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Cartoonists of Color Sit-in appears today

The much talked about “Cartoonists of Color Sit In” is underway today. All participating cartoonists are using the same script, originally written by Watch Your Head creator Cory Thomas. You can see their own take on the joke through the links below.

Karisue Wyson, manager of marketing, licensing and sales at The Washington Post Writers Group, has posted some revealing stats over on the Writers Group blog regarding just how many newspapers run comics with minority characters.

Using a professional clipping service, we surveyed 1,413 daily newspapers by collecting comics pages on a day in June 2007 to determine the play of 238 comics. The results are as striking as they are disappointing.

The numbers show that newspapers aren’t likely to run strips with minority characters and are even less likely to run more than one strip if they do. In looking at strips that have minority characters or are drawn by minority cartoonists at the time (we surveyed Baldo, Candorville, Café con Leche, Clear Blue Water, Condorito, Curtis, Herb and Jamaal, Housebroken, Jump Start, La Cucaracha, Maintaining, Mama’s Boyz, The K Chronicles, Watch Your Head, Wee Pals and Working It Out) we found:

* Only 330 (24 percent) newspapers run at least one strip with minority characters/by a cartoonist of color. In other words, 76 percent of newspapers in this country do not have one of the 16 strips we searched for.

* Only 90 (6 percent) newspapers run two or more of these strips. And these 90 were spread over just 26 states.

* In seven states we did not find any of these strips: Arkansas, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia. Also interesting to note: Only one paper in Oklahoma, two in Kansas and three in Minnesota run such strips.

* Only two papers published four: the Chicago Sun-Times and my own paper, The Washington Post.

Ouch.

The issue of comic selection and race is complicated. Surely the shrinking pool and the talent of the cartoonists play a role in determining if a feature is selected or not, but the numbers cited by Karisue are striking.

UPDATE: Yesterday, Cory and Darrin were on CBS Evening News. Over on Candorville’s site, Darrin has the video and links to other media interviews and stories. Also as noted in the comments, Darrin is using this week’s Candorville to focus on the broader problems of newspapers cutting the comics to save money.

Community Comments

#1 Angela Robinson
February/10/2008
@ 5:58 am

“Ouch…the numbers cited by Karisue are striking.”

What do you mean? There’s no problem here! Everyone knows these cartoonists are just a bunch of whiners “trying top play the race card, “beating a dead horse,” and “ganging up on people.” Newspapers editors are human too and they are NOT being unfair! Especially the 76 percent that REFUSE to run a strip by even a single minority creator. Sheesh!

Okay, sarcasim aside. (LOL)

BRAVO GUYS! The ugly numbers speak for themselves. You did good!

#2 Angela Robinson
February/10/2008
@ 6:07 am

Oh wait! I forgot to list the most important one:

“Race in comic selection NOT a big issue.” ;-)

#3 D.D.Degg
February/10/2008
@ 6:45 am

Keith Knight’s contribution can be seen through Salon
(you may have to watch an ad, I’m not sure):
http://www.salon.com/comics/knig/2008/02/06/knig/

Tim Jackson’s offering comes by way of the AAEC:
http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/47853

Haven’t found a site for Mama’s Boyz.

#4 Mike Cope
February/10/2008
@ 6:47 am

Congratulations to all of the participants. I hope that some positive reaction comes from all this.

#5 Dawn Douglass
February/10/2008
@ 7:35 am

Why would you list Clear Blue Water but not Zits, FBOFW, or Luann? Those all have minority characters, as does (to a lesser extent) Dilbert, Peanuts, Get Fuzzy… and these are just off the top of my head.

“Especially the 76 percent that REFUSE to run a strip by even a single minority creator. Sheesh!”

Okay, so is the argument that a newspaper, despite it’s readership and despite the number of comics it prints, MUST have a comic by a “minority creator” or else the newspaper is racist? Is that what you think, Angela?

#6 Malcolm McGookin
February/10/2008
@ 7:41 am

What do the stats prove, exactly? That North Dakota papers don’t carry cartoons featuring people of color?

Two questions:

1) What is the “solution” (if one is required)? Anybody want to advance theirs?

2) Quote from Wiki:
“The age and gender distributions (of N. Dakota) approximate the national average. Besides Native Americans, North Dakota’s minority groups still form a significantly smaller proportion of the population than in the nation as a whole”

So instead of looking at strips which, demographically speaking, mirror themselves, North Dakotan papers should feature minorities?

Here, let me point out the elephant in the room, seeing as no-one else will.
Some of those Cartoonists Of Color strips suck. They absolutely suck.

One C.O.C. strip artist went public recently saying that he felt he wasnt getting his work into more papers because editors were racist.
Maybe he should have considered that maybe his strip was actually mediocre and he was lucky that positive discrimination had already got him into many of his present papers.

I’ve got a lot of time for “Watch Your Head” and “Candorville” but seeing them grouped with certain other strips simply because they’re all created by Cartoonist Of Color seems ridiculous. Precisely the kind line-blurring discrimination they accuse editors of.

This apart, it’s ridiculous to blame North Dakotan papers for not carrying more black face strips. If your strip is undeniably funny or well written, it will sell everywhere, including N. Dakota.

#7 Dawn Douglass
February/10/2008
@ 8:19 am

Only 12% of the American population is black. The town I grew up in still doesn’t have a single black family, according to an old friend I just contacted. I suppose that means everybody who lives there is racist by Angela’s standards.

What percentage of *urban* papers run Candorville or Watch Your Head, which are both urban comics?

To me, what’s most “striking” about these numbers is the fact that they claim to be counting strips with minority characters when they clearly aren’t. If they were being honest and included all strips with minority characters, the percentage would be 100%, not 24%.

#8 Eric Burke
February/10/2008
@ 8:29 am

In seven states we did not find any of these strips: Arkansas, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia. Also interesting to note: Only one paper in Oklahoma, two in Kansas and three in Minnesota run such strips.
Mostly states whiter than a polka song!

The Boston Herald runs Baldo, Candorville, and Watch Your Head.

#9 Tony Murphy
February/10/2008
@ 8:58 am

The way I read these statistics is that if three out of four newspapers nationally have all white strips, it means that, in a field where income depends on national distribution, the door is still pretty much closed to cartoonists of color and open to white cartoonists.

This “elephant in the room” argument — excuse me, have you looked at the comics page lately? Is your position that black or Latin strips are in far fewer papers because comics page real estate is reserved for BETTER WORK?

That’s an easy one to shoot down!

