The Great Comic Strip Switcheroo

By | Thursday, April 21, 2022 3 comments
For April Fools Day back in 1997, the comics pages in the newspapers looked a little different. Forty-six syndicated cartoonists swapped strips for the day. Jim Davis drew Blondie, Bil Keane drew Dilbert, Bill Griffith drew Bizarro... It was dubbed The Great Comic Strip Switcheroo and was the brainchild of Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott. Most of the artists applied both their own illustration style and personal sense of humor to the new strips, which led to some very unusual twists on well-known comics. The comics' mastheads retained the original creators' bylines, but only some creators signed the strips they actually worked on, leading to some early internet discussion of who exactly worked on what. (Universal even sponsored a contest to correctly guess all the swaps.)

Kevin Fagan was unable to find a partner to switch with, so he simply drew Drabble with his left hand that day, as noted in the strip itself. Charles Schulz was scheduled to switch Patrick McDonnell, but ultimately decided it wasn't a good idea, so both Peanuts and Mutts ran normally.

Offhand, I can't seem to find all of the strips from that day online, but here are all the ones I've been able to locate, so you can see for yourself whose comics were improved by the switch!
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Matt K said...

omg I remember this; it was 25 years ago? gahhhh

Honestly, it feels like at least two lifetimes ago for me.

Andy Reynolds said...

I'd have noticed, perhaps, if Boston hadn't gotten two feet of snow that day. :(