Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Maybe too close to home

I laughed at this Close to Home panel -- because I've certainly felt that way. "You need another crown, Ms. Rosenberry. Oh, did I show you the photos from our Tahiti vacation. We went shortly after your last visit..."


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Your Frank & Ernest fix

A bone for you "Frank & Ernest" fans! Keep those cards and letters coming.

Is F&E better or worse, day in and day out, than, say, "Marmaduke"? "Dennis the Menace?" "Family Circus?"

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Cubiclers unite!

To those who write in to say "Dilbert" is not funny, I respond: "You must not work in an office."


Friday, January 25, 2008

Brevity - funny a lot - or not

OK, someone else - or the same (hard to say with anonymous comments) - asking for Brevity.
But is it funny? I haven't been reading it of late, but before we dropped it I thought it was hitting maybe once or twice a week.
Follow the link, read back a few weeks or months, and let me know what you think.


Agnes makes me laugh

and think.

I've heard from a few Agnes fans. You can look through archives here.

So far, there's not much of a local fan base for Family Tree. A bit more for Cul de Sac, but nothing definitive. Readers are all over the map in their requests. My favorites so far are people who demand "no more animals!"

Here are a couple of comments about Cul de Sac on Dog eat Doug creator Brian Anderson's site. Interesting note: Two readers who say they don't enjoy Cul de Sac mentioned they like Dog eat Doug. Now we know DeD's Anderson is a Cul de Sac fan.

He also point to a strip that made me laugh out loud just now: Stewart the Bison by Scott Metzger. Here it is (oops, more animals!) :

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

For Better "re-runs" clarified

I was reading The Daily Cartoonist, a aimed at professional cartoonists, and saw an entry from Monday about Lynn Johnston's plans for the much-loved "For Better or For Worse."

The clarifications ran in an interview in E & P, a journal about the newspaper industry.
Check out the interview to see how Johnston's planning to tweak the "flashback" concept.
She says that by this fall all of her characters will freeze in time. After that, the 1979-launched comic will focus on the younger versions of the characters, some new material and some old, and drawn in her original style.
If you follow the comments, you'll see what others think of the idea.
More and more, I have to agree with some of the comments and a lot of local fans who have written in: Let the strip end on a high note. If you want to dive back into the past and rework the storylines, come out with a book. Fans will buy it.
Check out the links and let me know what you think.
Fans, are you eager to see this?

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Chickweed Lane

9 Chickweed Lane is another strip that readers ask for every now and then. I'm told The Gazette used to run it, but it fell out of favor and was dropped. I see it now and then, but it doesn't strike a chord with me.
A couple of readers have said we "wouldn't dare" run it. I've never seen anything in the strip that would be too controversial to run. It just doesn't seem that compelling.
Anyone out there a fan?


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Another workplace comic

Terence sent an e-mail asking if we could get a better balance of strips -- fewer family strips.

Here's one that's listed a workplace comic, Working It Out.
Do we need less family? Another serial? More one-panel gags?


Monday, January 21, 2008

Do soldiers love Beetle Bailey?

It's a question that pops up - often. Isn't there a more contemporary comic strip about the military?

Do we run Beetle Bailey because soldiers and others in/retired from the military like it, or because we think they like it?

I've heard variations on both questions since we began the test comic strips a week ago. Here's the skinny.

I haven't found a better military comic strip -- and I'd love to. Much like Dilbert and us folks in office land, the military is a never-ending source of humor, intended or otherwise.

So, if you see a military strip you love more than Beetle, let me know.

Do folks in the military or retired from the military love Beetle? I don't know. Some readers identify themselves as military, but not all.

Whether you're in the military or not, feel free to share your thoughts on the strip. I find it too predictable to read with regularity. I have plenty of relatives in/out of the military and grew up near an Air Force base with lots of Air Force families in my neighborhood, but I stopped snickering at the antics ages ago.

What about you?


Friday, January 18, 2008

Tumblin' Tumbleweeds

Ron wrote in to ask whether we'd consider running Tumbleweeds.

I haven't thought of that strip in ages! I ran in my hometown paper when I was little.

Never seen it? There's a sample above. Does it still resonate? Is the whole Cowboy and Indian thing too much a throwback? Bring a smile? Chuckle? Laugh? Outrage?


Are family strips funny?

I get a lot of calls and letters complaining that many of the family strips aren't funny.

Do they need to be?

I like Zits because it is a family strip and I think it's funny. I like Baldo because I like the kid characters and I like the multigenerational and multicultural family interacts.

A reader wrote that she enjoys For Better or For Worse and Stone Soup (above) because they "deal with the challenges of modern family life (and motherhood)."

That doesn't indicate they're funny, just that they deal with familiar subjects or deal with topics that reader can relate to.

That's today's Stone Soup above. The reader asked for its addition to the test lineup. Why not?


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Springs humor spreads

I'm at the end of a two-day board meeting with features editors from across the country. Everyone is asking about the changes to our comics pages and the response. It's interesting to hear how important comics are to everyone, no matter the paper, and how reluctant some editors are to engage in conversation about the strips.

Here's a strip I've had requests to run. In fact, I think another department pays for this already, so I could run it today. Maybe we should start a campaign to add more space for comics!

Have you seen F Minus? Any thoughts? Seems to strive for the Far Side fans, but I haven't seen it enough to know whether it hits the mark.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Get your Hagar fix

For you Hagar fans, here's today's strip. Hope it makes you chuckle.
I've contacted the company that paginates our comics-puzzles pages. Someone there grabbed The Gazette's pages and sent them down here to be printed before checking with his/her supervisor. That's how we got pages without Hagar. He should return with his antics in tomorrow's Food section.


Monday, January 14, 2008

B.C. still with us

I got a number of calls and an e-mail or two this morning, asking why we removed "B.C." from the comics pages. We didn't. It's still there, where it has been.

We removed "Wizard of Id" and "Frank & Ernest" - as the result of a vote by Gazette readers.

If you're a fan, let me know.

And if you're a fan of our newer strips, particularly "Lio," "Diesel Sweeties" and "Pooch Cafe," let your voice be heard. I don't generally hear from readers younger than 50 - unsolicited, anyway. I talk to younger readers all the time, and solicit their likes/dislikes on comics. But when I ask readers to vote or send in their opinions, I'm usually talking to folks who are my mom's age or older.

That doesn't give me a good idea of what all readers think. And that's what I need to make decisions. So: Everyone speak up!