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Blondie turns 80 years old today

Chic Young’s Blondie first debuted in newspapers 80 years ago today. The strip featured Blondie, a hip young flapper and Dagwood, the son of a rich industrial tycoon. Dagwood’s father disapproved of Blondie and marrying her resulted in disinheritance, banishment to suburbia and running into the mailman to catch the car-pool.

Chic drew the strip until his death in 1973. His son Dean and Jim Raymond continued on with the strip.

Community Comments

#1 BOB QUICK
September/8/2010
@ 7:32 am

Gotta love Blondie. Congratulations to Dean and Denis for keeping the strip fresh and up-to-date.

#2 David Jones
September/8/2010
@ 8:44 am

One of my favorite strips of ALL time. And Blonde looks HOT for being 80! Amazing what a little airbrushing can do for ya…

Happy birthday Blondie and Dagwood!!!!!…

Suddenly I want a BIG OL’ Dagwood sandwich for lunch…

#3 Andrew Caddell
September/8/2010
@ 9:07 am

Incredible

#4 Jason Nocera
September/8/2010
@ 9:52 am

Congrats! This is one legacy strip that has remained funny throughout the years. Top-notch work all around.

#5 Jimmy Delach
September/8/2010
@ 10:47 am

Denis LeBrun doesn’t work with Blondie anymore (didn’t he die a while back?). The artists are Dean Young and John Marshall.

#6 Jimmy Delach
September/8/2010
@ 10:49 am

EDIT: Denis LeBrun is still alive but he left Blondie in 2005.

#7 Pete McDonnell
September/8/2010
@ 11:11 am

Blondie, still singing those great hits “Hangin’ on the Telephone” and “One Way or Another” after all these…oh, wait. Never mind.
Blondie: still the cutest gal in the comics!

#8 George
September/8/2010
@ 11:15 am

Has it really been that long? Wow! Blondie was one of the first comic strips I recall enjoying on a regular basis.

#9 Scott Kurtz
September/8/2010
@ 11:26 am

Who are you all congratulating? The creators of Blondie for a job well done? They’re all dead. The people currently working on Blondie? Are they even aware they’re drawing the strip or are they on autopilot?

The syndicate? It’s a travesty that they’re working so hard to keep Blondie in papers instead of fighting to get fresh material on a page that’s supposed to be targeting younger readers.

You guys are congratulating a brand.

It would be like congratulating Coca-Cola.

#10 Pat Sandy
September/8/2010
@ 11:32 am

Well put, Scott.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: If the TV networks operated like the syndicates, we’d be getting ready for the 59th season of “I Love Lucy” and we’d be on our 14th “Lucy”, our 12th “Ricky”, our 16th “Fred”, our…well, you get the idea….

#11 Steve Skelton
September/8/2010
@ 11:42 am

So when new artists get handed a property like this, are they just paid contractors? They don’t share any of the royalties, I assume. This is pretty much a comic strip being done by a committee in a factory.

That’s funny, Scott!

#12 Adam Casalino
September/8/2010
@ 12:05 pm

Its a “don’t rock the boat” mentality. This strip got in during the golden age of comics, so why get rid of it (or replace it with newer/better stuff)? It doesn’t matter that the subject matter is ridiculously irrelevant to 2010!

The same mentality is ruining Major League Baseball.

#13 Jason Nocera
September/8/2010
@ 12:21 pm

Personally, I’m congratulating everyone involved with Blondie. I think it’s still a funny (and well-drawn) strip. Yes, a lot of the drawings are re-used at times, but regardless, it’s well drawn and it’s made me laugh.

You have a fitting avatar, Scott. That is a Troll, right?

#14 Dave Stephens
September/8/2010
@ 12:23 pm

Said Kurtz, working hard on his own brand…

Said Kurtz, opening a glass window in a glass house to throw stones…

Scott, in a few years, you will have been the creator of PVP for about ONE THIRD of the 43 years that Blondie’s creator Chic Young wrote and drew his strip… Clearly, if you had a son or daughter, you’d make sure they would have nothing to do with your strip since you think it’s such a sin that Chic Young’s son Dean made that choice, right?

You are one third of the way there and you are picking up stones to throw… Will you still be throwing stones when you are two thirds of the way there? Or will you, at that point, take a gander at your lovely glass house…

#15 Steve McGarry
September/8/2010
@ 12:27 pm

Dean Young inherited the strip from his dad in 1973 – it’s now been his feature almost as long as it was his dad’s.

I don’t have a horse in this race so it’s no skin off my nose either way … but I don’t quite understand what the likes of Scott, Pat, Steve and Adam et al are actually advocating.

a) Are they saying that Dean should have declined to continue the feature in 1973? Just curious, but in what other walk of professional life does this happen? Your dad spends four decades building up a very good business – but then you give it away because you want to encourage emerging competition? Not sell it, mind you – but kill a successful business so that a younger competitor can have all your clients? (And a quick Google search tells me that Heathcliff was launched in 1973. Was that the emerging talent they had in mind?)

b) Or is it their position that there should be a statute of limitations on a feature? That, after a suitable length of time, a creator is somehow morally obligated to end a feature before it achieves Beetle Bailey-ish longevity? 10 years? That means Get Fuzzy is past its sell-by date. (And Get Fuzzy is a year younger than PvP.) 20 years? Then it’s almost time to get out of the way, Wiley.

c) Or are the syndicates the villains? Are our friends advocating that a syndicate kill off a successful property so that they can launch an untried feature? As CEO of United, you would have taken the decision to kill off Dilbert – which at 21 years old is now a dinosaur – to offer editors a Diesel Sweeties? I think that might go down well with the shareholders.

d) And we do understand that once a feature is killed off, there is no guarantee that editors will replace the feature with a strip fro the same syndicate. So is it the panel’s position that a syndicate should just toss out all that revenue and run the risk of a rival firm picking up the business? Again, in what other walk of life is this common practice?

As I say, no real axe to grind – I just wonder what the actual recommendations here are supposed to be? Not from a fanboy point of view, but from a professional perspective?

#16 Steve Skelton
September/8/2010
@ 12:56 pm

Steve,

I actually do like the strip and have thought lately that it looks really good. I was mostly just wondering if new hired artists to a legacy strip are just on salary rather than licensing royalties, etc. from the feature….

I would be willing to bet that a lot of newspaper subscribers read and want Blondie in their paper, and with good reason.

#17 Steve Skelton
September/8/2010
@ 12:58 pm

…and we’re watching and smelling homes burn here in Boulder county…

#18 Scott Kurtz
September/8/2010
@ 1:19 pm

think about something. When Blondie was first created, Mr. Young could have done a joke about spats the way someone might do a joke about crocs now.

Spats.

So listen, I’m sure that Dean Young enjoys the check he gets every month, but let’s not pretend he does anything on Blondie. He owns a property and he’s hired people to draw the thing.

I’ve met one of them, personally, in San Diego, and he told me a horrible tale about how he drew the strip for 40 years and then got dropped by the syndicate with nothing to show for over 4 decades of work.

You’re congratulating a plane for landing on autopilot.

