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Doonesbury and Pagination Problematic in Tampa

Some Sunday comic strips (quite a few really) have a set grid of panels.
Blondie has a nine-grid, Garfield has an eight-grid – always.
Since not long after it’s 1970 debut Doonesbury has been set in a nine-panel Sunday layout.

These constant layouts and panel sizes allow Sunday Color Comics Sections the option
of squeezing in another strip by running it vertically down one side of the page.

Newspapers that choose to set up such a layout pick a comic strip that is certain to give them that ability Sunday after Sunday, so they don’t have to rearrange the strips on the page every week.

Doonesbury is one such strip – it always runs nine same-size panels. Always.

Except when it doesn’t:

Then the pagination services have to scramble.
(Most newspapers these days outsource the laying out of their daily and Sunday Funnies and puzzle pages to a service, the papers then run the pages as is – seldom checking the pages for errors.)

Today, October 6, 2019, the Tampa Bay Times got dinged.

They ran Dennis the Menace vertically in the place reserved for Doonesbury.

Unfortunately, when they went to drop the third-page format Doonesbury
into the regular Dennis the Menace spot they missed.


The horrible result was that Tampa Bay Times readers missed out on
the October 6, 2019 Hägar, while getting Dennis twice.

This is not the first time Doonesbury has caused this pagination problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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