943 and the first Pogo strips were nationally distributed in 1949. Kelly died in the 1970s. His wife and son tried to carry on the strip for a while, but it didn't have the same magic for me.
Peter Campbell has a nice page about George Herriman's Krazy Kat, the finest, warmest, most surreal comic strip from the 1920s and 30s.
Lynda's comics are intense and beautiful. They shake you up. They make you look. It's easy to care about Marlys.
Gary Larson's Far Side cartoons were a portal into a strange and wonderful world. He retired from cartooning in 1995, and I miss his work. He has asked that people not scan and post his pictures: see his letter. You can still buy plenty of Far Side books, shirts, and greeting cards. I hope he's getting rich.
Calvin and Hobbes was a wonderful strip. We should all have a friend like Hobbes. Bill Watterson also retired from cartooning, on January 1, 1996.
Dilbert was the first thing I turned to in the San Jose Mercury. I've seen some people objecting to the massive commercialization of this strip. Doesn't bother me. Many of the situations and behaviors in Dilbert are just like ones I've really observed in Silicon Valley companies. (Best line: "Congratulations! You're in the club. Here's your hat.")
This is a great tabloid produced in Santa Cruz, California, by Thom Zajac. It comes out every two weeks, and has dozens of editorial cartoons from newspapers around the world, distilling facts and opinion about the facts into concise pictures. The Comic News was the first cartoon newspaper: now there are about thirty. It used to reprint The Far Side.
I used to post a cartoon a week below the caption "Software Engineering Cartoon." It's amazing how many cartoons are relevant: for instance the Gary Larson showing the monkey in a space capsule trying to eat a banana without removing his helmet; or the George Booth cartoon showing the garage mechanic in his office, surrounded by several of those great scratching dogs, and saying to a customer "Murchison thinks it's dog hair in your fuel line."
Although I'm not artistic, I made a few software engineering comics of my own, using a Mac program called Comic Strip Factory, now defunct.