Comics are an interesting medium of art. They come in a number of forms, of course. First, there are comic books for children, which seem to have largely died out. Then there are comic books for adults; these are split into things like Viz and things like Superman. The latter are particularly weird. Then there are actually funny comics, comics which tell a story, editorial comics, and, finally, and weirdest of all, those comics which turn up in the comics pages of newspapers.
Right. First, we can ignore the kids' comics as irrelevant and of a prior age; the Dandy and that terrifying thing with all the horses and so forth. I do not pretend to understand the motivation beyond grown adults reading the long, long, tedious storylines that the likes of Marvel put out about boring non-existent super-persons.
Then there are funny comics. Despite the name, there are very few funny comics (which are not also editorial comics; see below). Things like the Far Side qualify, I suppose. There are quite a number of rather disturbing comics which are sometimes funny in their disturbingness, this, this, this and this for instance. Note that they're all webcomics.
There are then comics which tell a story, like this or this. Webcomics, generally.
Now, the newspapers. Non-editorial newspaper comics are very special. They somehow contrive to be universally non-funny, and yet also generally not tell a story. If they do tell a story it is generally far too tedious to think about. Thousands of examples here. I mean, really. Things like Garfield and that stupid rhyming pig thing. And Peanuts. And hundreds of others. Presumably someone likes them, because the newspapers persist in printing them, but I can't quite understand why. Take the last comic mentioned here. Marmaduke. Very popular. Not funny at all in any way. Awful rubbish. But it sells.
And then there are the editorial comics. These can actually be quite funny, but more often than not they are just bizarre. Personally, I find left-wing ones more often funny than unbiased ones, and bizarre right-wing ones like this and this generally very unfunny, but that is presumably because I'm a gay atheist who doesn't believe in cutting taxation or execution or longer jail sentences or any of that 'common sense' crap. Wonderful reviews of editorial comics are here. Here's what has become effectively an editorial comic, which I love very much. Interestingly, it used to be more of a Far Side style comic, but the author was suitably outraged by the excesses of the Bush regime and went political. The author's statement is particularly good.
Hmm, I sort of lost track of where I was going with this piece. But yes, basically, I find those comics that you find in the comics section of newspapers generally totally inexplicable. Weird, weird, weird. I do think that part of the reason may be the heavy censorship of newspaper comics for syndication; if you read Scott Adams' (Dilbert) blog you will see that he often gets told to get rid of stupidly non-offensive things because they might offend somebody. By the way, this is selective; in general, the forbidden subjects are toilets and sex. The two despoilers of modern society.