The Better Half
is the title of a comic strip
created by Bob Barnes
. It has been syndicated since 1956. Creators who have worked on the strip include Barnes (1956-1972), Ruth Barnes and Dick Rogers (1973-1978), Vinnie Vinson (1979-1982), Jay Harris (1982-1992), and Randy Glasbergen
The strip follows the lives of a married couple, Stanley and Harriet Parker, and the usual annoyances couples have with one another after years of marriage.
Comparisons to The Lockhorns
The strip is seen by many as a much tamer version of The Lockhorns
, but with a few differences:
- Though both are single-panel strips featuring one character talking most of the time, The Better Half occasionally shows frames where both are talking, which The Lockhorns never does.
- Like The Lockhorns, Stanley and Harriet do not have kids. However, they do discuss wanting to having them from time to time.
- While The Lockhorns do not have pets, Stanley and Harriet have a cat that often appears in the background of strips.
- While The Lockhorns appear to generally hate one another, Stanley and Harriet do appear to try to love one another despite everything.
- Jay Harris was actually a pseudonym of Randy Glasbergen. He didn't want to confuse publishers who were familiar with his different style of humor and character design. As he was able to transform the designs to his own style, he began using his own name. "Harris" was his wife's maiden name.
- Bob Barnes received the National Cartoonist Society Newspaper Panel Cartoon for 1958 in the strip.
- James Coco and Lily Tomlin made a sitcom pilot based on the strip for ABC in the early 1970s. It wasn't picked up for a series.
- Strickler, Dave. Syndicated Comic Strips and Artists, 1924-1995: The Complete Index. Cambria, CA: Comics Access, 1995. ISBN 0-9700077-0-1.