Oh, by the way — I live in New York. Out of three full pages of comic strips in the Daily News, not one is done by a woman.

Maybe the comics pages are reflecting the same racism and sexism that infect modern society. Just a theory.

#10 D.D.Degg
February/10/2008
@ 9:54 am

The article infers that some states may be a bit race insensitive.
It may have helped to mention that North Dakota, Kansas, and Minnesota all voted for Obama over Clinton.

#11 Dawn Douglass
February/10/2008
@ 9:54 am

“Maybe the comics pages are reflecting the same racism and sexism that infect modern society. Just a theory.”

*Modern* society? As if racism and sexism are worse today than they used to be? Hardly.

Despite my position on this, I’m not racist. I have a degree in cultural anthropology and concentrated on Africa. For four years, I volunteered to help Africans who came to my college to learn English before going on to graduate programs across the U.S. I even signed up for the Peace Corp to teach in Africa, but in the year between applying and getting accepted, I met my husband and didn’t want to leave him behind for two years.

I dated a black guy once. The surgeon who’s going to cut my last breast off next month is black. My dentist, my radiation oncologist, my endocronologist…all “of color.” As I said in my blog a while back, I may even vote for Obama. And I’m conservative.

I’m all for equal opportunity and for level playing fields. What I don’t like is Jesse Jackson tactics to force personal agendas by manipulating statistics, emotions and reason.

#12 Darrin Bell
February/10/2008
@ 10:09 am

“To me, whatâ??s most â??strikingâ? about these numbers is the fact that they claim to be counting strips with minority characters when they clearly arenâ??t. If they were being honest and included all strips with minority characters, the percentage would be 100%, not 24%.”

No, they aren’t claiming “to be conting strips with minority characters.” They’re counting strips STARRING minority characters, created by minorities (hence the absence of Prickly City). It’s always helpful to stick to what people actually say when we try to refute it.

“1) What is the â??solutionâ? (if one is required)? Anybody want to advance theirs?

2) Quote from Wiki:
â??The age and gender distributions (of N. Dakota) approximate the national average. Besides Native Americans, North Dakotaâ??s minority groups still form a significantly smaller proportion of the population than in the nation as a wholeâ?

So instead of looking at strips which, demographically speaking, mirror themselves, North Dakotan papers should feature minorities?”

Why not? North Dakotans watched The Cosby Show. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind seeing Jump Start if the paper would include it in one of their trials. I don’t think most white people have any trouble enjoying or identifying with characters who don’t look like them.

#13 Darrin Bell
February/10/2008
@ 10:18 am

My bad, they did say “with,” not “starring.” They do mean starring, though, as those strips are all the ones starring characters of color. I’ll let them know they didn’t phrase it clearly.

#14 D.D.Degg
February/10/2008
@ 11:03 am

“They do mean starring, though, as those strips are all the ones…”
Not quite all of them.
They’ve missed Peter Ramirez’ “Raising Hector”
and Tak Toyoshima’s “Secret Asian Man”.
[And maybe Tak Bui’s “PC and Pixel”. I still
think PC is of Asian background.]

#15 Angela Robinson
February/10/2008
@ 11:45 am

Dawn said, “Okay, so is the argument that a newspaper, despite itâ??s readership and despite the number of comics it prints, MUST have a comic by a â??minority creatorâ? or else the newspaper is racist? Is that what you think, Angela?”

Dawn, I personally have NEVER used the word “racist” in this particular discussion. Go back and check. But, YOU have used this word on numerous occasions. It seems to me that you are the one insinuating the editors’ behavior might be racist, not me. If it sounds nicer, we can just say “76% of comics editors still refuse to run comic strips by creators with ethnic DIVERSITY.” Just like 100% of comics editors refused to run strips by creators with ethnic diversity, back in 1988. And, diversity is a good thing. Right?

I think the author of Washington Post article sums it up best. She said:

“I keep going back to the lack of attention and lack of understanding (by comics editors). Our industry has worked diligently to make our newspapers and staffs more diverse. BUT THESE NUMBERS ARE A STRONG INDICATION THAT THOSE EFFORTS HAVE NOT REACHED THE COMICS PAGES. (emphasis added) Editors’ attitudes have to change. If they see “black” as the first and primary feature of a comic strip, rather than seeing it as a “family,” “college” or “animal” strip, it’s unlikely to be added to their comics pages if the pages already have a strip with minority characters.”

Dawn said, “Only 12% of the American population is black.”

Okay, you want to crunch numbers, I can do that.

Wikipedia says 73.9% (221.3 million) of the United States population is (non-Hispanic) White. This means 26% of the American population is people of diverse ethnicity: black, Asian, Hispanic, Native-American, etc.”

If every comic pages were to TRULY reflect America as it NOW exists, a whopping 26% of the comic slots appearing on the pages of EVERY newspaper in America would to be held by a minority creator and/or (at worse) feature comic strip characters that are diverse mix of ethnicities. I will now pause for those of you who have just spit out your morning cup of coffee to go clean it up. (LOL)

And, if you want to just look at the black population only, with a 12% national demographic, you could argue that 12% of the slots on the comics pages in EVERY newspaper nationally should ideally contain a strip by a black creator. This number is far higher than 12% of the slots in 24% of newspapers, as it exists today.

Malcom said, “Besides Native Americans, North Dakotaâ??s minority groups still form a significantly smaller proportion of the population than in the nation as a whole. So, instead of looking at strips which, demographically speaking, mirror themselves, North Dakotan papers should feature minorities?”

I TOTALLY AGREE with your premise that North Dakota (and everyone else for that matter) should “look at strips which, demographically speaking, mirror themselves.” But, the problem is that 76% of newspapers in America blatantly REFUSE to “look at strips that demographically mirror themselves.”

I just checked Malcom’s Wikipedia article and North Dakota has a minority population of about 8%. So, if Malcom, Dawn and others are going to make the argument that the comics pages SHOULD reflect the ACTUAL demographics of population (and many of you call it “tokenism” or “quotas” when minorities request this, but that’s another issue), then at minimal, 8% of the strips on the North Dakota comics pages should feature a creator that is a minority and/or (at worse) a minority comic strip character. And, in this case a Native American creator would probably make the most sense. This means that if the average paper in North Dakota runs 28 strips (and 8% of 28 is 2.24) MINIMALLY every paper in North Dakota should have TWO strips by a minority creator based on its own state demographics. So, SORRY, not even North Dakota has an excuse for ZERO minority strips and 100% white strips. WHY? Because, folks, like most places in the U.S. today, North Dakota’s demographics ain’t 100% white. Which means it’s comics pages should’t be 100% white.

