Thursday, May 21, 2009

Longest Running Fictional Character

My sister Allison sent me this article asking about the longest running fictional character of all time. The writer has indeed stacked things in favor of Superman, and both comic books and newspaper comic strips seem to have a huge advantage in this kind of contest.

Still, the Phantom who was created in 1936 beats Superman out by several years, and (from reading the blog's responses) I see that people have pointed out that the characters in Gasoline Alley and Little Orphan Annie both trump the Man of Steel as well. Annie has been an orphan since 1924 and Gasoline Alley started publication in 1918. Even the relative newcomers Dick Tracy (1931) and Prince Valiant (1937) have maintained continuity for longer.

My first thought for the all time champion was Nick Carter an adventurer/detective whose published adventures began in 1886. Sadly, though Carter continued to appear regularly until 1990, the series ended at that time.

There has got to be some mention of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. They have been teen detectives since 1927 and 1930 respectively.

I know that the article was really trying to make a point about the problems with allowing character series to continue for such long periods of time, but this has turned into a fun game.

I'm sure there are some I'm missing. Any suggestions?

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