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United Media to launch new comic in January

Richard Stevens has posted on his blog that his web comic Diesel Sweeties will be syndicated through United Media starting on January 8, 2007.

Starting on January 8, 2007 Diesel Sweeties is going to be running in newspapers through United Feature Syndicate. These syndicated strips will also be showing up on comics.com, A.K.A. the best URL ever. Web-only and archived strips will still be here, same as always. We signed the papers a couple weeks ago and I’m still kind of shell-shocked. I’m working hard to finish the sample strips. The newspaper comics are going to be all-new strips with the same characters, seven days a week.

It’s a pretty cool deal: I get to do newspaper comics, while still maintaining my own copyright, website and t-shirts. The best part for me is that there will still continue to be new comics here on the DS site! A big part of how I maintain my “sanity” is by staying up late writing comics and posting them the moment they’re done. Continuing to have that flexibility in addition to working weeks in advance for syndication is really important to me and I’m extremely glad to still have it.

I’m psyched to get to do the one job I really wanted as a kid, while still maintaining my identity as web cartoonist. Throw in a pony and I’ll have burned through all three wishes in one go.

I still get chills every time I think about making Sunday comics. I just finished my first two last week and it was … surreal. They were Sunday comics, but I got to write and draw them. Insane. I honestly never thought I’d ever have a chance to be in papers. You readers should make out pretty well, too. There’ll be more comics to read and hopefully I’ll grow as a writer by working in new formats. Your thoughts are welcome, as always.

Diesel Sweeties has been an ongoing web comic since 2000. You can see samples of Diesel Sweeties over on his site – which also includes an archive.

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Community Comments

#1 Paul
September/22/2006
@ 3:22 am

Ok, is it just me, or is that comic completely awful?

Maybe it’s an acquired taste.

#2 Paul
September/21/2006
@ 9:22 pm

Ok, is it just me, or is that comic completely awful?

Maybe it’s an acquired taste.

#3 Paul
September/22/2006
@ 1:16 pm

While I send good wishes to anyone who makes it through syndicate screening for new features, I sure can’t figure out the group this will appeal to (other than “somewhat young people whose humor is… this is where I get lost).

#4 Paul
September/22/2006
@ 7:16 am

While I send good wishes to anyone who makes it through syndicate screening for new features, I sure can’t figure out the group this will appeal to (other than “somewhat young people whose humor is… this is where I get lost).

#5 ROB
September/22/2006
@ 1:33 pm

This is pure crap. I’m sure anything can become an acquired taste, but somethings shouldn’t. What is the syndicate thinking? “Quick guys we got to replace “Unfit” with an even more crappier strip.”

#6 ROB
September/22/2006
@ 7:33 am

This is pure crap. I’m sure anything can become an acquired taste, but somethings shouldn’t. What is the syndicate thinking? “Quick guys we got to replace “Unfit” with an even more crappier strip.”

#7 Charles Brubaker
September/22/2006
@ 2:39 pm

I think this is probably because Ted Rall is working at United. He interviewed this guy for his “Attitude 3” book.

Personally, I think it would’ve been better if D.C. Simpson of “Ozy and Millie” was picked for syndication. Rall also interviewed her for “Attitude 3” and is way better cartoonist.

#8 Charles Brubaker
September/22/2006
@ 8:39 am

I think this is probably because Ted Rall is working at United. He interviewed this guy for his “Attitude 3” book.

Personally, I think it would’ve been better if D.C. Simpson of “Ozy and Millie” was picked for syndication. Rall also interviewed her for “Attitude 3” and is way better cartoonist.

#9 Rob
September/22/2006
@ 3:02 pm

There are so many better strips out there that are being submitted to the syndicates and are online. Just check out a few on Comics Sherpa. A number of them really stink but a number of them are really quite good. Why United, why DS?

#10 Rob
September/22/2006
@ 9:02 am

There are so many better strips out there that are being submitted to the syndicates and are online. Just check out a few on Comics Sherpa. A number of them really stink but a number of them are really quite good. Why United, why DS?

#11 Charles Brubaker
September/22/2006
@ 3:23 pm

Sadly, syndicates really only pick strips that are marketable to newspapers. Apparently, “DS” is markatable.

#12 Charles Brubaker
September/22/2006
@ 9:23 am

Sadly, syndicates really only pick strips that are marketable to newspapers. Apparently, “DS” is markatable.

#13 Lefiite
September/22/2006
@ 3:27 pm

I like it, not my favourite, but I’m not sure I see the marketing angle.

#14 Lefiite
September/22/2006
@ 9:27 am

I like it, not my favourite, but I’m not sure I see the marketing angle.

#15 Mooncity
September/22/2006
@ 7:47 pm

I’m glad it’s not just me. I checked out some of the strips, and all I could think of was, “WTF?! This is being syndicated to papers?!” Low-res pixelized sprite comics aren’t exactly mainstream or high quality work. I suppose there must be something in the comic in order for it to be picked up, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what’s so good about it.

Maybe it’s the same reason why Michael Bay and Ben Affleck are allowed to keep making movies.