#19 Dave Stephens
September/8/2010
@ 1:26 pm

Oh, so there’s no glass in your house, Scott? Because you write AND draw your strip, there’s just no similarity, right? In that case, please throw those stones with full velocity and make each one count!

Plus, your comic strip is on the web – BONUS! Can you roll a boulder from there? Just asking. ;)

#20 John Read
September/8/2010
@ 1:29 pm

Very well said, Mr. McGarry, very well said. And this comes from a man who is, unlike Scott, Pat and Adam, a syndicated cartoonist vying for space in newspapers — a fellow competitor, as it were.

#21 Steve McGarry
September/8/2010
@ 1:30 pm

I’m not actually congratulating anyone on anything … or even disagreeing with your sentiment, Scott. (Although I’m fairly certain that Dean Young is heavily involved in the feature – he writes the thing, doesn’t he? After working alongside his dad for years, if memory serves.)

I’m just asking what you are actually advocating, and curious as to how that would actually work in practice?

#22 Ted Rall
September/8/2010
@ 1:43 pm

@Scott has it exactly right. It’s one thing to note the longevity of Blondie as a property, but art it ain’t.

Artists deserve congratulations. Products don’t need them; they earn profits.

And comparing PvP to Blondie as a product is about the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read here. Whether or not you appreciate Scott’s strip, it is hardly a zombie product created solely to generate revenue for a syndicate.

No newspaper should ever run a strip after its creator has quit or died.

#23 Steve McGarry
September/8/2010
@ 1:48 pm

Again, noble sentiments, Ted … but you don’t actually address how this is supposed to work in practice.

#24 Corey Pandolph
September/8/2010
@ 2:08 pm

I draw a strip originally created by a guy who’s deceased. I like writing it, I like drawing it and I’m far from on autopilot. Is it the perfect strip? No. Is it something I would’ve come up with on my own? Not likely. I doubt I’ll do it forever and it’s not the only thing I do, but that doesn’t make me any less proud to be in papers.

It’s a job. In my field. I’d probably draw Blondie if asked. Why not? A gig’s a gig.

You guys get so worked up over the lamest sh*t. Have a beer and be glad you work in comics.

Stop being a bunch of thin-skinned cry-asses every time someone rubs your rhubarb.

Jeeezus,

CP

#25 August J. Pollak
September/8/2010
@ 2:13 pm

“but you don?t actually address how this is supposed to work in practice.”

I didn’t think that was a riddle or anything. Newspapers should stop rerunning old cartoons. Angry fans should buy the books of collected works and stop complaining when they do.

Isn’t it kind of weird that comic strips are the only thing a newspaper would print twice? They don’t even repeat crossword puzzles.

#26 John Read
September/8/2010
@ 2:13 pm

Very well said, Mr. Pandolph, very well said. And this comes from a man who is, unlike Scott, Pat and Adam, a syndicated cartoonist vying for space in newspapers ? a fellow competitor, as it were.

#27 John Read
September/8/2010
@ 2:15 pm

August, Blondie isn’t a rerun. Real live humans write and draw it.

#28 August J. Pollak
September/8/2010
@ 2:21 pm

Just to clarify, I disagree with Ted and Scott slightly: if a cartoonist wants to pass on his or her work to another artist, and that artist equally cares for the product, that’s fine by me. As Dali once said “if people want to make poor representations of my work, and people want to buy them, they deserve each other.” At the very least, long past their prime as they are, at least they’re making a new product every day.

But it’s ridiculous that Calvin and Hobbes and Peanuts, despite being among the greatest comics ever, are taking up space in newspapers. Anything you want from those comics can be found in a book or website or CD-ROM.

Corey, if you care about the comic you make, and it seems you do, more power to you. In your particular case I don’t see why you want to be producing a comic another person created though. Looking at your site you seem to have an enviable range of styles and could easily produce an original hit of your own.

#29 Darryl Heine
September/8/2010
@ 2:22 pm

Happy 80th., Blondie and Dagwood, even when Dag still gets fired from Dithers off and on…

#30 Adam Casalino
September/8/2010
@ 2:24 pm

@John Read, before you copy and paste your comment one more time, let me clarify my comment.

I’m an up-and-coming cartoonist, whose poured much of his time and effort into a comic–so don’t imply like I don’t know what I’m talking about.

I commented on the fact that this comic “Blondie” is culturally irrelevant to today. Just read the article’s description of it! “Blondie, a hip young flapper and Dagwood, the son of a rich industrial tycoon”??? Yeah, ALL the kids love flappers and industrial tycoons! The fact that newspapers continue to print content that nobody can relate to (and even understand) is one of the reasons they are going under.

I’m all for comics lasting for years. And it’d be great if Blondie continued to change and improve with each new generation of artist that inherited it. But because comic syndicates and newspapers ignore new talent and continue to push old content boggles my mind (and that is why many are going to new mediums to promote their work).

That is my comment.

#31 Scott Kurtz
September/8/2010
@ 2:24 pm

I think there are two issues here: what’s good for the creator and what’s good for the industry.

Is it good for a creator to find out that his father’s comic strip is being canceled after decades of being in papers because it’s just not drawing in audiences any longer? No of course not. That’s a sad story.

But the reality of business and the reality of what’s comfortable or tragic for the people in the business rarely line up. Such is life.

Right now what we have across a couple industries are the people in charge of preserving nostalgia and the feeling of “remember the good old days” steering the ship. And while that might make everyone feel warm and fuzzy inside, it’s horrible for business.

Yes, I do lament the loss of a better time when comic book stores were filled with kids and syndicated comic strips moved papers. But those days are gone now. Sorry.

And no amount of insisting that we run things IDENTICALLY to the way they were in hopes of hanging on to those halcyon days is going to bring them back. It’s not a ritual that’s going to summon back children into the comic book shops or young readers to the newspapers.

Blondie being in papers is bad for business. Unless that feature was completely reinvented for new audiences….maybe.

So in practice Steve, it’s really simple. A forward thinking business looks for the latest and greatest in their field. Hires them to replace the older content and cancels the older content and the industry moves forward.

Blondie is not a property that is capable of surviving on its own merit. It’s subsidized by a system that’s looking to hang on to what little profit is left to make and a newspaper industry avoiding letters from old people.

I’m not sure how this equates to me throwing stones inside my glass house.

#32 August J. Pollak
September/8/2010
@ 2:24 pm

BTW Scott, I live in Atlanta. So down here when Coca-cola does something they actually do have celebratory events.

#33 Corey Pandolph
September/8/2010
@ 2:31 pm

@Scott said:

“I think there are two issues here: what?s good for the creator and what?s good for the industry.”

Agreed. And right now, I’m all about what’s good for the creator. It’s a job and it pays cash money.

Honesty,

CP

#34 Scott Kurtz
September/8/2010
@ 2:54 pm

@Corey,

I’m for the creator too. But when you’re dependent on the industry for that cash money, and they industry is doing stuff that’s stupid for its health, you suddenly care very much about the industry right? Or you should I would think.

When Steve says it’s no skin off his nose, I don’t get that. It’s directly affecting the skin on his nose. It’s no skin of MY nose because I’m self-employed.