Basically the North Dakota editors (and the rest of the 76% of newspaper editors in the U.S) are just sticking their heads in the sand and saying, “Hey! That’s the way we like it. Always has been and always will be.” Dawn, you can call it what you want to, but it ain’t pretty or very fair.

And, if these 76% believe what they are doing is right, then they can simply stand their ground and continue business as usual. At least the funky numbers have now been exposed.

#16 Dawn Douglass
February/10/2008
@ 12:19 pm

Angela, by your logic over 50% of cartoonists need to be women and at least 70% of comics need to have religious characters.

Look, newspapers are mass media, not niche media. I would love for there to be a lot more diversity in comics. In fact, I have poured tons of my own money and time in trying to create a way to allow that to happen. But broad diversity is never going to be fully realized via today’s print newspapers which, again, are mass media.

You keep saying that editors “REFUSE” to put in minority cartoonists. If you’re not accusing them of racism, then what is the motivation behind this supposed refusal?

#17 Daryl Cagle
February/10/2008
@ 12:22 pm

If they counted papers that run minority editorial cartoonists the numbers would be much smaller.

#18 Mike Lester
February/10/2008
@ 12:23 pm

This little debate is a LOT funnier than the features it’s discussing.

#19 Mike Cope
February/10/2008
@ 12:51 pm

D.D.Degg … I’m guessing that the WPWG survey didn’t include “PC & Pixel” because it’s now self-syndicated by Tak Bui (although it used to be syndicated via the WPWG).

Still, it is drawn by a “minority” cartoonist.

#20 Charles Brubaker
February/10/2008
@ 1:25 pm

How many newspapers run “PC and Pixel?” The only paper that I saw the strip in was San Jose Mercury.

#21 Darrin Bell
February/10/2008
@ 1:30 pm

“Iâ??ve got a lot of time for â??Watch Your Headâ? and â??Candorvilleâ? but seeing them grouped with certain other strips simply because theyâ??re all created by Cartoonist Of Color seems ridiculous.”

YES! Thank you! You agree with me.

“…Precisely the kind line-blurring discrimination they accuse editors of.”

YE– huh?

#22 Angela Robinson
February/10/2008
@ 1:31 pm

Angela, by your logic over 50% of cartoonists need to be women and at least 70% of comics need to have religious characters.

Actually, this was NOT my logic, it was YOURS. You and a few others were the first to start quoting national and state statistics about minority vs. white populations and how it should dictate what goes on the comics pages. So, I just quoted a few statistics that you conveniently chose to ignore. But, where did that reference to “70% religious characters” come from? I’m really confused about that one. You must be trying to pick a fight with that “Soup To Nutz” guy again. (LOL) ;-)

If you want to argue that the comics editors should consider “raw national statistics” (as in, “Well, the black population is ONLY 12%!!), you lose. And, if you want to argue that editors should consider “actual demographics of its readership” (as in “But, the population of North Dakota is 93% white!!), sorry, you lose again.
Bottom line, the numbers don’t support your arguments.

As hard as you may try to rationalize it, there is NO justification or excuse for 76% of the nations newspapers having 100% white comics pages. Especially, where the vast majority of local demographics are NOT 100% white. Not, even in North Dakota!

America is diverse. The comics pages are NOT. Accept it. Get over it. An independant firm came to this SAME conclusion after actually clipping comics pages from the newspapers in a marketing study. What more proof do you need.

Ahhh!, the beauty of physical evidence. ;-)

#23 Dawn Douglass
February/10/2008
@ 1:41 pm

Speaking of “huh?” Darrin, up above you said: “I donâ??t think most white people have any trouble enjoying or identifying with characters who donâ??t look like them.”

Then why the heck was today’s gag all about???

#24 Rick Stromoski
February/10/2008
@ 1:52 pm

>>>But, where did that reference to â??70% religious charactersâ? come from? Iâ??m really confused about that one. You must be trying to pick a fight with that â??Soup To Nutzâ? guy again. (LOL) ;-)

>>>As hard as you may try to rationalize it, there is NO justification or excuse for 76% of the nations newspapers having 100% white comics pages. Especially, where the vast majority of local demographics are NOT 100% white.

I don’t think Dawn was trying to pick a fight, she was using your own logic against you. What I gathered from Dawn’s statement was that, using your example, if you are going to base your argument on demographics, then it stands to reason that 70% of comics should be of a religious nature since 70% of Americans believe in an invisible man in the sky.

#25 Darrin Ball
February/10/2008
@ 1:53 pm

My last name is Ball, not Bell. Iâ??m just an avid comic reader who happened to notice both Herb and Jamaal along with Candorville doing similar themes today. I did an online search which led me to this post along with the discussion. I would like to make a couple of comments since the funnies are the most important part of any newspaper.

About seven years ago, our local newspaper took out Curtis and replaced it with The Boondocks. About a year later after a few complaints in the letter to the editor section, The Boondocks was taken back out and Curtis was restored. At the time I remember thinking to myself, â??What is our newspaper trying to say? That only one â??black stripâ?? can be in the funnies at one time?â? About a year after that, Jumpstart was added and has become one of my favorite strips.

Curtis is one of the most hilarious strips out there and it is not because the cast is black. Unrequited love (Curtis for Michelle and Chutney for Curtis, Guntherâ??s Barber Shop, Derrick and Onion as school bullies, the yearly tribute to Kwaanza, Supercaptaincoolman, all these combine to make a unique strip.

It is the same with Herb and Jamaal. The coffee shop, the best-friend friendship of Herb and Jamaal (even though they seem like complete opposites sometimes), Herbâ??s tiffs with his mother-in-law, Jamaalâ??s past NBA career, these are all things unique to this comic strip having nothing to do with race.

And a strip I have just recently started reading, so I donâ??t know all the cast, but Candorville is hilarious having an acute awareness of politics, Lamontâ??s friend the rapper (the â??donâ??t rub it inâ? comment slayed me), his overly sensitive fiancee, all these things have nothing to do with race either.

But, BUT, each of these comic strips brings in the subject of race more frequently than strips with predominantly white characters. And note that I have to read Candorville and Herb and Jamaal online as my local newspaper does not carry them. But neither does it carry Cathy, Hi and Lois, Luann, Rhymes with Orange, B.C., Agnes, Mother Goose and Grimm, Mutts, Pooch Cafe (my latest fav) and many other â??white stripsâ? which I love to read.

