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Rhode: D.C. comics 65 percent as good as 2007

In Mike Rhode’s latest column in the Washington City Paper, compared the number of cartoons in each D.C. paper with what was offered in 2007. The result: only 65 percent of the comics remain.

As we take stock of this great nation of ours, it is evident that one group is sufferingâ??a surprising group given its mission. Cartoonists are under siege in this great capital of ours.

If we examine who was appearing in our newspapers in May 2007, the last date we have statistics for, we find a relatively thriving local market. A look at January 2010 shows a much-diminished field.

Using an unscientific scale of one point per cartoonist and one per syndicated page of comics, letâ??s take a look at both dates.

Read the whole thing.

Community Comments

#1 Derf Backderf
January/29/2010
@ 12:23 pm

Exactly two years ago, almost to the day, the DC City Paper issued an ultimatum that all ten or so strips, including mine, that ran in the paper would be dumped, unless City Paper could run them for free.

This was a budgetary decree from the beancounters at Creative Loafing Inc, who had just purchased the City Paper and the Chicago Reader for an outrageous sum, a purchase that would, a few months when the economy crashed, sink the entire company. The chain would eventually be seized buy its major creditor, which is now running all the papers. The comics have not returned.

So it takes quite a bit of chutzpah for the City Paper to sneer at the comics offerings of other publications.

#2 Mike Rhode
January/29/2010
@ 5:39 pm

I commented on Derf’s comment on the City Paper site, but basically I agree with him except for the chutzpah part herein – I’m freelancing for them, and came up with the topic. They’re listed as part of the problem and the fact that he was in the paper in 2007 and not there in 2009 is noted.

I think, along with the RFK Journalism Award judges of a couple of years ago, that The City is one of the best alt strips going.

#3 Ted Rall
January/30/2010
@ 10:54 am

derf,

Mike is one of the good guys. He has been fighting the good fight for comics in DC for years. He’s been losing, but that’s not his fault. The forces of evil are strong.

#4 Mike Rhode
January/30/2010
@ 11:41 am

Thanks, Ted. Can I quote you? ;^)

I’ve submitted my next posting to the WCP editor btw. It’s on the Library of Congress’ Herblock! centenary exhibit which is still open for a few months.

#5 Derf Backderf
February/1/2010
@ 3:23 pm

I don’t know Mike, and certainly have no beef with him. Really, I don’t even have any animosity toward the City Paper. It’s (the former, pre-bankruptcy) Creative Loafing, that is the bad guy here. And what they did to CP, and to the many fine people who worked there, let alone the best comics paper in the biz, still infuriates me.

So chalk that up to an old mad, Mike.

#6 Mike Rhode
February/1/2010
@ 4:56 pm

Derf, I understand where you’re coming from.

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