Does anyone else remember reading the newspaper comics as a kid and skipping past all these awful soap opera-styled comic strips?
They've always been a mystery to me. No one reads them, and yet they're still being churned out every single day, FOR DECADES.
I imagine if I had grown to an adult without the internet existing I might have followed them. As a kid I didn't read the newspaper every day, it was more for when you were stuck somewhere and it was all they had. By the time I grew old enough to follow news, I had the internet to get it from.
I remember I used to read Gasoline Alley, but mostly I preferred the action-adventure strips. Modesty Blaise, Buzz Sawyer, Captain Easy, Alley Oop... hell, when they "Defenders of the Earth" cartoon first came out I tired to make a scrapbook collection of the comic strips of Flash Gordon, Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician.
Naturally, I read the funny stuff as well...
This was what put me off them. Plus, as the OP mentioned, most of them had been running for decades by the time I started picking up the comics page, and this was when the internet was in its infancy. Barring a lot of really long visits to a library with a monstrous microfilm archive, there was never a way for me to get caught up.