#35 Pat Sandy
September/8/2010
@ 2:59 pm

Steve M – the ‘likes’ of Scott, Pat, Steve, Adam? LOL – nice – that’s some pretty good company I got lumped in. Actually, I wasn’t advocating anything except to say some strips tend to go on longer than their, uh…’freshness date’. That’s it. It wasn’t really intended as a recommendation – simply an observation. I still agree with Scott’s post (as well as Ted’s, I might add) and I stand by my comment.

As an aside…’fanboy’?? Lame.

Corey – your comments are excellent.

#36 Corey Pandolph
September/8/2010
@ 3:08 pm

@Scott,

I’m still self-employed. I get royalties that I have to claim and all that.

I agree that Blondie and the like probably should’ve been retired years ago. My point is that THE ELDERBERRIES is another page in my portfolio, not some grand soapbox for which me cry about bringing back the old days. I don’t depend on it, but it is nice to be paid to do it.

And I do care about the industry, but I’m not sure where I stand on a lot of it, so I’m not prepared to voice an opinion one way or the other anymore. I like being in papers. I like being on the web. I don’t like running my own business past collecting freelance checks. So, I’m kinda hanging back to see what shakes out for me.

You’re making some good points lately, so I’ll let you be the big voice for change.

I do think we could ALL lose about 85% of the snark, tho.

To the beer place!

CP

#37 Alan Gardner
September/8/2010
@ 3:09 pm

So in practice Steve, it’s really simple. A forward thinking business looks for the latest and greatest in their field. Hires them to replace the older content and cancels the older content and the industry moves forward.

Blondie is not a property that is capable of surviving on its own merit. It’s subsidized by a system that’s looking to hang on to what little profit is left to make and a newspaper industry avoiding letters from old people.

Keep in mind, Scott, Blondie is in 1800 newspapers internationally. It might mot be latest and greatest, but it is HIGHLY successful and a no business is going to dump a multiple-million dollar product for a hip, new, unproven feature because of some altruistic view you or I may have for what is good for the industry.

Little orphan Annie wasn’t capable of surviving on its own. Blondie is doing quite well and then some.

Remember everyone, just because it’s not a feature you like doesn’t mean everyone feels the same.

#38 John Read
September/8/2010
@ 3:42 pm

Adam: I wasn’t implying that you don’t know what you’re talking about (#12) – I was, in your case, responding to a self-titled “up-and-coming cartoonist” who bad-mouths professional cartoonists, calling their work “ridiculously irrelevant.” Now, as to your reprise (#30), “I commented on the fact that this comic ?Blondie? is culturally irrelevant to today. Just read the article?s description of it!” – well, you obviously do NOT know what you’re talking about. The description given was about Blondie when it was introduced 80 years ago. Have you even read Blondie in the last 50 years?

#39 Anne Hambrock
September/8/2010
@ 3:45 pm

It is clear to me that several of the commenters here do not actually read Blondie on a daily basis. I do. It is in my paper every day and is no longer a strip about a flapper and the son of a rich industrial cartoon but about a caterer (working woman) and a working stiff.

If you read the feature regularly you would know that it has evolved for modern audiences in just the ways you have suggested. It is not a drag on the industry. A huge number of people enjoy it and it consistently rates high in polls – even those conducted solely on the internet.

Peanuts is in reruns. If a paper is running Calvin and Hobbes and Bloom County (as many online papers do) then those are reruns and are the equivalent of the “I love Lucy” analogy. (Which I might remind people is still on television somewhere every day even though it has not been new in decades.)

There is a huge difference between a paper running Peanuts and running Blondie.

#40 John Read
September/8/2010
@ 3:47 pm

And Scott Kurtz, while I get some of what you’re saying about “out with the old and in with the new” regarding newspaper comics (I get it – don’t agree with it), you DO realize that Blondie is read and enjoyed by the readers of over 1,600 papers, right?

#41 Ted Rall
September/8/2010
@ 3:48 pm

@Steve asked:

Again, noble sentiments, Ted ? but you don?t actually address how this is supposed to work in practice.

I marvel at the assumption that people don’t have free will–in this case, the free will to walk away from making a profit in a way that is shortsighted and immoral.

Greed doesn’t come naturally. And it should be derided in all its forms.

#42 Adam Casalino
September/8/2010
@ 3:48 pm

@John nope and neither does anyone my age. And that’s my point.

#43 Pat Sandy
September/8/2010
@ 3:50 pm

Corey – again, great comments.

The beer place sounds really good right about now….I could go for a nice assertively hopped American pale ale with citrusy and piney Cascade hops…or something like that.

#44 John Read
September/8/2010
@ 3:58 pm

So, Ted, let me get this straight. Are you saying that, among many others, John Marshall, John Rose, Corey Pandolph, Guy Gilchrist, Jim Scancarelli, Don Wimmer, Marcus Hamilton, Fred Wagner and Gary Gianni are, by virtue of the fact they draw strips created by other cartoonists, greedy and immoral?

#45 Phil Judd
September/8/2010
@ 4:05 pm

I grew up loving the Blondie comic here in Australia. I have a ton of books with the comics in it from both father and son. As a comic it deserves to be seen as a classic. But as with people at 80 years of age, unless a new life can be breathed into the strip (as is happening with BC) I think retirement isn’t unreasonable. After all there may be a doxen Blondies out there waiting for a chance that’ll never come before papers totally drop off the planet.
My local big paper has ten comics off which over three quarters are legacy strips! Mainly because they are popular/familiar with readers and very very cheap! No local strip stands a chance. Three of them are repeats as well…
I do cartoon workshops over here in Australia and am constantly surprised though how many kids are passionate about Garfield just as they are about Ben 10? It intrigues me if it’s more about marketing than a fresh new product. I guess in the end comics will always have a foot in the commercial world as much as in the artistic/creative one.

#46 Phil Judd
September/8/2010
@ 4:05 pm

That should be dozen Blondies…

#47 Scott Kurtz
September/8/2010
@ 4:15 pm

So, I’m curious and I’m asking now 100% without any snark.

Does being in 1800 papers anymore mean success? Or does it mean legacy. I find this to be a really fascinating discussion.

When you look at other industries like movies, music or television, these kinds of ratings are make or break and determine whether or not content continues on.

So with syndicated comics, what does 1800 papers mean when it comes to a legacy strip like Blondie. Does it mean that it’s 1800 papers good or does it mean that 1800 papers have been running it for so long that dropping it would cause more problems for them.

Do you see what I’m asking here? Do newspapers say “Okay, we for sure need Blondie because it’s SO GOOD that the people demand it.” or do they just pick Blondie because it’s safe. And keep Blondie because dropping it means getting letters.

I feel like Blondie represents maintaining the status-quo. Which is what’s hurting things for creators, right? No new readers. No younger readers.

Does Blondie sustain itself if newspapers go away? Is it even a viable property? I don’t think it does.

#48 Steve McGarry
September/8/2010
@ 4:16 pm

Er … are we talking about the same syndicates, Ted? If so, I’m not sure that appealing to their consciences and better natures is the most practical proposal I’ve encountered.

Damn fine soundbite, though.

#49 Dave Stephens
September/8/2010
@ 4:19 pm

@August
“could easily produce an original hit of your own.”

