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!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lio, Diesel Sweeties & Pooch Cafe should all be REMOVED. Put Wizard of Id BACK! I'm all for trying out new strips as we NEED a smile. Why not expand the comics page and leave the good ones IN! Denver newspapers run more comic pages, why can't you? Family Tree and Cul De Sac appear good but INCLUDE them with Wizard. Keep the comics & puzzles. They all sell papers.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Threeboy said...

Diesel Sweeties is one of the best MODERN comics there is. We can't cling to Wizard of Id, Haggar and BC for the rest of our lives - let's move forward ;)

3:40 PM  
Blogger absinthetic said...

I agree with threeboy. The only way to keep paper subscriptions going is to attract the younger generation, and you're not doing that with Family Circus or Wizard of Id. Web-to-print comics like Diesel Sweeties is definitely the way to go.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dena - It should tell you something when the only people who respond are over 50. Those are the people who buy the Gazette. Now to the new comic strips - keep Wizard of Id. It's too early to tell about Family Tree and Cul-de-Sac.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Dena Rosenberry said...

If I could convince my bosses and the money people that it makes sense to add more comics, they'd be here already.

They aren't buying it. It's tough to keep the comics and puzzles we have - and the paper they're printed on.

I suspect the Denver papers have more comics pages because they're larger papers with larger budgets.

But I'll keep pushing to keep our 2 pages of comics in the daily. At least we managed to keep all but 1 strip in Sundays - even though they're smaller.

Spread the word. If you want to see more, or something different, they need to speak up!

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate that we old-timers will die soon so why listen to us, but we are the ones who buy the paper. If 'Frank and Earnest' are out, why is it in the paper and 'Hagar' is gone? "Diesel Sweeties" sucks big time.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Dena Rosenberry said...

No, our readers aren't only age 50 and older - especially when it comes to comics. Our biggest audience, in percentage of an age group who reads the comics daily and Sunday is the 18-34 group.

I hear more often from older readers because they have the time to write and call. That follows across the board, whether you're talking about Metro stories, sports stories, home improvement stories or dining reviews.

More than half of local residents ages 35-54 report reading The Gazette 4-5 times a week. And more than a third of local people ages 18-34 do, too.

Local residents ages 18-34 say they read the comics 4-5 times a week.

That's a lot of people reading, even if they don't take time to write or call unless solicited.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Dena Rosenberry said...

I listen to readers of all ages. If I only listened to young readers the comics pages would be VASTLY different.

Thanks for pointing out the printers dropped "Hagar" instead of "Frank & Ernest." I'll make sure they correct that.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lio, Diesel Sweeties, and Pooch Cafe are all awesome, but Wizard of Id, BC and Hagar are too.

Marmaduke, Mutts, Family Circus, and strips like that that are "cute" and not funny at all seem REALLY DUMB to me and my friends!!!
Family Tree and Cul De Sac appear like that too(I miss the funnier Wizard of Id), but it is too early to tell for certain. However, I have reason to believe that most of my age group and I (I am 12) feel the same way and that complex, partially true humor that exaggerates funny character traits, such as the type found in Foxtrot, The Far Side, and Pearls Before Swine, is much FUNNIER. Now, that feeble explanation does not do the strips justice(especially Far Side), but hopefully you can see what I mean if you've read them. The realism of the strips ring true, and when it is taken just the right amount further, it becomes very funny. However, just because I talk of realism is not to say I want all strips to focus on people. It is not the actual characters that ring true but the emotions, habits, and reasonings of thse characters. I feel very strongly that comics should not just be cute but funny-- I believe that both can be accomplished(e.g.Calvin and Hobbes), but comics that are purely cute(e.g. Mutts) seem just plain dumb to me.

Thanks for letting me just get on and say stuff without having to sign up or something because otherwise my parents wouldn't let me. I read the comics every day and I feel very strongly about them. It feels very good just to spout off about them.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I already have an opinion about "Cul de Sac", my local paper in Portland, OR - The Oregonian - runs it. Don't like it, the plots and punchlines are non sensical. It's children blathering. The drawing style is shoddy. Why does Bill Waterson like it? There's no intelligence to it.

Diesel Sweeties I love to hate. The personalities are detestible and yet my sarcastic and cynical self adores it.

Pooch Cafe is one of the most hilarious pet strips. a bit morbid to be in a family paper.

Otherwise, the Gazette has the best comic section of any newspaper in any city I've been to. Which is why I have my COS family keep it and mail it to me half the country away.

Btb, I'm 30.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Dena Rosenberry said...

Hey, Anon 12-year-old.
I'm with you regarding "Marmaduke" and "Family Circus."

I've got a couple of comics that shoot for the same humor as "Far Side," so I'll test those soon. Too bad we can't get new "Far Side" comics. Same with "Calvin and Hobbes."

