On April 1, most people are highly aware of the potential for pranks. One place they don’t typically expect hijinx, however, is in their daily newspaper—but on April 1, 1997, that’s exactly where the jokes came from. No, readers that day were not met with stories about fake crimes or phony local news, but when they turned to the page featuring the comics, they quickly noticed something was definitely off.
That was the day of the great Comic Strip Switcheroo, a prank that featured 46 different cartoon artists swapping comics for the day, allowing them to imbue a brand new comic panel space with their own sensibility, humor, and drawing style. Let’s take a look at some of the strips from that day.
1. Blondie (By Jim Davis of Garfield)
2. Shoe (By Mort Walker of Beetle Bailey)
3. The Family Circus (By Scott Adams of Dilbert)
Here is the comic The Family Circus ran the next day.