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Chicago Tribune drops Shoe

Jeff MacNellys Shoe

The Chicago Tribune, the home of the legendary cartoonist Jeff MacNelly, has announced that it has dropped Jeff’s comic strip Shoe. In an email to Jim Romenesko, the tribune editor Geoff Brown said that it was just a matter of trying to keep the comics page fresh. Shoe was replaced by The Middletons, a Tribune Media Services syndicated strip by Ralph Dunagin and Dana Summers.

Community Comments

#1 Mike McKeenan
March/22/2013
@ 9:36 am

Freshen things up with “the middletons”? Mr. Brown, you should move into a section of the newspaper that you have even the tiniest understanding of.

#2 mark mason
March/22/2013
@ 11:50 am

?The Middletons? as a replacement for ?Shoe?? That?s like my favorite Italian restaurant ?freshening up? their menu by serving Chef Boyardee. (I shouldn?t write comments when I?m hungry).

#3 Tom Stemmle
March/22/2013
@ 11:55 am

…sounds, in my opinion, as a very self-serving move by the Chicago Trib comic page editors. They replace ‘Shoe” with one of their own (Trib. Media Synd.) features: “The Middletons”.
Might it be fair to assume that Trib Media is still “stinging” from the “Shoe” franchise move to King Features a few years back?
I believe “Shoe” is still fresh and still very clever.

#4 Alan Gardner
March/22/2013
@ 12:57 pm

Tom – that’s what crossed my mind. It makes me wonder how many comics on the tribune comics page are TMS features compared to other syndicates.

#5 Frank So
March/23/2013
@ 11:36 am

As a long-time reader I think that dropping the strip is dumb. The editor’s reason is lame. I don’t know if the Tribune owns the rights to MacNelly’s classic IRS 1040 drawing that it runs every April 15. If so, I hope they would feel shame in ever running it again.

#6 Jimmy Delach
March/23/2013
@ 8:49 pm

Why would the Tribune “freshen up” the comics pages by replacing a long-running non-rerun strip like “Shoe” by replacing it with a long-running Tribune strip like “The Middletons” (it began running in fellow Tribune paper the Orlando Sentinel back in 1986!)? Yet the Tribune also runs both “Peanuts” and “For Better Or For Worse” (both strips are in reruns) and also the long-running “Blondie” and “Dick Tracy” (The Tribune decided to drop mainstays “Annie” and “Gasoline Alley” when both were/are still active).

That’s just as puzzling as the Tampa Tribune (not related to the Chicago paper) replaced “For Better Or For Worse” with “Shoe” on Sundays.

#7 Darryl Heine
March/25/2013
@ 12:19 pm

I should e-mail Geoff Brown to bring back Shoe rather than writing to Chicago Tribune rival paper Chicago Sun-Times to pick up the strip.

Too bad no Chicago paper (Tribune and Sun-Times) runs anymore Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois, Heathcliff, Get Fuzzy, Nancy, Family Circus, Mother Goose and Grimm, Spider-Man, Apt. 3-G, Mary Worth, and Funky Winkerbean.

And I’m lucky the Chicago Tribune still carries reruns of Peanuts and For Better or For Worse.

#8 Darryl Heine
March/25/2013
@ 12:24 pm

Also: The Chicago Tribune dropped the weekday Comics Carousel with current contenders “Dogs of C-Kennel” and “Pajama Diaries” but will still run them Sundays (The Chicago Tribune only has the rights to carry besides the 2 Comics Carousel contenders on Sundays but not daily the comic strips “Non Sequitur”, “Gil”, and “The Lockhorns” – “Future Shock” and “Foxtrot” are always Sunday only strips; and the Tribune also runs in the daily comics but not Sundays “Argyle Sweater” and “Brewster Rockit”.

Why didn’t the Chicago Tribune drop “Broom Hilda” or “Brewster Rockit” or “Dustin” to make room for “The Middletons”?

#9 Rick Hudson
March/26/2013
@ 7:26 pm

The Chicago Tribune’s comics’ section is truly a who’s who of Tribune Media Services’ offerings. Mr Brown is a corporate mouthpiece that serves his company’s own agenda. The newspaper doesn’t care about its readers or they wouldn’t come up with phoney stories like they have about replacing Shoe with The Middletons. Seriously, what a pathetic excuse for a paper like the Tribune, one of America’s former great newspapers.

#10 Chris Hegg
March/27/2013
@ 8:46 am

I wasn’t totally surprised by seeing the Trib drop Shoe from the comics section after I read March 17th’s strip where Cosmo mentions that he used to get the (New York) Times but now gets the (Wall Street) Journal. I was waiting for the other ‘shoe’ to drop. I’m seriously thinking of dropping my Trib subscription.

#11 Kathy Hall-Babis
March/29/2013
@ 7:38 am

I want Shoe and Dogs of Kennel -C back!! Why fix something when it’s not broken??

Ask your readers for their opinion before you drop comics!

#12 Anna Martina
March/30/2013
@ 12:59 am

I’m just glad they didn’t drop Brewster Rockit. I was furious when they dropped Brewster’s Sunday strips.

#13 DANIEL STYBR
March/30/2013
@ 8:40 am

While the Chicago Tribune struggles to remain a viable newspaper, when it came to the relief of the comics page, they had three or four must read strips. By dropping Shoe, they now have lost the most enjoyable diversion and have come that much closer to not being worth the price of the paper.