Now THAT’S a silly statement.

As if talent was ALL you needed. It’s not. Luck is what talent needs, and last I checked, luck is a rare and special ingredient…

@Scott
“Blondie is not a property that is capable of surviving on its own merit”

Huh? But Blondie DOES survive on its own merit – the Syndicate doesn’t FORCE the newspapers to buy Blondie. 1,800 newspapers buy exactly what they want, no more, no less, and these 1,800 newspapers think that Blondie MERITS their cash, how about that? Are their minds being controlled, Scott?

How dare these papers not have the same taste as YOU. Why, there ought to be a law against such arrogance! Clearly, Blondie has outlived its ‘expiry’ date and should be immediately shelved so some talented youngsters can succeed, too! It’s obvious, really. I’ll give that syndicate a call and clue ’em in…

;)

#50 August J. Pollak
September/8/2010
@ 4:26 pm

I feel like Blondie represents maintaining the status-quo. Which is what?s hurting things for creators, right? No new readers. No younger readers.

Well here’s a more direct question, I guess, in tandem with Scott’s: I realize you can cheat here with Google, but try and do so without… what exactly was your favorite Blondie plotline of the last, say, ten years? What was an especially memorable Blondie strip?

I mean here’s a perfect venue for it, with the anniversary happening. Call it a retrospective. What’s a “remember that time when…” moment for Blondie? I think there was a big deal about how Blondie started her own business. In 1990-something.

If this is a hard question to answer, then it goes back to Scott’s point. What the heck is it doing, and are editors merely keeping it because they’re afraid of change?

Does Blondie sustain itself if newspapers go away? Is it even a viable property? I don?t think it does.

I disagree with Scott on a lot about the future of the print industry and how to save it, but this is 100% right. And I think that’s, yet again, the bigger problem that needs to be addressed. Or maybe it IS the problem with the print industry. But if there isn’t change, then pondering the long(er)-term success of a strip like Blondie is like worrying that there’s a grease fire in the Titanic’s kitchen.

#51 Corey Pandolph
September/8/2010
@ 4:26 pm

And now I’m gonna say this with 100% snark:

Dave, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

Of course, my talent will never afford me the ability to draw people at parties.

Luckily.

Had to be said,

CP

#52 Anne Hambrock
September/8/2010
@ 4:49 pm

@adam

“neither does anyone else my age”

I have no idea how old you are but my three kids, aged 19, 16, and 11 all read Blondie every day and enjoy it. The 19 year old counts it among his favorites.

He also reads Pvp and Penny Arcade just as regularly.

The question I have for you is, do you ever read a print newspaper in the first place and would its selection of comics influence you in any way?

My kids read the paper every day because it has been in the house and they have seen us read it every day. They started with the comics and worked their way into the other areas of the paper as they grew older and more interested in current events.

I don’t think young people abandoned papers because of the chice of comics – I think they never picked them up in the first place because their parents abandoned the paper 20 years ago.

#53 Adam Casalino
September/8/2010
@ 4:49 pm

@Corey I agree with you on this one. To say that Luck is the secret ingredient is bunk. Its insulting, especially to people who work hard and want to succeed at anything.

We all might not become Charles Schultz or Jack Kirby, but we all can find some measure of success in comics if we’re determined.

#54 Alan Gardner
September/8/2010
@ 4:51 pm

Does being in 1800 papers anymore mean success? Or does it mean legacy. I find this to be a really fascinating discussion.

When you look at other industries like movies, music or television, these kinds of ratings are make or break and determine whether or not content continues on.

Since success isn’t defined, it’s unanswerable. In terms of revenue, it’s a spectacular success, in terms of world peace it’s embarrassing.

That said I think success has to be defined in the context of the industry it competes in and in that regard, it’s wildly successful.

Part of that industry context includes an understanding that readers like the familiar. It’s more ritual than it is substance.

Outside of that context, I don’t know how successful Blondie would be.

#55 Adam Casalino
September/8/2010
@ 4:54 pm

@Anne, I don’t read the paper, because honestly it’s an outmoded form of news.

And I’m not saying that because I’m a jerky 20-something who fetishes technology. The reality is I can read every bit of news I want on my PC in the mornings–heck even on my phone. It’s just a matter of convenience.

What would motivate me to pick up a newspaper is uniqueness of content–something in its pages that just makes me want to read it, be that comics or news stories. But that unfortunately is not the case.

And trust me–in all honesty–a comic like Blondie does not make me want to buy a paper.

#56 John Read
September/8/2010
@ 6:07 pm

Adam, if newspapers are “outmoded” and you read all your news on the computer, why in the world do you even care about Blondie’s anniversary? Why feel the need to bad-mouth it and its current creators? How does belittling the work of Young and Marshall, whose strip will have no effect on your possible future drawing webcomics, further your agenda?

Scott Kurtz, why does what’s happening in newspapers’ funny pages bother you so? You’ve asserted the internet and webcomics have killed print and syndicated comic strips. Why be so snarky about the success, however fleeting it may be, of cartoonists who make their living drawing comics for newspapers?

#57 Dave Stephens
September/8/2010
@ 6:30 pm

Corey,

I said you needed talent.

Talent alone will NOT get you a “hit”.

Only an idiot would argue that it would.

It is easy to find artists who are dedicated and accomplished, who have honed their skills to a fine edge, who are skilled in the ways of ink and paper and composition and storytelling, however, only a tiny fraction of these talented folks have managed to create a “hit.”

#58 Pete Murphey
September/8/2010
@ 7:11 pm

Why all the snark? 1800 papers is 1800 papers, that?s successful in any way you measure it. It?s also earned success. As Dave so insightfully pointed out, no one is brainwashing newspapers into buying Blondie or readers into enjoying it. Congrats to the creators–may they rest in peace– for coming up with a popular strip, to the syndicate who aren?t so stupid as to dump a wildly successful comic and to the current artists and writers who are making their living crafting cartoons and carrying on a tradition that people enjoy. Congrats to Coke too.

#59 Scott Kurtz
September/8/2010
@ 7:20 pm

“Congrats to the creators-may they rest in peace.”

I think that quote best sums up the problem with syndicated comic strips in a nutshell. Such a perfect soundbite.

#60 Pete Murphey
September/8/2010
@ 8:42 pm

“I think that quote best sums up the problem with syndicated comic strips in a nutshell. Such a perfect soundbite.”

Having syndicates commit hara-kiri to please the tastes of web cartoonists doesn’t sound like much of a cure to me. The big paper strips, whether done by legends, second generation artists or newer cartoonists support the risks and experimentation syndicates take with newer artists. I don’t see a way around that in the print syndication world. Finding a creative alternative via the web is one way–congrats to you for that– but I don’t see how such an experience would keep you from appreciating, or at least not knocking, a popular old time strip whose tradition is carried on by the hard working efforts of the creator’s son.
Congrats also to Pop Tarts, Cheerios and Dr. Pepper.

#61 John Read
September/8/2010
@ 9:07 pm

What Pete said. Why knock cartoonists who’re trying to make a living in a venue you’ve apparently lost hope for?

