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Swedish paper redesigns comic page; swaps comics

I don’t get many reports of comic page changes outside of the United States, but thanks to Andreas Eriksson of Sweden, we learn that the Norra Västerbotten recently switched to a tabloid format earlier this month and brought in a focus group to determine which comic features should be dropped or picked up. Before the change, the line up was: Nemi by Lise Myhre (Norway), Boes by Wil Raymakers (The Netherlands), Sherman’s Lagoon by Jim Toomey (USA), Zits by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman (USA), Elvis by Tony and Maria Cronstam (Sweden) and Bizarro by Dan Piraro (USA).

The focus group reviewed 34 strips including the six mentioned above. The top 12 comics were then presented to the general readership for a vote which set off protests that Elvis wasn’t one of the finalists. Andreas notes that Elvis has been controversial strip due to its rough language and sexually explicit humor.

After the general voting the final line-up included: Single Mom by Cecilia Torudd (Sweden), Baby Blues by Jerry Scott and Rick Kirkman (USA), Zits by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman (USA), Beetle Bailey by Mort and Greg Walker (USA) and Nemi by Lise Myhre (Norway). Elvis was also reinstated after reader protests.

Thank you Andreas for the report. It’s interesting to see what runs outside of the U.S. and that the poll driving comic selection process isn’t uniquely American.

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