We'll see about "Mutts." Readers seem to love it or hate it - and the audience is divided. It definitely not FUNNY, but I can't say all the strips we run are funny. But I do think comics should make a point.

I thought "Family Tree" would appeal to our middle-of-the-roaders.

I decided to rry out "Cul de Sac" because those middle schoolers seemed to like it. At least enough to read a month's worth.

We'll see.

Keep reading and writing. I need to hear from you and your friends.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Dena Rosenberry said...

Oregon reader,
Great to hear from you. Interesting to hear about Cul de Sac, too. We'll see how it plays out.

See anything in the Portland paper (Oregonian or other) that you think would be a good addition to The Gazette? Let me know.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Pooch and Lio. In fact my whole family fights for the paper to read Lio first. They just feel more like 21st century comics than Wizard of Id and Frank & Ernest. Both of which seemed to be extremely formulaic and repetitive.

Cul de Sac looks great but I'll wait to pass judgment and Family Tree is OK ... I like the premise but it hasn't made me laugh or smile. In fact, it seems pretty predictable ... and the characters are freaky looking.

I think newspapers need to change more, sticking to "old reliables" won't help the medium transition.

Thanks ... a comics loving family

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Lio, Disel sweeties and Rose is Rose are the totally stupid ones not including the 2 new ones Family tree and Cul De Sac which are even stupider. I want SIDE SPLITTING laughs: not comics my little brother could have written. These do not make me want to read the comics. We need Wizard of Id back and we definently need Frank and earnest back:) by the way, im in high school so this is from a teenagers point of view (i love zits)

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a mother, I do not want to see lio in the comics. We already live in a violent gruesome world and all that comic does is help add to the violence and the gruesome things my family sees everywhere else. This is a family paper.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Billy O. said...

LIO is awesome!

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am VERY disapppointed that the Gazette removed Wizard of Id. The two new strips, Family tree and Cul de Sac were, at least today, not humorous at all. Please put Wizard back!! If you need to eliminate a strip I suggest you toss "Lio". Definitely not funny at all...

10:29 PM  
Blogger Dena Rosenberry said...

Well, give the new strips time, and see what you think. They may be "keepers," they may not. But readers who responded to our request for votes didn't think "Wizard" was funny - or had stopped being funny - either.

I don't think today's "B.C." was even remotely funny, either, but it's a reader favorite, so, at least for now, it's stays.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Dena Rosenberry said...

Great to hear from a teenager, too. I figured you'd love Zits. Most teens I've talked to do, too. I talk to one gentleman regularly who is sure it's undermining American family life, but I don't believe that's true.

What other comics make you laugh? I don't expect all of the comics we run to make you laugh - cuz if they do, they probably aren't making your dad laugh or your grandma laugh or the first-grader next door laugh -- and I need to keep those people happy, too. (Happy being relative.)

So, what other comics make you laugh?

10:47 PM  
Blogger Dena Rosenberry said...

Mom, I appreciate your comments on violence in society, but I disagree this adds to the mix. It's fantasy.

I remember that strip where the bully kid is lighting a bug on fire using a magnifying glass, or something similar, and Lio imagines building a large magnifying glass to give the bully a taste of his own medicine. It's giving a vision to fleeting thoughts of righting wrongs, even though you know it won't happen.

And I love that sometimes you have to think about it a while before you get the gag.

And no way do I expect everyone to like this strip.

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a communications major at CSU and I can assure you that no one in my peer group is attracted to strips like BC, Wizard of Id and WIly and Ethel. We like CONTEMPORARY HUMOR not stuff from the Carter administration. Cul De Sac's art is funny on its own, Family Tree appeals to a lot of people I know ... at least premise wise. Stay strong Gazette it isn't 1964 anymore. And I'm sure anyone who wants it to be can go down to the Gazette and read their archives.

11:04 PM  
Anonymous sal said...

I can't believe readers voted off Wizard of Id ~ along with B.C. they're the only reason I even read the "comic" pages--PLEASE rethink this, and I'll do what I can to get fans to write in, too. Maybe someone somewhere didn't realize that they're written by the same person????

9:26 AM  
Anonymous ComicsCrazy said...

Hey, Sal, they're not written by the same person. In fact, Johnny Hart the original writer of BC died last year. And Brant Parker the original writer of Wizard of Id died several years ago.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Dena Rosenberry said...

Hey, Sal.
I don't know whether everyone was thinking about the creators. Some readers did comment that of the two, they liked B.C. best.

Even as a kid I liked it more than I liked Wizard. The wordplay. The midnight skulker. Loved that word: skulker.

Ask your friends to chime in.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great review and follow up discussion on The Onion's site.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't like Family Tree or Cul De Sac. (I've only seen two of each so far, but no chuckles yet.) I'm glad Wizard of ID is gone (I don't like B.C too much either.)