When I visit another city, I give the comics section a glance. Iâ??ve noticed a pattern. Usually only one or two of the strips that are considered â??blackâ? are included in their lineup. It is an issue. But what is the solution? I think it lies in exactly what Darrin Bell and Stephen Bentley showed me today. Each strip must be unique and not try to be a ripoff. But by bringing in the issue of race in each of these strips, you face the prospect of being considered â??one of those black strips trying to make a statementâ?. But no one considered it odd that everyone did a tribute to Charles Shulz on the same day. It was warranted.

Keep brainstorming. The issue goes beyond black strips trying to get a break. The issue is racism. People have a predetermined view of what a black strip is going to be like. Theyâ??ve already judged the strip based on the color. You canâ??t fight that in a one day statement. In Kingâ??s â??I have a dreamâ? speech, he made special mention of those white brothers whose destiny was bound up with the Negroâ??s destiny. Broaden your efforts. Next time, Dagwood shouldnâ??t just be mentioned, but Young and Lebrun should be right along side you making your statement.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

P.S. My race shouldn’t be an issue, right or wrong?

#26 Dawn Douglass
February/10/2008
@ 1:55 pm

Angela, this is what I wrote on this “diversity” subject a month ago. Perhaps you should read it again:

Rich, editors definitely want diversity on the comics page. This is mainly based on demographics, of which race is just one component.

Age, sex, type of job, marital status, â??life stageâ? (for example, new babies vs. empty nest), all of these things come into play.

But editors also seek diversity in terms of strip genre like â??funnyâ? vs. â??politicalâ? vs. â??adventureâ? vs. â??serial.â?

They also want a balance of human characters vs. animal characters.

Diversity is A LOT more than skin color.

As for me bringing up statistics first, no I didn’t. That 24% was the first. And your intrepretation that this means “76% of the nations newspapers having 100% white comics pages” is totally bogus.

Why is it that only minority characters created by minority cartoonists count? Darrin argued before that it’s not an issue of the color of a cartoonist’s skin, but the color of the characters’ skin. He says he doesn’t want to do colorless animals, he wants to do human beings of color until skin color in comics is no longer a controversy.

But then he argues that it’s not a controversy, because readers will accept all races if editors would just put them in the paper.

And then there is the actual gag that contradicts himself yet again.

Darrin why don’t you just be really explicit here about where you think the problem actually lies (racism by editors? racism by readers? something else?) and what you want the solution to be.

#27 Cory Thomas
February/10/2008
@ 1:57 pm

“Speaking of â??huh?â? Darrin, up above you said: â??I donâ??t think most white people have any trouble enjoying or identifying with characters who donâ??t look like them.â?

Then why the heck was todayâ??s gag all about???”

I don’t think most white people can fit on a single park bench.

#28 Dawn Douglass
February/10/2008
@ 2:00 pm

Exactly, Rick. Thanks.

#29 Angela Robinson
February/10/2008
@ 2:04 pm

Dawn said, “You keep saying that editors â??REFUSEâ? to put in minority cartoonists. If youâ??re not accusing them of racism, then what is the motivation behind this supposed refusal?”

Only the editors themselves can answer this question. I’m just giving my “two cents” on the findings of this recent market study. Which, in retrospect, are NOT that surprising.

#30 Mike Cope
February/10/2008
@ 2:14 pm

Speaking of logic … It’s probably fair to say that most of the Daily Cartoonist regulars are already familiar with one another’s position on this subject.

How about the public’s reaction to today’s cartoons??

Here’s one “post-sit-in” article …

http://starbulletin.com/2008/02/10/features/story03.html

The article’s first comment demonstrates the kind of blind bias that DOES exist in the real world: “I haven’t seen these strips, but …”

#31 Angela Robinson
February/10/2008
@ 2:31 pm

Rick said, “I donâ??t think Dawn was trying to pick a fight, she was using your own logic against you. What I gathered from Dawnâ??s statement was that, using your example, if you are going to base your argument on demographics, then it stands to reason that 70% of comics should be of a religious nature since 70% of Americans believe in an invisible man in the sky.”

I’ll say it again. This was NOT my logic. I was NOT the first to start throwing around demographics, population statistics and Wikipedia articles to support my argument as to what should or should not go on the comics pages . Malcom and Dawn were.

Malcom insisted that North Dakota rightfully had dibs on 100% white comics pages because of its demographics. But, since North Dakota was actually 8% minority, Malcom’s very own logic would dictate at least 2 minority strips on North Dakota’s comics pages.

And, then Dawn attempted to support Malcom by stating that the black population was only 12%. That’s when I decided to use the very statistics and Wikipedia articles that Malcom and Dawn had quoted and posted my own comments.

As the kids on the playground say, “Teacher! They started it. I just finished it!” (LOL)

#32 Mike Rhode
February/10/2008
@ 2:31 pm

Cory Thomas February 10th, 2008

“I donâ??t think most white people can fit on a single park bench.”

OOOhhh, caustic. Funny though.

#33 Dawn Douglass
February/10/2008
@ 2:45 pm

Oh, so it’s only that one white guy you’re pointing to, right? Oh, no wait, make that 8 white guys. But don’t take that as any kind of statement about readership. Since when is cartooning about making statements? Esp. as part of a “sit-in”?

Yeah, right.

#34 Angela Robinson
February/10/2008
@ 3:12 pm

Dawn said, “As for me bringing up statistics first, no I didnâ??t. That 24% was the first. And your intrepretation that this means â??76% of the nations newspapers having 100% white comics pagesâ? is totally bogus.”

The 24% and 76% are the ACTUAL figures from the Washington Post article that is the SUBJECT of this post. Didn’t you people read the article?

I did not make these numbers up. And, bogus or not, they apparently came from an independent market study that involved clipping comics from newspapers across the nation.

I QUOTE (from the article people):

*…In other words, 76 percent of newspapers in this country do not have one of the 16 strips (with minority characters or by a cartoonist of color) we searched for.”

How in the world did the results of a national independant market study on the content of comic strips become “MY logic”?! I didn’t just pull these numbers out of my…hat.

#35 Alan Gardner
February/10/2008
@ 3:30 pm

Angela, I’d caution against stating the numbers as being “independent.” The Washington Post Writers Group is the syndicate that markets Candorville and Watch Your Head – two of the participating (and instigating) features, so they do have a vested interest in getting these features in more papers. My interpretation of their survey is that they used a clipping service to gather the raw data, but then they themselves ran the numbers based on criteria THEY selected, and as it has been noted, they overlooked Secret Asian Man and Raising Hector.

