The Better Half

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The Better Half
Author(s)Bob Barnes (1956–1970)
  • Ruth Barnes & Dick Rogers (1971-1979)
  • Vinnie Vinson (1979-1982)
  • Randy Glasbergen (1982-2014)
Current status/scheduleConcluded daily
Launch dateJune 1956[1]
End dateNovember 30, 2014
Syndicate(s)Register and Tribune Syndicate (1956–1986), King Features Syndicate (1986–2014)
Genre(s)Humor, gag cartoon, marriage

The Better Half is an American comic strip created by Bob Barnes. It follows the lives of a married couple, Stanley and Harriet Parker, and the usual annoyances couples have with one another after years of marriage. In 1958, the strip won Barnes the National Cartoonist Society Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award.

James Coco and Lily Tomlin made a sitcom pilot based on the strip for ABC in the early 1970s, but no series was ever made.

Publication history[edit]

The Better Half was distributed by the Register and Tribune Syndicate in 1956–1986 and King Features Syndicate from 1986 to 2014. Cartoonist Randy Glasbergen produced the strip from 1982 to 2014. At the end of syndication, The Better Half was appearing seven days a week in approximately 150 print and online newspapers around the world. The strip ended on November 30, 2014, after a 58-year run.


Creators who worked on the strip included creator Bob Barnes, who did the panel from its debut in 1956 until his death in 1970; his wife Ruth Barnes and illustrator Dick Rogers (1971–1979); Vinnie Vinson (1979-1982); and Randy Glasbergen (1982-2014). Between 1982 and 1992, Glasbergen did the strip under the pseudonym "Jay Harris," so as not to confuse publishers who were familiar with his different style of humor and character design. ("Harris" was his wife's maiden name.) As he was able to transform the characters to his own style, he began using his own name. In the process, Stanley became much shorter than Harriet and lost his scruffy mustache.


  • Stanley Parker is a stocky, middle-aged office manager who tends to be lazy, especially at home.
  • Harriet Parker is Stanley's thin (and thin-tempered) wife. Her cooking does not always agree with Stanley.
  • Bert is the proprietor and head cook of Bert's Beanery, a greasy spoon which Stanley frequents.



  1. ^ "ASK THE ARCHIVIST: BOB BARNES CENTENNIAL," Comics Kingdom (November 27, 2013).


  • Strickler, Dave. Syndicated Comic Strips and Artists, 1924-1995: The Complete Index. Cambria, California: Comics Access, 1995. ISBN 0-9700077-0-1
  • "NCS Awards: Newspaper Panel". Retrieved 6 December 2008.

See also[edit]