#16 Mooncity
September/22/2006
@ 1:47 pm

I’m glad it’s not just me. I checked out some of the strips, and all I could think of was, “WTF?! This is being syndicated to papers?!” Low-res pixelized sprite comics aren’t exactly mainstream or high quality work. I suppose there must be something in the comic in order for it to be picked up, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what’s so good about it.

Maybe it’s the same reason why Michael Bay and Ben Affleck are allowed to keep making movies.

#17 mark mason
September/24/2006
@ 1:02 pm

This strip makes “Todd the Dinosaur” (the worst comic strip to come along in years)look like Walt Kelly’s “Pogo.”

#18 mark mason
September/24/2006
@ 7:02 pm

This strip makes “Todd the Dinosaur” (the worst comic strip to come along in years)look like Walt Kelly’s “Pogo.”

#19 Yabba
September/24/2006
@ 7:36 pm

Ouch. What is United Media thinking?

Maybe given that nearly three dozen percent of the country actually thinks Bush is a decent president, UM is way ahead of us all and has found just the right comic for the collossally stupid people of America. Maybe instead of reality and sense, the Sweeties will turn to Jesus to solve all their problems and it’ll be a runaway hit.

these days I’d say that’s as likely as not.

#20 Yabba
September/24/2006
@ 1:36 pm

Ouch. What is United Media thinking?

Maybe given that nearly three dozen percent of the country actually thinks Bush is a decent president, UM is way ahead of us all and has found just the right comic for the collossally stupid people of America. Maybe instead of reality and sense, the Sweeties will turn to Jesus to solve all their problems and it’ll be a runaway hit.

these days I’d say that’s as likely as not.

#21 Paul
September/24/2006
@ 11:02 pm

Yabba – sounds like you wandered over from the Luckovich blog at ajc.com –

#22 Paul
September/24/2006
@ 5:02 pm

Yabba – sounds like you wandered over from the Luckovich blog at ajc.com –

#23 Bobby McObvious
December/31/2006
@ 6:47 am

Embittered about rejection much?

#24 Bobby McObvious
December/30/2006
@ 11:47 pm

Embittered about rejection much?

#25 mike
July/23/2007
@ 9:47 pm

todd is a great strip and diesel sweeties rock, some of you people have no sense of humor

#26 mike
July/23/2007
@ 3:47 pm

todd is a great strip and diesel sweeties rock, some of you people have no sense of humor

#27 Eric Burke
July/23/2007
@ 10:24 pm

I agree with Mark Mason:
Todd the Dinosaur is among the worst strips in many, many, years…topped only by Unfit, which thankfully came to an end. Not that it should have had a beginning…

I have a mixed opinion on Diesel Sweeties:
decent writing, but the art is visually irratating. Is DS in papers anywhere? If it’s tough to look at online, I can only imagine how it looks in print.

It is nice to see United looking at fresh strips, though. Strips that are outside the norm of what has been syndicated in the past.

#28 Eric Burke
July/23/2007
@ 4:24 pm

I agree with Mark Mason:
Todd the Dinosaur is among the worst strips in many, many, years…topped only by Unfit, which thankfully came to an end. Not that it should have had a beginning…

I have a mixed opinion on Diesel Sweeties:
decent writing, but the art is visually irratating. Is DS in papers anywhere? If it’s tough to look at online, I can only imagine how it looks in print.

It is nice to see United looking at fresh strips, though. Strips that are outside the norm of what has been syndicated in the past.

#29 Garey Mckee
July/24/2007
@ 5:39 am

Diesel Sweeties art may well be lacking to say the least, but it’s WRITING is pretty good. And I don’t have to tell most cartoonists here that one of the main factors syndicates look at when considering a strip, if not THE ONE factor syndicates look at, is CONSISTANT writing. Artwork will always take a backseat to the writing in a comic strip. A concept some cartoonists seem to struggle with, yet that DS seems to emphasize. I believe that to be the reason it was picked up.

#30 Garey Mckee
July/23/2007
@ 11:39 pm

Diesel Sweeties art may well be lacking to say the least, but it’s WRITING is pretty good. And I don’t have to tell most cartoonists here that one of the main factors syndicates look at when considering a strip, if not THE ONE factor syndicates look at, is CONSISTANT writing. Artwork will always take a backseat to the writing in a comic strip. A concept some cartoonists seem to struggle with, yet that DS seems to emphasize. I believe that to be the reason it was picked up.

#31 pat
December/16/2008
@ 2:19 am

Todd the Dinosaur is one of my favorite comic strips. If you like Mother Goose and Grimm, The Far Side, or Get Fuzzy, I strongly suggest giving Todd the Dinosaur a chance. The humor is weird and quirky. Todd is a T-Rex that goes to school with 7 year olds. Maybe it’s an aquired taste, but I give it 5 stars out of 5…

#32 pat
December/15/2008
@ 8:19 pm

Todd the Dinosaur is one of my favorite comic strips. If you like Mother Goose and Grimm, The Far Side, or Get Fuzzy, I strongly suggest giving Todd the Dinosaur a chance. The humor is weird and quirky. Todd is a T-Rex that goes to school with 7 year olds. Maybe it’s an aquired taste, but I give it 5 stars out of 5…

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