#62 Jason Nocera
September/8/2010
@ 10:00 pm

Don’t you realize that if a syndicate has a powerhouse like Blondie on it’s team, it earns money that allows them to take a chance on up-and-coming features? Where do you think the money comes from to launch new features?

#63 Scott Kurtz
September/8/2010
@ 10:14 pm

Jason,

That’s a VERY good point. That’s a great point in fact.

#64 M.D.Simmons
September/8/2010
@ 10:28 pm

Chic young is probably rolling over in his grave as we speak.R.I.P. dude… happy b-day blondie & dagwood!!! Oh I like reruns they make me happy kinda like going home again.speaking of home I think I’ll go back inside my little glass house before people start kicking around harley-davidson. In fact I’m going to put my bike in my little glass house so you can’t throw stones at it either.

#65 r stevens
September/8/2010
@ 10:37 pm

You can’t blame the cartoonists or the syndicate for this. They a;; have employees and that makes people risk-averse.

There are only so many slots in a paper and they aren’t really increasing. You take an old favorite out and change a reader’s routine, you get complaints. It’s depressing, but there’s no incentive for any kind of large-scale change in newspaper comics on any end of the equation. Whatever. It’s a venue. One of many.

And you know what? The internet may not make Jim Davises (Davii?) out of most of us, but unlike most syndicated cartoonists, folks like Scott and I aren’t stuck going to a boring side job to support our art. It’s not a bad state of affairs, if you ask me.

#66 Ed Power
September/8/2010
@ 11:28 pm

Interesting converstion.

With Scott’s point about ‘legacy’ vs success, there are a lot of strips that are legacy strips that aren’t as successful as they once were. Like ‘Nancy’. It used to be HUGE but it’s audience shrunk as it was handed off. Alan also pointed out ‘little Orphan Annie’.

‘Blondie’ is a legacy strip, but one that has managed to maintain it’s popularity. It’s also pretty well done. It’s not my humor, but when i do read it, I can see why other people like it.

On the other hand, there are lots of comics out there by their original creaotrs that remain popular, and others that don’t. Look at both ‘Wee Pals’ and ‘Beetle Bailey’ (which hurts me to say because I’m a HUGE Morrie Turner fan).

As both a comic fan and somone who has worked inside the industry, I’m of two minds on the subject.

On one hand, I’d like to see the medium I grew up with grow to get new readers and hence new future creators. On the other hand, most comic readers nowadays aren’t kids, they are older people, and why comic strips are an art form (and a uniquely American one), but syndication and newspapers are business so I see the need to cater to the people putting out the $$$ for the product.

It is strange, because I’m sad to see the business end slowly stagnate the art form (in it’s original medium) to death, but exciting to see all the changes cominc via the web.

Besides, it’s not all that bad. If you think back over the decades there are very few really awesome strips. We all mention them all the time: Bloom County, Calvin and Hobbes, Far Side, Dilbert, Foxtrot, etc. And today there are Pealrs before Swine, Cul De Sac, Get Fuzzy, Lio, etc. All and all the ratio is about the same. I think it just seems like a bigger difference as we watch the referred to ‘zombie comics’ out live our grandparents. :D

As for Scott’s original question about ‘who we should be congradulating’, I guess it would be the oweners of the strip for coming up with a good business plan and hiring people that keep the strips popular.

That said, if anyone needs a writer for a legacy strip, I know a creator whose strip just got cancelled, yet was able to cultivate a rabid cult following, and who needs to pay his mortgage very soon. You can reach him at mycagecomic@yahoo.com.

:D :D :D

#67 Phil Judd
September/9/2010
@ 3:54 am

Happy Birthday Blondie…after all not many women look as hot as she does at 80! Well done…and thanks for all the laughs when I was a kid. Now I feel old… :-(

#68 Gar Molloy
September/9/2010
@ 3:59 am

“Greed doesn?t come naturally. And it should be derided in all its forms.”

Yes it does. But yes, it should be.

Blondie isn’t in the papers in Ireland so I’m not in a position to judge the strip on its merits. On legacy strips in general, I’m with Mr Kurtz on the artistic side, but the business side argument is pretty compelling.

I suppose as long as it’s still funny and it’s not just a paycheck to the writers/artists then that’s fine. Taking a step sideways from comics: I’d love to work as a writer for The Simpsons. I grew up with the show and know and love the characters. I stopped watching it for a couple of years. There was a fairly long stretch where I was firmly in the “The Simpsons should have been cancelled YEARS ago” camp, but it’s gotten funny again now, and I’m glad of it. I think they’ve gotten new writers. Is putting fresh talent on an old series necessarily a bad thing?

As a side note, I drew a Dagwood Sandwich in Neko the Kitty a while ago (got to it by way of Scooby Doo. As I said, Blondie’s not big over here, but I read up on it and namechecked Chic Young and Dagwood Bumstead for educational value) and it was a lot of fun to draw. It’s a cartoon classic and a fun little exercise in incidental detail which I’d encourage anyone to try.

#69 Mike Peterson
September/9/2010
@ 4:35 am

(Am I the only person here who had work to do yesterday? Sheesh!)

“So, I?m curious and I?m asking now 100% without any snark.

Does being in 1800 papers anymore mean success? Or does it mean legacy. I find this to be a really fascinating discussion.”

First of all, being in 1800 papers means having established a commercially successful strip. That’s really all it says. Nothing about artistry. Some successful strips are also artistically worthy of note, but so are some TV shows. It’s not a requirement in the business.

What is a requirement is understanding how the business works.

Those who say Blondie is read by 1800 people a day are (1) assuming that everyone who gets the paper reads Blondie and (2) that they immediately destroy the paper so nobody else can see it. Neither of these things are true.

And those who say 1800 people a day read and enjoy Blondie are simply being silly. We don’t know if they enjoy it or just read it out of habit. Or don’t read it at all.

It’s a good question to come from Scott because there is a critical difference between print strips and web strips, and that is that a syndicated strip only has to be sold once, and only to an editor, and then the readers of that paper will see the strip every day. Or they won’t, if they turn the page. But it’ll be in there, whether they read it or not, and even if they go on vacation and have their neighbor pick up the paper and put it in the recycling bin. The strip will get the equivalent of a “hit,” without anyone necessarily having actively sought it out.

A web strip, by contrast, has to generate enough interest that people come back to it, and it alone, day after day, on purpose. Except for people who have outdated feeds and are getting strips “delivered” that they don’t want any more, every hit is a real reader. And you just can’t sell an editor — you have to reach every one of those readers individually.

This is a discussion of business, not artistry. I’m not making a web/print quality comparison, just pointing out that the challenge is quite different, and the measures are different.

The days when the comics page actively sold newspapers ended a half century ago when most towns went from two competing papers to only one. The issue today is not “Which paper shall I buy?” but “Should I buy a newspaper?” That’s a more general question that can’t be pinned to a particular daily feature. (I say “daily” because you can track single-copy sales and see that, for instance, the Thursday entertainment section is something that genuinely does drive sales.)

The paper is like a neighborhood diner, where the selling point is not one particular menu item but the general mix of agreeable, inexpensive dishes, and the general atmosphere of the place. One of the elements in that mix is the comics page. But you can’t very often point to one thing and say, “That’s why they come here.”

