With a client list of over 1000 newspapers, FoxTrot’s departure is creating a large shift in the number of features that are being picked to fill the vacancy. While I don’t have access to the syndicate’s official numbers, I have collected from google searches a snapshot of some of the changes happening across the country. If this little dissection provides any insight it is that Mark Tatuli’sLio and Stephan Pastis’Pearls Before Swine are the big winners in Bill Amend’s absence.
Lio: Kansas City Star, The Jersey Journal Winston-Salem Journal (this paper is also picking up Peanuts, Doonesbury and dropping Over the Hedge), Arizona Daily Star, The Decatur Daily, Richmond Times Dispatch, Oshkosh Northwestern, St. Louis Times Dispatch, Daily American,
The Amazing Spiderman takes The Morning Sun (Pittsburg KS)
Zack Hill is now in the Peoria Journal Star.
Brevity picks up the Pioneer Press (the paper also notes that it is picking up Pajama Diaries and Cow & Boy but also dropping Dog eat Doug and Sylvia.)
Bliss: San Francisco Chronicle
Diesel Sweeties – Rocky Mountain News
Frazz: Jackson Citizen Patriot
Rose is Rose: Midland Daily News
The Pajama Diaries: Staton Island Advance,
Pooch Cafe: Oregonian,
Luann: Sacramento Bee.
9 Chickweed Lane: The News Sentinel
The Record is going to try out, Lio, Pickles, Baby Blues and Mutts for the next four months.
The Wilson Daily Times will give the following features one week to gain an audience with their feature: Stone Soup, Lio, Baldo and Pooch Cafe.
If you know of others, please list them in comments (preferably with a link to the announcement).
UPDATE: Several readers have posted the changes in their local papers or from Google searches they’ve done. See the comments on this post for details.
Dave Astor over at E&P also has a write up with a significant list (some of it duplicates my efforts, but does provide additional information).
A reader also wrote in to tell me that Agnes also picked up another three that I didn’t have reported earlier. Tony Cochran’s feature is now in Dayton Daily News, Springfield Sun Times, Hamilton and Middletown papers.
And lastly, Tom Spurgeon THE Comics Reporter, offers this opinion regarding the massive changes:
Second, I’m amazed by the variety of strips that papers are adding, which is probably just as indicative of this moment in comic strip history as those that stand out from the pack.
I’d have to agree. I was very surprised at the wide range of features that were picked up. Coming into the new year, I would have guessed a similar family feature would have done well as a replacement feature – but if you look at the big gainners, they were not traditional family strips. Perhaps going into fall of 2007 when Lynn Johnston retires For Better or For Worse – the next big foreseeable shake-up we’ll see a similar result.
UPDATE #2: Rick Stromoski writes in to announce that he’s picked up two papers – Red Bluff CA. Daily News and The Gazette-Enterprise (Seguin TX) with his feature, Soup to Nutz. The Daily News actually moved their Bridge, Dr. Gott and other column to the style section and ordered up 7 more features to make their page nothin’ but funnies. The six other features include: “Born Loser,” “Sunshine Club,” “Monty Dailies,” “Big Nate,” “Arlo and Janis” and “Alley.”
UPDATE #3: Just received an email from a couple of newspaper editors. First up from Shelly Stern with the LA Times. They went with Chad Carpenter’s Tundra as a FoxTrot replacement. Jack Perugini over at the Hartford Courant tells me that they’re having month long “auditions” starting with Cow and Boy. They’ve also set up a bulletin board to allow readers give them feedback on the comics. Perhaps they’ll find where as older readers tend to write letters for/against features, the younger crowd will gravitate to bulletin boards to voice their opinions. I’m going to guess right now that if they’re going to use the results of a bulletin board, their final selection will most likely be a younger feature.
UPDATE #4: A couple more write-ins: Andrew Feinstein of Girls And Sports tells me that his feature has been picked up by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Albuquerque Journal and comics reader Jen Kubeck from Wilton, NH tells me that Baby Blues is the official FoxTrot replacement in The Nashua Telegraph (NH). Thanks Jen for writing in and visiting this blog.