Friday, February 29, 2008

Next week's test comics

Here are the 2 new test comics. We'll run them at least a month. Maybe not two, since I don't think they require the set-up of characters as other strips.


F Minus:

Keep the comments rolling in. It'll help me figure out what to do with any future openings on the pages -- or what to drop and what to add.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008


Again - huh?

Just got this note from Margaret Brettschneider:

Hey, tried to comment on the two new comics, and whatever the heck is happening to one of my favorites, Family Circus....what's with the stupid snowman, anyway. Let's get back to the real comic value of Family Circus.
Anyway, that blogspot to comment doesn't work, so I'm trying this way around the problem (e-mailing the newsroom). Those two new strips, Cul de Sac and Family Tree are both pretty stupid...not worth the space.
In my book, the best thing in the whole comic strip section is Marmaduke....and of course, Lola, and Beetle Bailey...these three never get old or stale...always fresh...and the expressions on Marmaduke never fail to crack us all up.
Anyway, just wanted to put in my two cents' worth. Please get Family Circus back to normal too, while you are at it....whoever dreamed up this snowman stuff needs to be throttled....

I hope she's being sarcastic...

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Two by two - oops!

A reader called attention to today's Argyle Sweater. So THAT's what happened to unicorns.
I was talking to Wash. Post syndicate rep yesterday about how many times we hear "Such and such is the next Calvin and Hobbes" or "This comic is the next Far Side."
This may be the next Far Side.

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Name dropping doesn't help these two

What the hey? Two strips in a day name dropping for a laugh - and getting nothing. What's with the Larry King snowman, anyway? What is this, the fourth day of nonsensical snowman drawings in Family Circus? Who is enjoying this? And why? Check the Comics Curmudgeon for another take on the weird Fam Circus streak.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Capturing a kid's imagination

I always wanted to get a bunch of those growing creatures and soak them at once. If only they grew that large!!


laugh out loud funny

I SO needed this first thing today. Thank you, Stephan Pastis!


Friday, February 22, 2008

Lynn Johnston interview

Pam Becker of the Chicago Tribune recently talked with "For Better or For Worse: creator Lynn Johnston and wrote this story.

Here's the short version:

Johnston says she will end the current plotlines of her 29-year-old strip by September.

Then she will start from the beginning again, rerunning the old strips — but tinkering with some to “augment” or “fix some of the stuff,” she says.

She had hoped to end the current story lines in September 2007, then segue into the old strips in the guise of flashbacks experienced by the present-day characters.

The hybrid strip debuted in September 2007. As of now, readers are seeing present-day strips on some days, and old strips — some from as far back as 28 years ago — on other days.

Some readers have expressed confusion.

Johnston has not been happy either.

So she made the decision to pursue this new course - revisiting the entire strip.

The Ventura County (Calif.) Star in January announced plans to drop the strip in the fall when the reruns begin. Editor Joe Howry was quoted saying that “rehashing old strips” is “unfair to our readers.”

Johnston and her syndicate believe strong demand for the older strip still exists.

The strip, which runs in about 2,000 newspapers, has had about a dozen cancellations since July, but eight new clients signed on in that time, according to Kathie Kerr, a spokeswoman for Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes the strip.

Johnston does plan to say goodbye to her readers when she ends the present-day story. “There will be some printed material the day following the strip’s story line ... ending,” she said.

READERS: Let me know what you think of this idea!


Argyle coming to syndication

Don't know if any of you have been reading this online, but Argyle Sweater is being offered by Universal Press Syndicate. You can read more about it and creator Scott Hilburn here. I've been passing it around the office, and it's getting good reviews.

No, we won't call it the next Far Side, but we are calling it worth a look, and giving us more laughs than most of the strips that come in.

Check it out and let me know what you think. Don't know whether we can sample this one.

I'm looking at putting Agnes and Over the Hedge into the comic test area. They aren't new, but we've never had them in our lineup as far as I can tell. Thoughts?

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oh, snap!

We argue in the newsroom all the time about TV and why some horrible shows continue while great ones are canceled. Now we know.


when cartoonists go off!

I laughed out loud at this take on the "future of comics" that appeared on Cul de Sac creator Richard Thompson's blog. Check it out here.


For you Pickles fans

Good gracious! It's been nearly a week since I posted. Sorry for the absence. We sure need our laughs when everyone around us is sick with flu and the dreaded crud!
I was talking with Pickles fans last night, so thought I'd share today's strip. It did make me laugh.