A good comics page that contains a mix of the new and the familiar is an important part of that mix, but no one strip can claim to be “the one.” It’s a mix.

Specific to this strip, there are well-grounded rumors that Chic didn’t draw the strip after the first few years, that it was ghosted through most of his tenure. Machs nix. The question isn’t who draws it, who writes it or whose idea it was. It is whether the strip remains fresh and viable.

For the record, I don’t think Corey is a good example of someone with a legacy strip because he, and Ces, in the case of “Sally Forth,” have genuinely transformed the properties they were assigned. They are rare birds — I had no interest in either strip before and I read them with pleasure today. I wish I could say the same of other strips, some of which are still done by their original creators but have long turned their groove into a rut.

But that’s an artistic issue, not a commercial one. If strips are around too long, if they survive the death, not of their creators but of their creativity, it’s the fault of the editors, not the syndicates.

I wish editors would pay more attention, but they don’t, and that is the nature of the business. Comics are something that runs on autopilot at most papers, and, if you want to work in that corner of the business, you have to understand the realities.

Blondie is cole slaw at that diner — nothing spectacular, nothing fancy, but something that people know and want and enjoy. And if they don’t tell their friends, “You must eat there! The cole slaw! It is magnifique!” it is still one of the reasons they keep coming back.

#70 Frank Mchale
September/9/2010
@ 5:16 am

Scott mentioned meeting a cartoonist who drew Blondie for 40 years and now has nothing… But he had a job cartooning for 40 years! That’s longer than most people have professions. It’s not Blondies fault, or the syndicates, it’s just business. Shame on that guy for boohooing around at comicon when he should just be creating something new on his own, right Scott?

What’s your legacy Scott? I doubt PVP or Penny Arcade will be around in 40 years. The odds of that are pretty slim. Being self employed is great, but it doesn’t always and forever pay the bills for everyone. I find it funny to think that threads like these are “Scott Kurtz’s legacy”. Do you think if Chic Stone or Charles Shulz or any other big successful cartoonist of their time would have written letters or posted snarky things or bashed other creators publicly? No, becaus they were professionals and had class. All I see in these types of threads here is some holier than thou mentality that really turns me off.

What does any of this matter? Blondie and the syndicates aren’t holding anything back in industry or your business. That ship is sinking. This is just another sad attempt to sort of point and mock the “print” world and old things dying off. It’s rubbish. The “this is the problem” conversations never solve any problems at all.

You young whippersnappers enjoy your time in your own limelight, but don’t get too full of your success now and think that makes you the authority in a subject, it can easily fall apart, and the odds really aren’t in your favor.

#71 Ted Rall
September/9/2010
@ 6:49 am

@John: I blame the syndicates first, newspapers second. Cartoonists are desperate.

#72 BOB QUICK
September/9/2010
@ 7:14 am

To correct my earlier statement(#1): Congratulations to Dean and John for keeping Blondie fresh and up-to-date.

#73 Scott Kurtz
September/9/2010
@ 9:52 am

Frank,

My legacy to whom? My readers? My family? The world?

I agree with you that PvP or Penny Arcade will probably not be around in 40 years. Ask yourself why that is. Because we don’t exist in an industry that keeps our creations propped up like rotting corpses once we’ve passed on from this world.

Trust me when I tell you that none of us young (about to turn 40 in March) whippersnappers won’t get too full of our successes. We’re scared out of our minds just like everyone else.

#74 Mike Cope
September/9/2010
@ 10:04 am

I agree with you that PvP or Penny Arcade will probably not be around in 40 years. Ask yourself why that is. Because we don?t exist in an industry that keeps our creations propped up like rotting corpses once we?ve passed on from this world.

Schulz downplayed the importance of his work, stating that real works of art speak to succeeding generations.

#75 Scott Kurtz
September/9/2010
@ 11:02 am

Mike,

Yeah, I don’t know. I doubt PvP will speak to succeeding generations. I just want to speak to the current ones I guess.

#76 Jesse Cline
September/9/2010
@ 11:11 am

FWIW, I think Sally Forth is one of the most consistently funny comics in the papers. And that’s a legacy strip. Not sure what my point is.

#77 Mike Cope
September/9/2010
@ 11:25 am

@Scott: I agree that that’s the most important thing to do while you’re still creating new material.

Yes, some have an aroma of formaldehyde, but I don’t believe that all older features are “rotting corpses.”

#78 Mark Santos
September/9/2010
@ 1:00 pm

I remember when Scott Kurtz offered his feature for free to newspapers and set out a call to his readers to contact editors. No takers. That says a lot to me because PvP is a mediocre strip at best in my opinion created by a loud mouthed guy who whines all the time online trolling around daily cartoonist. Ever since that it seems like Scott suddenly reversed and said “Well I didn’t want your stupid papers anyways!” and he’s had a hate-on for the medium since.

There’s a lot of good points about how things could have been done better, but it’s all a moot a point anyways. Hell, look at this headline of the New York Times to stop printing in the future: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/09/arthur-sulzberger-we-will_n_710251.html

I guess all I’m thinking is it would be nice to show some of these old comics and their creative teams some respect.

#79 dave nelson
September/9/2010
@ 1:53 pm

There’s something warm and fuzzy about familiar strips (music, tv shows, etc.) and it’s just business keeping readers by making them feel good. If you’re the writer or illustrator of a series like that, congratulations because you get to pay the light bill. Perhaps it’s selling out, but if I could be the guy who picks up where a creator left off, I’d take the job because I’d be getting paid to do what I enjoy. I’d also have to live with the fact that someone else’s name is (essentially) on the strip.

BTW, if a newspaper actually made a point of trying new strips, (ala the Post’s “next great cartoonist”) I’d applaud their efforts but I’d also recognize their PR angle because again, without the money the presses don’t run.

#80 Phil Judd
September/9/2010
@ 1:55 pm

WOW…who’d have thought a 80th Birthday would be as controversial as this…hope my 80th stirs up some reaction like this…

#81 Phil Judd
September/9/2010
@ 1:58 pm

People work in businesses all their lives and walk away into retirement with nothing but memories some money in the back and a life lived. Some cartoonists (I include myself to some degree) work for others to survive. There isn’t enough room in the entire world for every cartoonists original creation to make money and a living. It’s like any other business…it does depend on how an employer treates their workers and this goes for the so called ‘legacy’ strip thing. But at the end of the day it’s people using their skills to make a living…like any other job. Just cause w draw for one doesn’t make us high art and deserving international recognition. Some people get that and that’s great. We’d all love it but that’s not why we do it. We do it because we love creating or working on creating something with someone else and to make a living out of it so we can keep doing it every day. Here endeth the sermon…

#82 Phil Judd
September/9/2010
@ 1:59 pm

Is Dagwood going to pop out of a cake for Blondies 80th?

#83 Phil Judd
September/9/2010
@ 1:59 pm

And is Daisy microchipped?