#36 Angela Robinson
February/10/2008
@ 3:42 pm

Alan, thanks. I stand corrected on the “independant” issue.

I agree that Raising Hector, should have been included in the study. However, Secret Asian Man launched in July 2007, AFTER the market analysis occurred (which was apparently sometime in June 2007). So, Secret Asian Man would not have been included.

#37 Darrin Bell
February/10/2008
@ 4:00 pm

“Speaking of â??huh?â? Darrin, up above you said: â??I donâ??t think most white people have any trouble enjoying or identifying with characters who donâ??t look like them.â?

Then why the heck was todayâ??s gag all about???”

I don’t think that question deserves three question marks. The answer is simple: The gag (as we’ve said repeatedly in the various interviews, if you’d care to listen to them and read them) represents the vocal minority whose volume of angry e-mails convinces editors that they represent a greater segment of the readership than they actually do.

#38 Darrin Bell
February/10/2008
@ 4:05 pm

“Angela, Iâ??d caution against stating the numbers as being â??independent.â? The Washington Post Writers Group is the syndicate that markets Candorville and Watch Your Head – two of the participating (and instigating) features, so they do have a vested interest in getting these features in more papers. My interpretation of their survey is that they used a clipping service to gather the raw data, but then they themselves ran the numbers based on criteria THEY selected, and as it has been noted, they overlooked Secret Asian Man and Raising Hector.”

True. Add in Secret Asian Man and Raising Hector, and that might increase the numbers by a whole fraction of a percent. Maybe even a whole percentage point. It’s going to be difficult to refute WPWG’s casual survey by bringing up strips that are even MORE obscure than the ones they did include.

#39 Eric Burke
February/10/2008
@ 4:28 pm

I picked up today’s Sunday Boston Herald to read both Watch Your Head and Candorville and unfortunately, the Herald doesn’t yet run the Sunday Candorville, just the dailies.

My question to Darrin and Cory is:
did you take into account that some papers that run your dailies don’t run the Sunday strip, and if so, do you have a daily-style version like Momma’s Boyz does, ready to run?

#40 Darrin Bell
February/10/2008
@ 6:10 pm

That’s a good point, Eric. My Sunday clients are a different mix than my weekday clients. Lalo’s strip is running tomorrow, but I don’t think the rest of us did a weekday version of this strip. It would have been a good idea to do a continuation strip on Feb. 11. Wish I’d thought of it.

What I AM doing, though, is spending this week (starting tomorrow) touching on a broader set of issues that affects all cartoonists. That was my way of continuing this conversation.

#41 Dawn Douglass
February/10/2008
@ 6:18 pm

Darrin said: “The gag (as weâ??ve said repeatedly in the various interviews, if youâ??d care to listen to them and read them) represents the vocal minority whose volume of angry e-mails convinces editors that they represent a greater segment of the readership than they actually do.”

So you’re saying that some readers have complained about strips with minority characters and so editors have dropped them? Has Candorville and these other strips been pulled from papers because of reader complaints about race? That’s an honest question. I’m not trying to be disrespectful or argumentative.

I’m just honestly confused. I *have* read different things from you about this, Darrin, and I still don’t understand if you think you and the others not being in more papers is a problem of racism by editors or racism by readers or both.

Angela, you obviously failed to understand my point. You said that 76% of newspaper have 100% white comics pages. That simply is not true. There are many comics, including popular comics, that have minority characters. If diversity is the goal, as you state, my question is why don’t those characters count in your eyes?

#42 Angela Robinson
February/10/2008
@ 8:35 pm

Dawn said, “Angela, you obviously failed to understand my point. You said that 76% of newspaper have 100% white comics pages. That simply is not true. There are many comics, including popular comics, that have minority characters. If diversity is the goal, as you state, my question is why donâ??t those characters count in your eyes?”

Just like the survey, I am basing my observations on both the ethnicity of the creators and the MAIN characters in their strips. Why? Because the usual ethnic sidekick, friend, co-worker, or neighbor, only shows up in most of these strips, a few times a year at most. The other 363 days of the year these strips are 100% white. Come on. Just how often do we actually see Lt. Flap in Beetle Bailey, Franklin in Charlie Brown or LuAnn’s black friend. The ONLY exception to this would probably be Frazz, whose ethnic characters show up at least a few times a week (great strip by the way).

ALSO, a white creator, attempting to voice a Native-American or Asian comic strip character (no matter how noble the intentions) is just NOT going to be considered authentic from the perspective of the Native-American or Asian populations. If you don’t believe me, just look at the negative and stereotypical way Native-Americans and Asians have been depicted in comic strips over the past 50 years.

But, the most simple and obvious reason is this. In 1975, there were very few female comic strip creators in newspapers. However, in that same year, almost 37% of the comic strip characters appearing on the pages across the nation were in fact female. And yes, they were being written and voiced by men. Dawn, if we use your logic, then in 1975 women were ALREADY being adequately represented on the comics pages and the comic strip pages were already VERY diverse as far as gender. So, I guess it was NOT really necessary for us to have a Cathy, For Better Or For Worse, Rhymes With Orange, Six Chix, Sylvia, Preteena, Tina’s Groove, Artic Circle, Stone Soup, Pajama Diaries, Apartment 3-G, Between Friends, etc. WHY? Because if you simply did a head count of female comic strip characters, male creators ALREADY had it covered and then some.

So, my question to you (and others) is this: with all of the wonderful female comic strip characters male cartoonists have created through the years, why in the world would we EVER need or want a female comic strip creator? Dawn, the answer to this question and your question is exactly the same.

#43 Darrin Bell
February/10/2008
@ 8:45 pm

“Darrin said: â??The gag (as weâ??ve said repeatedly in the various interviews, if youâ??d care to listen to them and read them) represents the vocal minority whose volume of angry e-mails convinces editors that they represent a greater segment of the readership than they actually do.â?

So youâ??re saying that some readers have complained about strips with minority characters and so editors have dropped them? Has Candorville and these other strips been pulled from papers because of reader complaints about race? Thatâ??s an honest question. Iâ??m not trying to be disrespectful or argumentative.

Iâ??m just honestly confused. I *have* read different things from you about this, Darrin, and I still donâ??t understand if you think you and the others not being in more papers is a problem of racism by editors or racism by readers or both.”
————-

Is anyone other than Dawn confused? Agree or disagree with me, fine. But Dawn’s confusion notwithstanding, I believe I’ve been pretty clear and consistent over the past 3 threads.

