Friday, January 30, 2009

First "Cul De Sac"

Maybe it's because I grew up on a cul de sac that I love this strip so much. Maybe it's because no matter where we live or when we grew up, it's all so true. And I LOVE Richard's artwork.

He posted this recently on his blog. The first "Cul De Sac." Each frame makes me laugh. And the kicker is priceless.

The strip is slowly growing on readers of The Gazette. Every week or so I hear from someone who says they've started reading it regularly after playing hit-and-miss for months.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Taking another stab at this

OK, it's not that I have found more time in my day. But I'm getting e-mails and phone calls asking where I am (hmmm, I seem to still be here). And I suppose in this day and age of American newspapers it's natural to wonder whether I'm still here or whether I'm asking "Do you want fries with that?"

It's full speed ahead here at The Gaz and my work includes helping implement some major changes to the look of the paper and what's included in its pages.

My beloved comics have not gone untouched.

If you read the paper, in print or online, you'll notice changes beginning Monday. You can read about the whole shebang in Sunday's paper, but I'll give my blog readers a heads-up to the comics changes.

First, the comics will appear in a tab section - the same size as Go!, our Friday entertainment section.

Second, we're adding Goren Bridge and Hocus Focus to the pages. Those features have been appearing in classifieds for some time - before I got here nearly 5 years ago. (My, how time flies.)

Third, to accommodate those features, we have to drop a few comics. To start with, I'm dropping the Test Center. We've been running "Deflocked" and "The Knight Life" there - probably longer than we should have, too.

Of course, I was tempted to drop comics I would never read if it wasn't part of my job. But I don't have the same taste as Gazette readers, obviously, so that didn't seem right.

So, I went back through your comments, letters and e-mails.

Two comics we've run for a while will appear as space is available from here out: "Rose is Rose" and "F Minus." Neither have ever had a big following, and there are other strips in our selection that cover the same bases - family and sight gags.

Next, I'd already contracted to try "Rip Haywire" for 6 months. It's a new strip that harkens to the old serials. It was supposed to start running Jan. 5, but through a mixup, was left off the pages.

It will take the place, at least for now, of "Get Fuzzy." I'd prefer to drop one of the legacy strips that repeat the same jokes over and over, but apparently many readers would not. And I figure they're getting enough changes, they really don't need me messing with their old standbys on the comics pages.

And, in addition to those readers who constantly complain about "that nasty cat," quite a few regular readers have chimed in to say they have grown weary of the strip in recent months.

I'll be looking to you, the comics readers, to let me know what you think of the new lineup. If you'd rather I bring "Fuzzy" back and drop something else, let me know.

Believe me, it could have been worse. At one point I was fighting to prevent this change meaning the demise of an entire page of comics. I've managed to keep that off the table multiple times in the past 3 years. I hope you'll forgive me for sacrificing a few, even if they were among your regulars.

I'd still like to find a place for "Argyle Sweater," though. How about in place of "Dennis the Menace?"

OK, enough. Let me have it with both barrels!

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