#84 John Read
September/9/2010
@ 2:05 pm

Mark, it’s a sad but true fact that certain people regularly use this site specifically TO be hateful and disrespectfulful to other, usually-more-established cartoonists, especially if they draw a syndicated comic strip. Common courtesy and everyday good manners are not a requirement to comment on TDC, unfortunately. Whenever Alan posts a notice of some cartoonist (usually syndicated or editorial) being awarded or celebrating a milestone, there will invariably come a series of nasty comments from the “peanut gallery,” which is, more often than not, comprised of wannabe cartoonists and webcomics creators.

#85 John Read
September/9/2010
@ 2:09 pm

Which is NOT to say all aspiring cartoonists and webcomics folk are bereft of class and proper behavior — just the few who regularly troll this site looking for someone to bash.

#86 John Read
September/9/2010
@ 2:10 pm

Some of my best friends are aspiring cartoonists and draw webcomics.

#87 Murdoch Matthew
September/9/2010
@ 4:40 pm

Evidently Chic and Dean Young guided the strip, but art chores were done by assistants from early on. Jim Raymond took over for a year in the Thirties, and was responsible for the Col. Potterby topper. He was the major artist during his lifetime. Blondie does seem like a successful business, with an CEO and staff. I recognize the current version as a successful gag strip, but it’s as though the characters were being written and played by other hands. They aren’t the same people as before. Well, when characters can’t age, they lose a sense of reality. I wonder what a strip that followed Alexander and Cookie’s growing up would have been like. Probably like Gasoline Alley, where Walt is 104 and the stories are pointless. (When Frank King handed over the strip, he hinted that Walt wasn’t long for this world. He should have been right.) I’m surprised no one has mentioned Garfield, a real industrial effort. I find the characters ugly and insufferable — but there is a gag, every day.

#88 Ted Rall
September/10/2010
@ 8:29 am

@John: Civility is nice, but cartooning seems to differ from other creative fields (film, literature, fine art, theater, etc.) in two ways. First, everyone bends over backwards not to publicly criticize one another’s work. (Publicly?cartoonists slag each other in private.) Second, it’s moribund.

The two are closely related. Creativity is stifled when creators aren’t challenged. Or, to put it another way, anyone who publishes something in the newspaper or on the Internet ought to be ready, willing and able to take criticism?and learn from it when it’s valid.

No cartoonist should WANT his or her strip to continue 80 years. For God’s sake, step aside and make room for young people when your time is over.

#89 John Read
September/10/2010
@ 9:15 am

Ted, the so-called criticism that consistantly oozes its way into posts about someone winning an award or reaching some milestone is usually not “constructive criticism.” The trash talk to which I’m referring in no way challenges the creator to whom its directed, and all they, and we, learn from such public denigration is that the colleague or would-be colleague offering it is just saying “I can do it better” and/or “they should stop doing [what they’re doing] so there’s a place for me [to do what I want to do].”

#90 Stephen Beals
September/10/2010
@ 9:46 am

Hollywood is the same way. Publicly, they’re nice. Behind the scenes, they trash talk for fun. More often than not they put their foot in their mouths because everybody gossips.

It’s not good criticism if the people who are criticizing don’t have their work equally on the table for judgment. The people without their own comic strips, the actual readers, have made Blondie very popular. We know what they think.

I hadn’t read Blondie in years, but picked up the 75th anniversary book and thought the jokes, art, and relevancy were solid. If I didn’t know anything about its history, it would be hard to tell the difference between it and some newer comics.

Maybe we need a site that can discuss the merits of different strips that are posted side by side. The people who normally dish out the criticism would have to be willing to take it as well. It would also have to be decently moderated to cut out the snark.

Such a site would probably be too boring for most people. There’s no drama in calm discussion.

#91 Pete Murphey
September/10/2010
@ 10:10 am

“No cartoonist should WANT his or her strip to continue 80 years.”

Are you kidding? Why the hell not? An artist should continue to
create work as long as he or she derives pleasure out of it and has an audience that wants to see it. If that artist wants to pass the torch to a family member the work should go on for as many generations as the creators and audience desire. Those are the only factors that determine when someone’s “time is over.”
Jeeze, stop trying to take away cartoons and Coke from the old guys.

#92 Ed Power
September/10/2010
@ 10:38 am

” stop trying to take away cartoons and Coke from the old guys.”

Wait…old cartoonists do coke? Wow. I REALLY should have gone to the Reubens.

#93 Andrew Caddell
September/10/2010
@ 10:45 am

I think it might take me 80 years just to read all these comments. Good grief. :)

#94 Ted Rall
September/10/2010
@ 1:24 pm

@Stephen: “The people without their own comic strips, the actual readers, have made Blondie very popular. We know what they think.”

No, we don’t. We know what a few thousand editors think.

Even among the geriatric crowd, there’s no groundswell of support for legacy strips like Blondie. No one’s bookshelves are groaning under the weight of the collected Blondie. Like many creations that exist broadly but thinly, these properties are ubiquitous. But a far smaller percent of the people who see Blondie every day in their paper care about than a newer strip like, say, Pearls Before Swine. Or, for that matter, a mature but still relevant strip like Doonesbury.

Legacy strips don’t have fans. They have victims.

(Spare me the posts about the angry emails papers get when they try to cancel one of these bastard creations. Those complaints number in the dozens. And they mean nothing. Just because old people have more time to write their paper doesn’t mean that their opinion matters more, or should matter more, to advertisers.)

@Pete: “If that artist wants to pass the torch to a family member the work should go on for as many generations as the creators and audience desire.”

You have just defined Hell.

#95 Stephen Beals
September/10/2010
@ 2:24 pm

@Ted, I had to laugh at your bookshelf analogy. I do have several groaning bookshelves. I don’t think the one Blondie book I have is on any of them.

I know my 15 year old nephew reads Naruto, Bleach, Scott Pilgrim, Garfield and (yes) Blondie. He read my anniversary book and liked it. Since my mother passed away I don’t know any other Blondie readers.

So what was I going on? Not the polls. I don’t know. That’s an awful lot of papers to be in even for a legacy strip. I don’t think it’s a bad strip. I prefer several others, but Blondie’s circulation actually increased a couple of decades ago when other legacy strips were decreasing. Was it the greatest salesmanship in the world? The weirdest market? Part of me has to think there’s something about the strip itself that people like.

#96 Mark_Tatulli
September/10/2010
@ 2:33 pm

I tried to pass the torch to my son, and he almost burned the house down.

#97 Pete Murphey
September/10/2010
@ 2:35 pm

“You have just defined Hell.”

I though hell was the place where other people dictated what you should do, what you should like, and for how long.

While the “legacy strips are burning corpses in hell” crowd have a point about the indirect measure of those comics popularity, since one or two editors choose them for the paper they’re in, and there really isn’t any good way to measure how much they are liked after that, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t liked. That is an assumption on the part of the Dagwood haters. A similar assumption can made about dozens of other newer features that don’t sell a lot of books or merchandise either, since they are chosen by the same method. Only a handful of strips have substantial merchandising sales . I believe Betty Boop is still one of King Features biggest money makers in terms of licensing. Talk about legacy. So my question would be; is your position rooted in the idea that a strip like Blondie really isn’t that popular, despite the number of papers, or is it that any feature, which hangs around past a certain number of years, has a moral obligation to quit? Those are two radically different propositions.