#44 Dawn Douglass
February/10/2008
@ 11:57 pm

Angela said, “So, my question to you (and others) is this: with all of the wonderful female comic strip characters male cartoonists have created through the years, why in the world would we EVER need or want a female comic strip creator? Dawn, the answer to this question and your question is exactly the same.”

No, the answer is not the same, because the questions are radically different. I didn’t ask, ‘Why would the world need or want minority creators?” I would never argue that only white people can be cartoonists. That’s ridiculous. But neither would I discount the contributions to diversity that many cartoonists have made, by suggesting that their characters aren’t valid somehow because they don’t personally have the right shade of skin.

You can’t have it both ways, Angela. You can’t claim to want color blindness on the comics page and at the same time argue that only this color person can create this color character to have it count.

But I do appreciate your passion for the topic, Angela, and I hope along with you that more cartoonists of all colors can get a voice in our society and be adequately compensated for their time and talent.

As for my confusion, Darrin, you and these other cartoonists have staged a civil rights style sit-in to protest “pigeon-holing by race,” but your syndicate says it’s not racism, and you can’t or won’t answer the question of exactly who is being racist, but you and your syndicate still contend that you’re the victims of something that white cartoonists don’t have go through.

Okay, I guess it’s just me.

#45 Rich Diesslin
February/11/2008
@ 1:25 am

Goes back to Malc’s question at the beginning of this thread “1) What is the â??solutionâ? (if one is required)? Anybody want to advance theirs?”

My hunch is no one will offer ideas on this because whatever they come up with will be inadequate.

Darrin, I think Malc’s and Dawn’s questions are valid. Also, it seems to me that the collective comic strip sit-in could have been about any preference in characters … Like someone railing against Mary Worth or something but loving that Beetle Bailey. If that is the point, then I’m even more confused because it really only says that people only want comics they like, which seems true.

#46 Darrin Bell
February/11/2008
@ 3:56 am

“As for my confusion, Darrin, you and these other cartoonists have staged a civil rights style sit-in to protest â??pigeon-holing by race,â? but your syndicate says itâ??s not racism, and you canâ??t or wonâ??t answer the question of exactly who is being racist,”

I already have, several times, you just don’t find the answer satisfying. A vocal minority of the readership, and editors who see strips, first and foremost, as interchangeable “black strips” that have little value to anyone who isn’t black, are wrong to do so. Whether they’re “racist” or just lazy or ignorant (or “biased,” as WPWG put it), I don’t know, and that doesn’t matter to me. What matters is they’re wrong. They should judge strips by their themes and how effectively and entertainingly (I wish that were a word) they handle them.

But some people insist on reducing it all to an accusation of racism, probably because it’s much easier for them to dismiss the whole idea that way. I’m not interested in labeling anyone a racist. I don’t care what’s in their heart or what motivates them to consider race as a basis to dismiss a strip, I just hope they’ll stop dismissing strips on the basis of ethnicity.

“Darrin, I think Malcâ??s and Dawnâ??s questions are valid.”

Malc’s question was whether protesting as a group makes us guilty of the same line-blurring we’re accusing editors of engaging in. I suppose that’s one way to characterize it, but I don’t know what that gets you other than an irony. I don’t see anything wrong with a people acknowledging that editors and some readers see them as a group, and that because of this they face one extra impediment to entry that shouldn’t exist.

#47 Darrin Bell
February/11/2008
@ 3:59 am

“a people” was a typo. Should’ve just read “people.”

#48 Malcolm McGookin
February/11/2008
@ 4:37 am

Angela, you’re playing fast and loose with the truth as far as those figures are concerned, unless your view is that all minorities are sufficiently “represented” by any black-faced character.

In fact the figures indicate that EVEN ADDED TOGETHER African American, Asian, Mixed and Hispanic don’t even make up 2% of N.Dakota’s population.

My view is that on a page of eight strips, if one is a black-face strip (or “chocolate face” as Borat would have it) no-one would care, even in Cracker City, Whiteyfornia. Even if it wasn’t funny, it would cause no concern, because comics readers know that elsewhere in the States lots of chocolate faces live.

Two chocolate face strips? Well, in Cracker City, at least one of them would have to be VERY funny, it would have to hit crackers where they live.

Three choc face strips? Well that’s darn near half, letters to the editor in green wax crayon would start being received and the guns would be cocked in some parts of the city.

THAT is the reality. If no choc face strips are being sought in Cracker City, it’s because no-one wants them and you can only persuade crackers by making them laugh. If you can’t do that, then not only do you not have the ability to crack that market, neither do you have the RIGHT to, and no drive for positive discrimination should give it to you.

People are entitled to be left in peace in their own territory, and if you insist on foisting yourself upon them, well you should at least buy them a casino.

#49 Angela Robinson
February/11/2008
@ 9:27 am

Dawn said,”Why would the world need or want minority creators?â? I would never argue that only white people can be cartoonists. Thatâ??s ridiculous. But neither would I discount the contributions to diversity that many cartoonists have made, by suggesting that their characters arenâ??t valid somehow because they donâ??t personally have the right shade of skin.”

Dawn you completed missed my point. So, I will try to make it more simple for you. No one has ever counted the female comic strip characters drawn by MALE creators and tried to use it as evidence that there was GENDER DIVERSITY (as in creators with XY chromosomes) on the comics pages. No one has ever counted the female comic strip characters drawn by MALE creators and tried to use it as evidence that WOMEN CREATORS were being adequately represented on the comic pages.

Considering work by non-females in this manner would not only be ridiulous, but very misleading, especially in lieu of the fact that in 1975 there were ONLY a couple of older female creators on the comics pages, like Dale Messick doing Brenda Starr.

NOW, did we appreciate and encourage male creators to write female comic strip characters? Of course we did! But, in spite of their valiant efforts, they could NEVER be counted as creating real GENDER DIVERSITY on the comics pages (DUH! men are NOT female)or replace our need for the voice of real female creators. Hence the need for Cathy, For Better Or For Worse, etc. which are strips by real, live breathing women. I am SURE this paragraph makes sense to you.

Now, let’s substitute a few words for the paragraph below:

NOW, do we appreciate and encourage white creators to write ethnic comic strip characters? Of course we do! However, in spite of their valiant efforts, they could NEVER be counted as creating real ETHNIC DIVERSITY on the comics pages (DUH! They are white and not black, Asian, Hispanic, Native-American, etc.) or replace our need for the voice of real ethnically diverse comic strip creators. Hence the need for Candorville, Watch Your Head, etc. which are strips by real, live breathing ethnic minorities.

