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Which comic strips are trending after Cul de Sac retirement

The retirement of Richard Thompson’s Cul de Sac opens up a good number precious slots on the comic pages. From memory, I want to put the number of newspapers above 350 – an impressive number for a feature so young.

Typically when there is a larger shift like this I try to compile a list of features that papers picked up to see what trends are notable. Did papers pick a similar feature? Did they give the space to a newer feature or a “legacy” strip. Daily Cartoonist reader Jimmy Delach, who was also instrumental in helping me compile the names of papers that dropped Doonesbury’s controversial series spotlighting the Texas law requiring women to have an ultrasound, has already started a list of features benefiting in Cul de Sac’s retirement.

So far the list looks like this:

Big Nate: 5
Stone Soup: 4
Rhymes with Orange: 2
Grand Avenue: 1
Peanuts: 1
Mallard Fillmore: 1
Get Fuzzy: 1
Pearls: 1
Pooch Cafe: 1
Mike Du Jour: 1

It’s a pretty small and incomplete sample and I hesitate to even draw out any insights from such a small pool. But if it is representative of the larger picture, it appears that papers are either replacing Cul de Sac with another strip featuring kids (Big Nate) or continuing the trend of a feature geared toward the female demographic that started after the end of Cathy Guisewite’s Cathy.

Community Comments

#1 david essman
September/24/2012
@ 10:59 am

Peanuts reruns!? Really?

#2 Jimmy Delach
September/24/2012
@ 1:26 pm

For the paper that added Peanuts, it was previously dropped and fans weren’t happy about it so Charlie Brown, Snoopy, etc. have been reinstated.

#3 Jimmy Delach
September/24/2012
@ 1:30 pm

BTW you think replacing “Cul de Sac” with “Peanuts” was strange? The Maryville (TN) Daily Times added “Doonesbury” as the replacement.

Also “Big Nate” was added in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin so it looks like six papers have picked up the strip.

#4 Jimmy Delach
September/24/2012
@ 1:34 pm

Also, the Edmonton Journal replaced “Cul De Sac” with “Rhymes With Orange”

And the News-Review (OR) is currently trying out “Baby Blues”. They might add another strip in the future depending on whether readers want “For Better Or For Worse” to continue.

#5 david essman
September/24/2012
@ 2:34 pm

No paper should be printing reruns! It’s completely unfair to the cartoonists still trying to make a living drawing comic strips.

Those who weren’t happy with the paper dropping the strip should buy the complete Peanuts collections, and then they can read Peanuts whenever they want.

#6 Daniel Olson
September/24/2012
@ 4:00 pm

Some newspaper replaced “Cul de Sac” with “Mallard Fillmore”?!?!? That newspaper must hate comics.

#7 Steve Beard
September/24/2012
@ 5:17 pm

I didn’t know cul de sac was retiring. It was one of the most refreshing strips I’ve seen in a long time. (alas, poor children, we barely got to love you) – after carrying it for less than a year, The San Jose Mercury News has replaced it with “Lio”.

#8 Jimmy Delach
September/24/2012
@ 7:22 pm

Some updates:

The Washington Post and Miami Herald added “Mike du Jour” as “Cul De Sac’s” replacement. 100% on the Post’ no real confirm from the Herald but based on the cartoonist’s interview it mentioned the Herald as picking up the strip and they only added “Cul De Sac” last year.

The Chicago Sun-Times apparently did not replace “Cul De Sac”. Instead they just moved “Lio” from one page to fill its’ spot while enlarging their panel strips. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune also did not replace “Cul De Sac” opting to enlarge some strips.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will replace “Cul De Sac” with “Pickles” Tomorrow.

Others
Austin American-Statesman: Red & Rover
San Jose Mercury-News: Lio
Citizens’ Voice (PA): Big Nate
Daily Herald (WA): Zits
Daily Item (PA): Frazz
Republican Herald (PA): Lio
Raleigh News & Observer (NC): F-Minus

Also the Charlotte Observer will be running strips submitted by local readers. Next week they will offer a trial run of strips.

#9 Dale Pederson
September/24/2012
@ 10:26 pm

Our local paper (San Francisco East Bay) announced that Cul de Sac would be replaced by Lio on weekdays and the Sunday Red and Rover on Sundays.

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