#98 Ted Rall
September/10/2010
@ 3:10 pm

“…is your position rooted in the idea that a strip like Blondie really isn?t that popular, despite the number of papers…”

Yes.

“…or is it that any feature, which hangs around past a certain number of years, has a moral obligation to quit?”

Yes.

“Those are two radically different propositions.”

How?

#99 Anne Hambrock
September/10/2010
@ 3:42 pm

I understand the premise behind the argument that strips like Blondie are only popular with newspaper editors and not overall readership, and it sounds plausible. But if you check out any of the online comics kingdom sites like the Arizona Republic, you will see that Blondie is one of the top vote getters every day. It consistently is right up there with younger strips like Zits and regularly outpaces all the “hip” strips launched by King in the last 10 years.

Are you telling me that those online votes are from newspaper editors?

http://www.azcentral.com/ent/comics/king-comics.html?feature_id=Blondie&feature_date=2010-09-10

#100 Scott Metzger
September/10/2010
@ 3:57 pm

?…or is it that any feature, which hangs around past a certain number of years, has a moral obligation to quit??

Yes.

—-

And at what point would that be?

#101 Dave Stephens
September/10/2010
@ 11:31 pm

I think Ted is saying all the newspaper editors, all 1,800 of them, are idiots who have no idea what is or isn’t popular.

#102 Mike Peterson
September/11/2010
@ 4:12 am

I don’t think Blondie is a good example, since it’s one of the few legacy strips that has managed to stay fresh, within the gentle-family-humor format.

However, I do believe that the newspaper editors are idiots who have no idea what is or isn’t popular. Now, remember, I’m not a cartoonist. I’m just a guy who has worked in the newspaper business for quite awhile. And who has watched front-office geniuses send it into the tank over the past decade and a half with their brilliant innovations.

But I have sat in the offices of newspaper editors and talked about the comics page with them. And I’ve seen how many of them judge”popularity” with those stupid “comic polls.”

Any proposed solution to issues on the comics page needs to take into account the fact that editors don’t understand comics, aren’t particularly interested in them and don’t understand what is or isn’t popular.

#103 Pete Murphey
September/11/2010
@ 6:14 am

–?Those are two radically different propositions.?

–“How?”

One says, let?s get rid of this strip because, despite appearances, it really isn?t popular. Let?s try to replace it with a strip that better serves the readers. That?s a perfectly rational and defendable position.

The other says, I don?t care that a large number of people enjoy this strip or the artist still wants to draw it, let?s impose my sense of taste on the readers and my sense of moral obligation on the cartoonist, because I know what?s good for them. That?s the epitome of pretension and arrogance.

#104 Ted Rall
September/11/2010
@ 6:55 am

There are so many reasons to hate outdated legacy strips. Must I choose just one?

#105 Pete Murphey
September/11/2010
@ 8:35 am

“There are so many reasons to hate outdated legacy strips. Must I choose just one?”

Sounds like a guy who suggests that Barack Obama should be removed from office because his foreign policy is bad AND he?s black and then feigns surprise when it?s pointed out to him that both of those arguments aren?t of equal merit.

#106 Dave Stephens
September/12/2010
@ 5:41 am

Blondie was genius, years and years ago. It was exceptionally popular and stood out among its peers and the talent of its creator was bold and innovative and one-of-a-kind.

Now, 80 years later, Blondie is STILL genius, and, though a little worn around the edges, the humor continues to resonate with young and old alike and remains one of the most popular comic strips on the planet, on the web and in print.

Of course, that’s merely my opinion, but there are facts mixed in there, too.

ymmv

#107 John Sanford
September/12/2010
@ 1:26 pm

“Now, 80 years later, Blondie is STILL genius,”

Wow. There is so much wrong with just this one little sentence fragment that I don’t know where to start. I’m gobsmacked.
Genius is Walt Kelly. Genius is Bill Watterson, George Herriman,
Charles Schulz. Blondie was NEVER a work of genius no matter WHO was drawing it.
Genius is not a matter of opinion.

#108 Dave Stephens
September/12/2010
@ 11:02 pm

You left out Milt Caniff, Al Capp and E.C. Segar, comic and artistic geniuses all… There’s no way of knowing but I think the odds are good that those three (and also Schulz, Kelly and Herriman) would’ve agreed with me and Milt and Al Capp were President and Guest Speaker in 1949 when they awarded Chic Young with the “Cartoonist of the Year”.

Genius, in the arts, is ONLY a matter of opinion, whether you are talking about Van Gogh or Rembrandt, John. Unless it’s just a popularity contest. What, you’ve got a better opinion only it’s NOT an opinion?

#109 Phil Judd
September/13/2010
@ 1:55 pm

This forum is started to sound like a lot of sour grapes…not much humour going on here…just one positive comment..please just one??? :-) I know that will seem impossible for some here as, though supposedly successful cartoonists in their own right, are behaving like jealous schoolgirls….Blonides 80! At least offer her some cake or something….not a bunch of steaming…

#110 mariah lebrun
September/20/2010
@ 11:06 pm

Dont give credit to the artist….I lived with one for 14 years (Denis Lebrun) and it took him in reality maybe 30 mins to do everything..He had it all set up on his computer to copy and paste the whole strip together….He put that together when i was about 9 yrs old, so in reality its been a long time since he had drawn with an ink pen. He was a fake out. He didnt draw for that strip for 40 yrs he drew for only 23 yrs…..And the only reason he isnt on the strip is because back in 2005 after my mom left his crazy butt, he decided that since he didnt have her to go off on he turned to dean young and got himself fired…….

#111 mike crachiolo
November/7/2010
@ 9:56 pm

THIS IS TOTALLY WILD PEOPLE ARGUING ABOUT COMIC STRIBUPS I HAVE BEEN READING BLONDIE FOR MORE THAN 50 YEARS SOMETIMES IT WAS FUNNY SOMETIMES NOT THE THING ABOUT PEOPLE NOT READING THE COMICS AND TOSSING THE PAPER AWAY DOESNT MEAN A THING THE STRIP IS IN A LOT OF PAPERS SO WHO CARES IF IT IS READ OR NOT WHEN I STARTED READING COMICS MANY YEARS AGO IREAD EVERYTHING SOME I LIKED MORE THAN OTHERS IF I GO TO A WEBSITE I READ EVERYTHING BECAUSE I AM A COMICS JUNKIE SO I NEED MY FIX EVERY DAY IF A COMIC IS CANCELLED I AM NOT GOING TO FREAK OUT ABOUT IT

#112 Eddie Pittman
November/8/2010
@ 12:08 am

Punctuation is overrated.

#113 Mike Peterson
November/8/2010
@ 4:55 am

Stribups don’t need no stinking punctuation.

#114 Frank White
November/8/2010
@ 9:50 am

Hey Mike no need to SHOUT!

#115 Frank White
November/8/2010
@ 9:51 am

Mike Crachiolo I mean, not Mike Peterson

#116 Mike Peterson
November/8/2010
@ 10:40 am

OKAY FOR ME TO SHOUT THEN?

#117 Paul. Bill
May/9/2014
@ 12:45 am

Great, she has a job! They always show her doing everything accept working— a sign of the times !!

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