I hope this paragraph makes sense to you as well.

#50 Angela Robinson
February/11/2008
@ 9:52 am

Malcom said, “In fact the figures indicate that EVEN ADDED TOGETHER African American, Asian, Mixed and Hispanic donâ??t even make up 2% of N.Dakotaâ??s population.”

True. But, if you add in North Dakota’s Native American population (why did you leave them out, don’t they count as human to you?) you get 8%. And, even an 8% minority population would impact the comics pages if you base it on “actual readership demographics” which is supposedly what the editors allege they are using.

Now, assuming that the North Dakota comic strip pages probably have closer to 12 to 14 strips on a daily basis (and not only eight as you are alleging), that still would allow for at least ONE strip by a minority creator. And, I would nominate a Native-American creator since he would represent the largest minority group.

Now should this Native-American be a talented comic strip creator. Of course! And, should this Native-American’s strip be as funny, if not funnier than the strips already appearing on North Dakota comic strip pages? Of course! However, depending on what strips are already running on the North Dakota comics pages this probably won’t be very difficult for our Native-American creator to accomplish this. ;-)

I won’t bother to address (or dignify) any of your “chocolate face” or “gun-toting cracker” comments.

#51 Angela Robinson
February/11/2008
@ 9:55 am

I apologize for the typo. I meant to say:

However, depending on what strips are already running on the North Dakota comics pages this probably wonâ??t be very difficult for our Native-American creator to accomplish. ;-)

Darn it, I blew my punch line! (LOL)

#52 Dave Krainacker
February/11/2008
@ 10:20 am

Interesting discussion. I read most of the strips discussed every day, but on the web. I live in Montana, and it does not surprise me that my local paper does not carry any of the strips mentioned. But that is primarily because my local paper (the Helena Independent Record) has only made one or two changes to its comics page in the past decade (they added “Zits” and “Pearls” and dropped “Cathy” for a net gain of one).
To my mind, several of the strips with “minority characters” are funny without any reference to race. “Candorville” and “Watch Your Head” would be hilarious regardless of who the main characters are. “LaCucaracha” tends to have more biting commentary dependent on race, but much of the humor is more related to economic status than to race. “Jump Start”, “Baldo” and “Curtis” are funny because of the situations presented, not because of the race of the characters.
So why aren’t they in more papers? Good question. I would hope it is not due to racism so much as a shrinking market. It would be interesting to take the same number of comics at random and see how the distribution works out nationally.

#53 Craig Yoe
February/11/2008
@ 1:45 pm

In response to these strips and the ensuing discussion I have run a Mutt and Jeff original from 1919 on my Arf Lovers blog today that deals with the subject of cartoonists, their work and political correctness! Go to http://arflovers.com to see this wonderful (and SAD and FUNNY) strip starring the cartoonist Bud Fisher himself!
–Craig Yoe

#54 Anne Hambrock
February/11/2008
@ 2:02 pm

Dave, you raise an interesting point. Of those papers surveyed for minority strips, I would be curious how many of them had any new strips at all. Let’s define new as anything launched within the last 10 years.

Since I started reading this blog in Nov. of 06 I have discovered that my paper is a lot hipper than I thought. They have Frazz, Get Fuzzy, Pearls, Pooch Cafe, Edison Lee, Watch Your Head (which got the Foxtrot spot by the way, not the Boondocks spot. The Boondocks spot went to Over The Hedge temporarily and then to Edison Lee), Lola, Lio and Zits. I think all those strips are 10 years or younger. They have managed this while still carrying several long running strips like FBOW and Funky, as well as some legacy strips like Hagar and Blondie. Their readers seem pretty happy with the arrangement so it is definately do-able. I just had no idea this level of change was so rare.

Craig, that Mutt n Jeff strip is fascinating. I guess the more things change the more they stay the same.

#55 Malcolm McGookin
February/11/2008
@ 2:22 pm

Angela writes: “True. But, if you add in North Dakotaâ??s Native American population (why did you leave them out, donâ??t they count as human to you?)”

Oh brother….

Obviously human, Angela, but just as obviously NOT urban black or Hispanic, though to crackers they’re all the same, huh?

#56 Chris Hardiman
February/11/2008
@ 3:18 pm

After scrolling through this huge thread, I have a few thoughts…

First of all, I think that the whole system in which demographics are used to decide which comic strips go and stay is fundamentally flawed. Editors are trying to appeal to every esingle group, whether it be men, women, the young, the elderly, the parents of kids, the parents of teens, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, city-dwellers, country-dwellers, suburbanites, liberals, conservatives…I could go on and on. The idea of not including an excellent strip because it targets the same demographic or has the same subject matter as a strip already present in the newspaper is just horrible. Every strip should be judged on its own merits, in terms of artisitic quality and, most importantly, its ability to make people laugh. Unfortunately, it is impossible for these editors to overlook the fact that, say “Candorville,” has African-American characters and pick it based on its humor and its characters. If they really want to add it, odds are they will replace “Curtis” or “Jump Start” with it. The problem is that we can’t just throw the “picking based on demographics” system out the window. If we were to do so, then it is very possible that there would be newspapers who still would not carry a single “minority strip” because they decided that none of them merited a spot on the pages. I think that there are several high-quality strips by minority cartoonists in the comics today, but who knows where editors stand?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though the fact that only one or two strips by minority cartoonists are present in any given newspaper, the demographics system reserves those spots for you. Even if it’s holding you back, it might be keeping you in a lot of papers that otherwise might have gotten rid of the strips.

Secondly, please don’t blame the readers for discrimination in deciding whether “minority strips” get to be on the comics pages. No matter what method is used in selecting new strips — even if there is a comic poll — rememeber that the decision ultimately lies with the editors, and the editors are, in fact, the ones who pick the strips that will appear in the poll. That said, I am aware that racism is, unfortunately, alive and well in many parts of the United States. Just before the South Carolina primary, the newspaper in the capital and largest city there, Columbia, endorsed Senator Barack Obama, who is an African-American. In a letter to the editor, which had some news outlets buzzing, a man wrote in to say that he was ashamed that the Columbia paper, which he had previously thought to be a fine paper, had endorsed a black man for president. When I heard about this I felt very sad; it is terrible that so many people cannot transcend the issue of race. It’s not racism on the part of the editors, but it’s certainly discrimination.