Friday, February 15, 2008

A bunion shaped like Paula Abdul

I keep getting stuck on that middle panel. Who saw that coming? Lola! Getting snarky as they're getting on in years.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Attention Pikes Peak area comics fans

I have to tell you I'm having fun reading your comments and following your links to other strips and commentaries about comics and the comics pages.
To reward you folks who are participating on the blog, I'm offering collections of comics that come to me from various syndicates.
I'll list the books I have. I'll hand them out to local folks who tell me why they love specific comics.
There's no deadline, it'll be an ongoing thing.
You can post your comments here and then e-mail me that you want to be included in this informal sort of competition, or you can simply send your comments to be via e-mail (although I'll probably use them here without your name attached).
Here's the books and links to the strips:
Tundra: The Comic Strip Mother Nature Warned You About
Brevity 2: Another Collection of Comics by guy & rodd
Get Fuzzy: LoserPalooza
Mutts: Animal Friendly (A Mutts Treasury)
Edge City: A Comic Strip Collection by Terry and Patty LaBan
Zits: Rude, Crude and Tattooed
For Better or For Worse: Teaching ... is a Learning Experience!
Stone Soup: Desperate Households
Brewster Rockit: Close Encounters of the Worst Kind
Get Fuzzy: I'm Ready for My Movie Contract
Spot the Frog: It's Hard to Comb a Grass Toupee
Dilbert: Positive Attitude
Doonesbury: Welcome to the Nerd Farm!
FoxTrot: And When She Opened the Closet, All the Clothes Were Polyester!
Lio: Happiness is a Squishy Cephalopod
Dilbert: Cubes and Punishment
Funky Winkerbean: Lisa's Story, the Other Shoe
No, I totally DON'T have a Rudy Park book. I think I sold it in our annual charity sale at Christmas. But today's strip made me laugh. It's so true.
Enter away! Don't like those books? How about a box of Girl Scout cookies?

Shall we take Sheldon?

Randy280z suggests we take a look at Sheldon, a strip by Dave Kellett.
I went to the site, laughed out loud at a few strips, and tried the random strip generator (I LOVE those).
And I got a Chuck Norris gag. What are the odds?

Check out the site and let me know what you think?


One of my favs

This is one of my favorite strips, Madam & Eve. I started reading it when I lived in Cape Town in the early '90s, and try to keep up with it. Some of it rings especially true if you live in South Africa, of course, but usually it doesn't matter. Recent strips have dealt with politics and power outages. Even if the names of politicians and utility companies are different, the themes remain the same no matter where you live!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cartoonists of Color hold "draw in"

A group of artists Sunday drew attention to the lack of characters of color in comic strips (or, perhaps more accurately, comic strips that feature characters of color), the lack of cartoonists of color, and the lack of newspapers that run both

The artists took a theme that occurs in real life. The reader who complains comics are too PC or have too many characters of color or contain a word in Spanish.

That's Darrin Bell's Candorville, above.

Maybe we'll toss it in the test center and see what you all think. It reads very "urban," but even though we don't live that, maybe it would be fun to read, like watching a TV show set in Chicago.

See other artists' interpretation of the strip here:

Watch Your Head

Herb and Jamaal

Cafe con Leche

Mama's Boyz


Tim Jackson

You can read more about the event and see info from a Washington Post Writers Group survey of 1,413 daily newspapers, looking at the comics they run in The Daily Cartoonist.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Don, this is Frazz speaking

Gaz comics fan Don commented on my last Frazz post below that today's strip speaks to him. Boy howdy!

Who hasn't had similar, though likely less eloquent thoughts, at this time of year?

I need to share this one with my 14-year-old hopeless romantic.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Loving Frazz

Frazz is my favorite strip right now. Just had to share today's with anyone who missed it.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Daddy's Home family strip debuts

A new strip, "Daddy's Home," by Gary Markstein and Anthony Rubino Jr. debuts in March. I'll run a few of the first month's worth here.
The catch in this family strip is dad works from home. It looks like typically family strip fodder.

Dad's a bit of a bumbler around the homefront and carpools and such.
Check out the link and let me know if you think this should make it to our Comics Test Center in the paper.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

That makes me sad

I just read this on the Web site of "Baldo" creators Hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos:

Gus Arriola, creator of Gordo, died Saturday at age 90, at his home in Carmel, Calif.

I grew up reading Gordo, which celebrated Mexican culture in America long before anyone else in cartooning that I can think of. We didn't live too far from Mexico, so it didn't seem foreign to me, but in interviews Gus Arriola said he created "Gordo" to introduce others to what must have seemed a far off and exotic land.

Like many others, I still sometimes refer to one of my cats as Pussy Gato. I'd long forgotten the connection.

Read his obit in the San Francisco Chronicle here.

Read an interview on Hogan's Alley here.

Rest in peace, Gus.

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Creative minds think alike

I was commenting yesterday, I think, about how you'll sometimes see strips that carry the same theme or have the same punchline or gag.

Today isn't a prime example, but it still makes you wonder what's in the Kool-Aid!

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A quick laugh

I know it's just a gag, but I laughed - and set it out for my son to read before he went to school. Sometimes it's just what I need to start the day.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Family Tree reflects life, too

Oh, you naysayers, are you trying to tell me this isn't a snippet of real life? That it isn't making a statement?

Yeah, they may not all be funny, but neither is "For Better or For Worse," and that's been the top-ranked strip in The Gazette for years.

Why call "Lio" mean-spirited and not call "The Lockhorns" mean-spirited?


Diesel reflects

'Nuff said.