#14 Jimmy Delach
March/31/2013
@ 8:28 pm

“Also: The Chicago Tribune dropped the weekday Comics Carousel with current contenders ?Dogs of C-Kennel? and ?Pajama Diaries? but will still run them Sundays (The Chicago Tribune only has the rights to carry besides the 2 Comics Carousel contenders on Sundays but not daily the comic strips ?Non Sequitur?, ?Gil?, and ?The Lockhorns? ? ?Future Shock? and ?Foxtrot? are always Sunday only strips; and the Tribune also runs in the daily comics but not Sundays ?Argyle Sweater? and ?Brewster Rockit?.

Why didn?t the Chicago Tribune drop ?Broom Hilda? or ?Brewster Rockit? or ?Dustin? to make room for ?The Middletons??”

Darryl, I think you left out “Bliss” (runs Monday-Saturday). Otherwise, I think you got them all.

Also, “Broom-Hilda” was had a recent stint in the “Comics Carousel” and it received enough votes to stay (why “Broom-Hilda” was considered since the New York Daily News no loner runs it is beyond me). Also, not that it matters but “Dustin” is syndicated by King Features (which is the current syndicator of “Shoe”)

#15 Alice Hancko
April/1/2013
@ 5:06 pm

Shoe is a classic and deserves to stay. I can’t understand how your staff would even consider The Middletons – not worthy of your paper and certainly not up to your readers’ standards.

The Dogs of K-9 won several rounds in the Carousel and brought joy to dog people every where. Please find a good home for them on your comic page.

#16 R.A. Stewart
April/2/2013
@ 12:48 pm

@Darryl Heine March/25/2013 @ 12:19 pm, “I should e-mail Geoff Brown to bring back Shoe …”

Well, good luck with that … many years ago I contacted a prior comics editor a couple of times and got a response, even if not the response I would have liked. Geoff Brown has never even acknowledged the two or three emails I’ve sent during his tenure. And yes, I’m polite and know how to spell and punctuate, and I lay off the caps lock key.

But hey, as to The Middletons, come on, folks, you know how badly the Trib’s comics lineup needs a strip about a middle-class suburban family and their neighbors.

#17 Wayne Stuetzer
April/5/2013
@ 9:17 am

Only two reasons to read and follow a comic strip, wit and draftsmanship. When the two are excellent and complimentary, you have more than a subject for space juggling or economic convenience. You have art – which can often be brilliant and memorable.

Seems to me editing a comics page should have something to do with nurturing and protecting the opportunity for readers to encounter and enjoy the best of this art form.

To that end, please make plans now to save Doonesbury, Classic Peanuts (who cares if it’s in rerun) and Dilbert; and do what you can to bring back Sylvia, Get Fuzzy and Shoe.
.
I’m on the fence about Hagar and Blondie in the wit department, but I love the way they’re drawn.

#18 chuck thielmann
April/10/2013
@ 3:26 pm

Are you people nuts I look forward to shoe in the comics.
all the time bring it back please.

re you people nuts how about bringing SHOE BACK.

#19 Greg Tallas
April/20/2013
@ 12:35 pm

Deeply disappointed in your dropping SHOE.
When considering what’s left as comic strips……..well
And to do so absent any comment…
Hope you find the dope who decided this

#20 howard hoyt
May/1/2013
@ 2:59 pm

Mr Tribune….You killed one of my must-reads. Shoe was one of the best drawn plus it had all the comic irony that guides my like. It was the only heir I’ve seen to the great Pogo. What happened to the popular vote that brought a touch of democracy to the paper?

#21 michael King
June/2/2013
@ 10:44 am

I get the Washington Post paper and have for 50+ years, (yea and I’m still alive)
they need some rebuilding also!
Shoe and the Middletons are NOT IN THE POST, So I have to go on line to read them and the rest of my favorites,are not printed in the sunday paper, just on line. .
Don’t know why and they do not answer my e-maile or faxes I hve sent asking why??
But anyway Shoe and the Middletons have nothing to do with each other , Why Chicago trib. feels to switch, makes no sense to me.

#22 michael King
June/2/2013
@ 10:45 am

I did with no cuse words you erased it

#23 Michael Cavna
June/2/2013
@ 6:23 pm

Michael King:

I’m curious: Who at The Post are you emailing/faxing?

Thanks,
Michael

Michael Cavna
“Comic Riffs”
The Washington Post
Michael.Cavna@washpost.com

#24 Bill G
June/12/2013
@ 4:54 pm

Where’s Doonesbury?? No Shoe !!
They keep Stantis who only should be on ed page
Trib has no clue Just about ready to dump the subscription

#25 Jimmy Delach
June/13/2013
@ 5:50 am

Doonesbury is on sabbatical until Sept. 1st. Tribune didn’t want to run repeats for that long a time.

#26 Rick Shoemaker
June/18/2013
@ 9:53 am

I am STILL upset about the Tribune dropping Shoe for a boring replacement and Tribune-owned, The Middletons! Now the sudden “disappearance” of Doonesbury. That replacement, another Tribune-owned cartoon, is awful. What is going on there!!?? Stop messing around with things!!!!!

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