Thirdly, I want to say that this notion of apportioning the number of comic strips by a certain minority to the size of that minority in a given state of city in just plain ludicrous. That’s not healing the demographics system — it’s expanding it, and making it more unfair to cartoonists. Sure, the minority cartoonists would benefit in many places, but fewer cartoonists would be selected based on merit, and more based on demographics. It’s a slippery slope.

And finally, my own observations on the situation: I live in Northern New Jersey and I read the Newark Star-Ledger. Unlike North Dakota, here I encounter people who are white, African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Indian every day, along with people of a variety of religions including Catholicism, Protestantism, Mormonism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and atheism. Newark is a city with a vast majority of people that are black, and a significant minority that are Hispanic. And yet the Star-Ledger only has one “minority strip”: “Jump Start.” I’m not criticizing “Jump Start”; rather I think it’s a very funny strip and I read it every day. But I also have to go online to read “Curtis,” “Candorville,” “Maintaining,” and “Watch Your Head” every day. Now, I’m not saying that we should go to that crazy apportionment idea, but wouldn’t you expect a newspaper based in minority-majority city to have more than one “minority strip”? I would.

Yes, there’s definitely a problem with editors seeing minority cartoonists only as a group. But what’s a good solution? Rich is right; at this point I can only envision inadequate ones. Apportionment based on population is just an extension of the current system; choosing solely on merit could lead to a dearth of minority strips in some newspapers followed by more complaints from the same cartoonists; throwing it open to the readers would cause things to get out of control, and readers’ actual racism could prevade the polls. I fully support your protest, Darrin and Cory, but I’m not sure of whether anyone has a set goal for fixing the problem in mind beyond just stating the problem.

#57 Angela Robinson
February/11/2008
@ 3:20 pm

Malcolm, I don’t have the slightest idea what point you are trying to make. And, it would probably help if you would cut-out all of the ranting about “crackers,” whatever they are supposed to be.

We were talking about the 8% minorities in North Dakota as stated in YOUR Wikipedia article. Go back and read it again. Native Americans are minorities, as are the other groups mentioned previously. I don’t know why you would NOT include them. Other than a feeble attempt on your part to manipulate the numbers to to make the percentage of minorities in North Dakota appear smaller than what it actually is, to support your argument that comics editors should discount them.

#58 Malc McGookin
February/11/2008
@ 5:07 pm

Angela you are making the point for me. Again.

Firstly, I don’t own Wikipedia, secondly, you are saying that because people count as “minorities” they are all one lumpen mass, indistinguishable from each other.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061113060615AAfaJ1g

#59 Chris Hardiman
February/11/2008
@ 5:31 pm

Angela and Malcolm,
I can’t say for certain but I think that Malcolm excluded Native Americans from his North Dakota list because there are no Native American strips by Native American cartoonists, while there are African-American, Hispanic, and Asian strips by African-American, Hispanic, and Asian strips by African-American, Hispanic, or Asian cartoonists currently in syndication.

#60 Garey Mckee
February/11/2008
@ 5:43 pm

Craig,

Your posting of the 1919 Bud Fisher strip is extremely cool. Thanks so much for sharing it. I guess it proves the more things change the more they stay the same even 89 years later.

#61 Angela Robinson
February/11/2008
@ 5:49 pm

Malcom, and the point of your link is…WHAT???!!! I refuse to discuss such garbage.

#62 Angela Robinson
February/11/2008
@ 5:58 pm

Chris said, “I canâ??t say for certain but I think that Malcolm excluded Native Americans from his North Dakota list because there are no Native American strips by Native American cartoonists.”

Actually, I don’t think that was Malcom’s logic at all. He’s off ranting about crackers or something and posting senseless links. (LOL)

There are several Native-American strips by Native-American cartoonists. You just don’t know about them and they haven’t been picked up for national syndication. Yet.

#63 Rich Diesslin
February/11/2008
@ 6:16 pm

Darrin, sorry I meant Malc’s question about what should the be the criteria and Dawn’s question about how race can be protested as a demographic when it is being used the demographic to measure the problem.

No one seems to be coming up with positive alternatives. Seems there’s a lot of complaining. There needs to be a vision of the right way to do it, for the old way to transition to it. I’ve only dealt with one or two editors before, so those of you that have all the experience with them, how should they decide? What should they do differently to be truly deliver the best possible product to their reader base and fair to cartoonists?

#64 Dawn Douglass
February/11/2008
@ 6:40 pm

Rich, I think one thing they could do is this…

We have all these legacy strips that take up lots of real estate on newsaper pages. Because of this, it’s more difficult for the comic pages to keep up with the culture.

So what syndicates could do is, next time these strips have an opening for a new cartoonist, they could give it to a woman or ethnic minority. This would naturally update the point of view and voice of the characters.

#65 Dave Krainacker
February/11/2008
@ 6:46 pm

Mr. Diesslin makes a good point. The editors will ultimately decide what most folks see. Clearly, the number of strips in traditional papers is not going to dramatically increase. I wonder if it would be fruitful to direct readers to a subscription based web service in the newspapers? This would allow readers (such as myself) to pay for more strips if they truly wanted them. The reality is that most people are only going to know about strips that their paper offers. Comic strip groupies such as myself will have no problem finding more strips on our own, but I wonder if the casual fan will make the effort. Seems like a simple ad at the bottom of the comic section may pull in some more business. For those of you who are successful cartoonists, how much do you make off a web hit? Is it a viable financial model, or is it just a drop in the bucket compared to what you make from traditional print?

#66 Angela Robinson
February/11/2008
@ 6:59 pm

Chris: FYI, take a look at these links for just a few of the Native American cartoonists out there:

http://jennyspouse.com/September2007.html

http://www.rabbitandbearpaws.com/aboutus.php

We need to get them syndicated and into North Dakota, quick. ;-)

#67 Malcolm McGookin
February/11/2008
@ 7:12 pm

“Malcom, and the point of your link isâ?¦WHAT???!!!”

Angela, you said you didn’t know what I meant by “crackers”. That link told you. I’m trying to figure out if you’re trying to pretend you don’t know anything just to be obtuse or whether you do in fact know nothing.

Some of your stuff, like:
“Hence the need for Candorville, Watch Your Head, etc. which are strips by real, live breathing ethnic minorities.”
is first rate comedy. Unless it’s meant seriously, in which case it’s tragedy.

#68 Dave Krainacker
February/11/2008
@ 10:50 pm

Thanks for the posts, Ms. Robinson. Comic strip groupies like me love that sort of stuff! (Especially liked Jenny Spouse. We have lots of military families in Montana.) I have no clue how to get them syndicated, but there has to be a way for strips like these to be profitable on the web.

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