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Rob Curley: No perfect way to pick top Non Sequitur strips, but we did it anyway

How do you possibly pick the top Non Sequitur cartoons of all time?

Well, first you understand that – like most things in life – comics are very personal in regards to how each person perceives them and reacts to them, and there is no way to rank something like that. Secondly, you know from the beginning that it can’t be a complete list of the best … more of just a guide to goodness.

All of that being said, the editors at Andrews McMeel Universal worked with The Spokesman-Review to come with some selections of the top Non Sequitur comics of all time. Some of the strips made the list because of the total number of reader requests for reprints from the syndicate’s “rights permissions” staff, as well as from audience numbers from the company’s website for comic fans called GoComics.

Also taken into consideration was the amount of times a particular strip was shared on social media or commented on.

So, what did Non Sequitur creator Wiley Miller think of the list? Here’s his reaction:

“I found it quite interesting and surprising what the syndicate found were the most popular editions on Non Sequitur. The one that didn’t surprise me was the one that came out as No. 1. Ever since it was published, it continually gets requests for reprints. But what goes hand-in-hand with the typical artist being their own worst critic is being their own analyst. It’s pretty much impossible for me break down each one and explain them in a literal, logical manner. That goes against the very nature of cartoons and creativity in general. Cartooning, indeed, all of satire, is an abstract art that defies analysis. Once you try to explain it, it falls apart. So I won’t try.

“But when I look at them as a whole, you can see a pattern. They all delve into very basic, primal human nature. They each attracted great numbers in popularity with readers because readers could recognize themselves in the satire, along with silliness and angst we all see and do. And that’s ultimately the goal I set for myself in Non Sequitur from the outset almost 27 years ago.

“I come from an editorial background as a cartoonist, where I don’t do typical gags. As an editorial cartoonist, I learned that the cartoons that reached people the most were the ones that came from an honest, personal point of view, not the ones where I was just talking AT the readers by making fun of what was in the headlines, whether I understood the issue or not. Readers want honesty, not pandering. So that’s where all these cartoons hit with readers, a personal take in a silly manner that hits home with most of them.

“It would be a lot easier to do formula gags, or simply buy them from gag writers, but there’s no satisfaction in that. Cartooning is writing, and the first axiom of writing is, ‘write what you know’, and by trying to stay true to myself and express what I see and feel, it’s far more satisfying to me as an artist and resonates more with my readers. At least that’s what I’ve been trying to do every day for the past 27 years of Non Sequitur.”

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The Spokesman-Review readers voted and Non Sequitur will return to the comic pages of the paper on Sunday, Aug. 4.

The day after his comic returns to The Spokesman-Review, Wiley Miller will be a part of a special gathering of our very popular Northwest Passages book club and community forum. VIP attendees get an exclusive poster of these comics. GET TICKETS HERE

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