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Piers Baker talks about uncertain future

Ollie and Quentin creator Piers Baker has written a candid post about a possible future end for his creation.

I am producing a really good comic here and my editor at King Features is delighted with the quality of my work but ‘Ollie and Quentin’ is not connecting with newspaper editors. My editor says there is nothing I can do to improve my strip. We are both surprised at the reaction to it. He did not pick it out of the other 6000 submissions that year for nothing. Sadly newspaper sales are the measure by which a comic is judged and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that there is only so long a syndicate will carry an unviable comic before it is forced to admit that it doesn’t work and will have to cancel it. I suspect Ollie and Quentin is going this way unless something changes soon.

Read his full post. If you’re a fan of his work, he needs you to make some noise in the general direction of your nearest newspaper.

Community Comments

#1 Kevin Frank
April/12/2011
@ 11:23 am

“there is only so long a syndicate will carry an unviable comic before it is forced to admit that it doesn?t work and will have to cancel it.”

Well, King Features has carried my thrift-shop comic for five years now, with only a handful of papers ever running it. Of course, you have to be willing to create your strip for very little money…

#2 ROLFE
April/12/2011
@ 11:26 am

Piers,

I do hope that the ‘thing’ you intend to implement on O&Z brings about a massive swing in your numbers.

You are super-talented cartoonist and an inspiration to amateur-cartoonists like me.

Take care,

ROLFE

p.s. Can I suggest you set up twitter, facebook pages etc. etc. Or publicise the existing accounts. So we can spread the O&Z worldwide!

#3 Ed Power
April/12/2011
@ 2:07 pm

Sorry Piers. I know how you feel. I’ll be praying for you and ‘O &Q’.

#4 Darryl Heine
April/12/2011
@ 8:13 pm

King Features lost My Cage last year, and now King Features may lose before 2011 is over Ollie and Quentin.

#5 Marc Davidson
April/12/2011
@ 8:50 pm

It’s tough all over. Life is not fair. You come across like a parent (and your editor a grandparent) proclaiming that your child is the most beautiful, smartest, and most precious creation ever. It’s borderline whining, too, which probably doesn’t help your situation.

#6 Andrew Caddell
April/13/2011
@ 10:57 am

I watched a 2 minute compilation of OandQ last night and almost fell to the floor laughing. I mean come on!!! His work should be praised. Unlike the comic strip this is something I don’t get. :)

#7 John Sanford
April/13/2011
@ 5:49 pm

I’d chalk it up to less space in newspapers and cowardly editors. They’re afraid that if they drop a tepid Legacy strip a bunch of Boomers will write hate letters. it’s a damned shame. Keep doing it, Piers. Your strip is awesome. Keep fighting!

#8 Cory Thomas
April/13/2011
@ 7:38 pm

Right there with you, Piers. Right there with you.

#9 Andrew Farago
April/14/2011
@ 7:13 pm

I got to see the submissions packet for OIlie & Quentin and the strip won me over right away. It’s a real shame that more papers aren’t carrying it.

#10 steve skelton
April/15/2011
@ 8:19 am

There have been significant discussions about the demise of the U.S newspaper, but there are still over 1,000 dailies in the U.S. and most all of them publish comic strips. Granted, all of these papers are still fighting for ad revenue to maintain their bottom line, but many of these papers are holding steady and will continue to publish for many years to come in one carnation or another.

So, with that being said, I think it comes down to having some 250 syndicated comic strips on the market, and most papers are publishing about 20 or 25. I think this is part of why launching new strips today is so difficult. And of course you have to displace a current strip, which is not something most editors want to bother with. Just my two cents worth.

I think Ollie and Quentin is a great strip, better than most of what is in my paper. It would be sad to see if fail.

#11 steve skelton
April/15/2011
@ 8:21 am

“it fail”.

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