THE LITTLE red-headed girl might not love him, but our readers think Charlie Brown is tops.
Peanuts, celebrating its 40th anniversary year, ranked No. 1 on The Evening Sun's comic survey, garnering the greatest percentage of approval votes registered by readers and other callers to SUNDIAL, the telephone information service of The Baltimore Sun.
Of the 3,239 who completed the survey, 85 percent indicated they liked the American icon comic strip, drawn by the venerable Charles Schulz and seen daily in 2,300 newspapers throughout the world.
Following right behind Peanuts was Calvin & Hobbes (83 percent), the adventures of a precocious and mischievous boy and his rough-and-tumble tiger companion (who is invisible to grown-ups).
Seen in more than 900 papers, Calvin & Hobbes is drawn by Bill Watterson, an artist in his early 30s who has chosen to work in relative obscurity. The Evening Sun was among the first papers in the nation to feature Calvin & Hobbes from its first day, back in November 1985.
Callers were read a list of 39 comic strips and panels that appear daily in The Evening Sun and in the Saturday Sun. Callers were asked to respond in one of three ways: like, dislike or don't know/don't read. This unscientific (but nonetheless interesting) survey was conducted Oct. 22-28.
Other favorites in the top five were, in order, Garfield (79 percent), B.C. (78) and The Family Circus (77).
In the household of favorites, Annie (20 percent) was orphaned, Juliet Jones' (20) bleeding heart was left to hemorrhage, Judge Parker (21) was on the receiving end of some serious alienation of affection and Zippy (24) was zapped. Those strips earned the dubious distinction of finishing in the bottom 10. Batman, which also finished near the bottom, was discontinued last Monday to make room for Normal, a new strip created by Baltimoreans Craig Hankin and Tom Chalkley. Because Normal began after the survey was taken, we will have to wait until our next comic survey to determine its popularity.
We heard from readers of all ages, but the largest group (39 percent) was 18-34 years old, followed by 35-54 years old (34 percent). Readers 55 years old and above accounted for 14 percent. Fifty-eight percent of the participants were men.
Should you have any questions or comments about the survey and its results, feel free to call me during business hours at 332-6507.