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The Post-Gazette and A New Funny Pages Model

Last week the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette began a new phase, sending a notice to their subscribers:

Beginning this week, the Post-Gazette will publish electronic editions exclusively on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Print editions will be delivered to homes on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and the Weekend Edition is available in stores on Saturday.

Last year they stopped printing the paper on Tuesdays and Saturdays, now the Monday and Wednesday print editions have been cancelled.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story about the change.
Other takes on the story are from the local Pittsburgh CBS TV station KDKA and from Media Post.
Tom Jones at Poynter expands on the timing of the change with the NFL season, Monday being a major sports news day.

 

But what does this mean for the Post-Gazette comics pages?

Well, for comics fans in Pittsburgh it may be a good thing. As the P-G explains:

Every Sunday, the Post-Gazette will feature a supplement that will include a week’s worth of comics and puzzles … and the Weekend Edition is available in stores on Saturday.

So a week’s worth of comics can be had with a $3(?) Sunday purchase, along with all the other weekend bonus features (the Sunday Funnies, the extra Sunday features, sales ads, coupons, and other et cetera).

I haven’t seen the new comics supplement. I am curious how it is laid out. Tabloid? Broadsheet with, say, Monday’s comics on one page, followed by Tuesday’s comic? Is the Sunday Funnies section still a separate insert? Are daily comics in color and combined with the Sunday comics? Are the daily comic strips from the week before or the coming week? So many questions.

Thanks to Jimmy Delach we do know one thing – the comics line-up.

From the linked P-G story above:

Starting today, the Post-Gazette brings back some of our readers’ favorite legacy comics — “Blondie,” “Zits,” “Mutts,” “Beetle Bailey” “Prince Valiant,” “Baby Blues, “Hagar the Horrible,” “Sally Forth,” “Curtis,” “Skylock Fox and Comics for Kids” and “Family Circus.”

We also are introducing “Pickles,” an award-winning comic drawn by Brian Crane that features Earl and Opal Pickles, who have been married for more than 50 years.

In early 2018 the Post-Gazette changed their comics page, dropping the King Features Syndicate comics and going with an all Andrews McMeel Syndicate roster (except the daily Bizarro by local cartoonist Wayno, and adding Dustin when they hired Steve Kelley to replace Rob Rogers).

Now they have reversed that decision and gone full-out King Features
(with the exception of Washington Post Writers Group’s Pickles).

 

From Jimmy Delach (with some editorial comments):

Returning:
Baby Blues
Beetle Bailey
Bizarro (Sunday strip returned after being dropped)
Blondie
Curtis (added Sunday)
Dennis The Menace (Daily only)
Family Circus (still recycled but they’re back)
Hagar The Horrible
Mutts
Sally Forth (added Sunday)
Slylock Fox and Comics For Kids
Prince Valiant
Zits

New:
Carpe Diem
Macanudo (Sunday only)
Pickles
Rhymes With Orange
Sherman’s Lagoon (Sunday only)

Gone:
Adam @ Home
Argyle Sweater
Big Nate
Breaking Cat News (Daily only)
Brevity
Close To Home (Daily only)
Cornered (Daily only)
Deflocked (Daily only)
Drabble (ends 40-year run in Press/P-G)
Fox Trot (ends 30-year run in P-G)
Frank & Ernest (ends 47-year run in Press/P-G)
Get Fuzzy (YES!!!!!)
Jump Start (second time P-G dropped them)
Lio
Marmaduke (ends long run in P-G)
Nancy (Daily only)
Off The Mark
Pearls Before Swine (?!?!?!?!?)
Phoebe & Her Unicorn (Daily only)
Pooch Cafe
Rose Is Rose (Daily only)
Shortcuts
WuMo (Daily only)

 

Y’know, there used to be a time when the syndicates published their comics in weekly books…

 

 

 

Community Comments

Currently there are 6 Comments
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#1 Brian Crane
October/8/2019
@ 12:57 pm

Pickles is syndicated by Washington Post Writers Group, not Creators.

#2 Tom Falco
October/8/2019
@ 1:27 pm

I love how on the tv news segment, the union guy is upset and would rather see the paper struggle rather than go digital. I understand how he feels, but to say the paper didn’t give the readers enough warning after sending letters and having an editorial in Sunday’s paper is ridiculous.

As much as I hate to see printed newspapers disappear, digital is the way of the future and if they can live online and not die, that’s the way to go.

Unfortunately, the unions killed many newspapers in NYC in the mid 1960s and this guy the guild president seems to want to do the same to the PG.

#3 D. D. Degg
October/8/2019
@ 3:15 pm

Mianhamnida, Brian. Corrected.

#4 Jimmy Delach
October/8/2019
@ 6:16 pm

The way I understand the special Sunday Comics supplement, in Sunday’s paper, they had the dates “October 6 – 12, 2019” so the Daily comics would be those from the coming week.

#5 Darryl Heine
October/9/2019
@ 4:47 am

Could it be that by the mid 2020’s almost all U.S. newspapers will no longer be newsprint and be all 100% digital?

#6 Ignatz
October/9/2019
@ 5:55 am

Print is an enormous expense. And while it doesn’t have NO advantages, it doesn’t have as many as digital.

I’m more interested in them keeping so many legacy strips (and ones that aren’t currently good, IMO), and getting rid of good stuff like Breaking Cat News and Lio.

They are adding Macanudo, at least, but that should be daily.

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