Monty is one of the best comics, everyday. I'd rather see Monty than 5 of the ones we DO have.

My wife and I will both miss Frank & Ernest. She LOVES Lio. We both enjoy Dilbert, Sherman's Lagoon and Frazz.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pearls Before Swine, Lio, Pooch Cafe, and Shermans Lagoon all make me laugh or at least chuckle a bit almost every day.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that many of the emotions and dialogue found in comics like Marmaduke, Mutts, and Hi and Lois are very fake and unbeleivable.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Leila said...

I agree that Pearls, Lio and Cul De Sac are probbaly the most creative strips since calvin and hobbs and far side retired.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous ChongoChingi said...

Yesterday's Cul de Sac was hysterical.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Greg Scott said...

I am a huge fan of Lio and Pooch Cafe. I dont care for Diesel Sweeties at all - its a waste of ink.
I'm 43 and think Lio is great, as does my 9 year old son. We enjoy looking at each panel and figuring out the story line. Sometimes it's not obvious and you have to think a little - its just great!

My "must read" strips are Pearls before Swine, Dilbert, Baby Blues, Pooch Cafe, Lio, Get Fuzzy, Tundra, Frazz, Luann and Zits.
There are many I would never bother with, and a few I will look at but wouldnt care if they are gone.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous artgirl said...

I do not like the new 2 new ones: Family Tree or Cul de Sac. They are not funny at all. I miss Wizard of Id, one of my favorites. I am a 32 year female and my favorites are Beatle Bailey, Tundra, Wizard of Id, Hagar, BC and Baby Blues. They are all consistenly funny. Family Circus just isn't funny anymore.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie O'Gara said...

I've found more humor in hitting my thumb with a hammer than the last 10 years combined of Beetle Bailey, Wizard of Id, Hagar or Family Circus.

Change is good. Evolution!

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Family Tree and cul-de-sac are terrible. I do enjoy Lio and Pooch Cafe, but Diesel Sweeties has never been funny.
Keep BC, keep the Wizard, and bring back Brevity.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Cul De Sac. It's offbeat and quirky and the art is great. And the girl reminds me of my niece.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous JHO said...

Bring back Frank & Ernest

4:01 PM  
Blogger Dena Rosenberry said...

We'll see about F&E. It's gone because it didn't get the vote, and, frankly, a lot of people who said they liked it also mentioned quite a few other strips they refrequently read.

Time will tell if they miss it more than they thought they would - or not.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please bring back Wizard of Id! It was one of the few consistently funny comic strips left in the paper. I missed the request for feedback that you sent out several months ago, but I find it odd that you selected from only older, classic comics rather than on some of the newer ones you've put in, most of which don't seem too funny to me and not worth my time to read. I'm 49 and read the Gazette every day. Of all the 34-35 comics in the paper, I tend to read about 12 of them. My husband doesn't read the paper or the funnies, but he likes me to share the particularly good ones with him-- and those are usually Wizard of Id, BC and Peanuts (and sometimes Blondie, Hagar or Beetle Bailey).

As far as Family Tree and Cul de Sac this week -- I wouldn't care to see either one stay in the paper.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Ted Bowers said...

Wizard of Id was very poorly drawn and the humor was staler than week old bread. I'm 65. Not all older folks are married to the ancient strips -- Id, Frank & Ernest, BC, Hagar, and ugh Beetle Bailey (how about a more in touch military strip) are all dreadfully dated and anachronistic. Thanks for being smart enough to change.

4:10 PM  
Blogger dhaymaker said...

The changes to the comics are not at all positive. First, Lio, abducting girls scouts, Calvin dead in a snowbank, destructive tendencies...can't you come up with something better. Let's see...Diesel Sweeties - senseless. Family Tree - senseless and stupid. Cul De Sac - humorless (seems counterproductive to the idea of a comics page). Pooch Cafe and Get Fuzzy barely make sense, but they're tolerable. By the way, whoever is responsible for the crunching of the Sunday comics into the smaller space, must have great eyes. I find them uncomfortable to read.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous fiddler said...

Well, I'm 17 so here’s some impute from the younger generation. :)
I like the comics Lio and Pooch Cafe but I don't like Diesel Sweeties. I don't really get the jokes and a lot of them, I think, are just not funny.
You have added some other comics recently that I don't like either: Family Tree and Cul De Sac. Both of those comics I don't think are drawn well. They look like a bunch of lines instead of people. I mean if you compare them with say Baldo or B.C. there is a big difference in quality. I also think they aren’t very funny.
As for the "out dated" comics such as B.C. or Hagar, I personally like them.
Thanks for the laughs!

8:39 AM  

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