Comic Strip / Comics

What Happened to the Comic Strip Nancy?

Comic strips have been a part of American culture for over a century, bringing laughter and joy to millions of readers. One such comic strip was “Nancy,” which debuted in 1933 and quickly became a fan favorite. However, over the years, the popularity of Nancy has waned, leaving many to wonder what happened to this beloved character.

The Rise of Nancy

When “Nancy” was first introduced by cartoonist Ernie Bushmiller, it was a simple strip featuring a young girl named Nancy and her friend Sluggo. The characters were drawn with simple lines and basic shapes, but what they lacked in detail they made up for in their relatable personalities.

As the years went on, Bushmiller continued to refine his characters and storytelling techniques. He introduced new characters like Aunt Fritzi and added more depth to Nancy’s adventures. By the 1950s, “Nancy” was one of the most popular comic strips in America.

The Decline of Nancy

Despite its early success, “Nancy” began to lose its popularity in the 1980s. The rise of television and video games meant that fewer people were reading newspapers, which had always been the primary medium for comic strips.

In addition to changing media habits, some critics argue that “Nancy” simply didn’t evolve with the times. The strip remained largely unchanged from its debut in 1933 until Bushmiller’s retirement in 1982. After that, various artists took over the strip but were unable to capture the same magic that had made it so popular decades earlier.

  • What Happened Next?

Today, “Nancy” is still being published by Andrews McMeel Syndication and can be found online or in select newspapers. However, it no longer holds the same cultural significance that it once did.

Despite its decline in popularity, “Nancy” remains an important part of American comic strip history. Its simple characters and relatable stories helped pave the way for future strips like “Peanuts” and “Calvin and Hobbes.”

The Legacy of Nancy

While “Nancy” may not be as well-known as it once was, its impact on the world of comics is undeniable. The strip introduced new storytelling techniques, such as the use of blank panels to create comedic timing, that are still used today.

In addition to its technical innovations, “Nancy” also inspired a generation of cartoonists. Many artists credit the strip with inspiring them to pursue a career in comics or influencing their artistic style.


In conclusion, while “Nancy” may not be as popular as it once was, its impact on American comic strips cannot be underestimated. Its simple characters and relatable stories paved the way for future strips and helped shape the medium into what it is today. While we may never see Nancy grace the pages of newspapers like she once did, her legacy will live on for generations to come.