Lio, Pearls Before Swine reap windfall in Foxtrot vacancy (UPDATED…again…more)

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,

Pearls Before Swine has picked up The Columbus Dispatch, The Star-Telegram, The Times-Reporter (OH), Akron Beacon Journal, Times Daily, News Record.

F-Minus: Detroit Free Press, Baltimore Sun, Arizona Republic

Baby Blues: Times Recorder, Newark Advocate, Chillicothe Gazette

Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee picks up the Houston Chronicle, Pentagraph,

Pickles will now be seen in the Green Bay Press, Siginaw News

Dog Eat Doug is now in the Modesto Bee, and is try-out mode at the Union-Tribune.

Get Fuzzy takes The Flint Journal, El Paso Times

Zits: The Star Beacon, Palladium

The Amazing Spiderman takes The Morning Sun (Pittsburg KS)

Zack Hill is now in the Peoria Journal Star.

Agnes picks up the Springfield News-Leader.

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 SweetiesRocky Mountain News

Day by Day a web comic is being picked up by North County Times

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.

30 thoughts on “Lio, Pearls Before Swine reap windfall in Foxtrot vacancy (UPDATED…again…more)

  1. As I said in my email, “Frazz” also picked up “Stars and Stripes,” among other changes.

  2. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has replaced ”FoxTrot” with ”On a Claire Day” from Creators.

  3. The Indianapolis Star replaced it (at least in the dailies) with “Get Fuzzy.” I can’t find a link on their website (and their online selection of comics seems to have little to do with their print selection), but the announcement ran in the print edition on Jan. 1.

    Nick Theodorakis

  4. According to Google News, Pearls got a lot more than that. Some of the other ones I found include:

    Lexington Herald Leader
    Greensboro News Record
    Spokane Spokesman Review
    Appleton Post Crescent
    Birmingham News
    Lawrence Journal World
    Fayetteville Observer
    Guelph Mercury

  5. Here’s what I found out:

    Lio is now in the Tampa Tribune, Westerly Sun (Westerly, RI), Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), Record Journal (Meriden, CT), New Haven Register, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    Pearls Before Swine is in the Fayetteville Observer, Plain Dealer (Cleveland), Lexington Herald-Leader, Post & Courier (Charleston, SC), Santa Fe New Mexican.

    Beetle Bailey is in the Savannah Morning News.

    Pajama Diaries is in the Times Union.

    Mother Goose & Grimm is in the Providence Journal.

    Mutts is in the New Hampshire Union Leader.

    Pooch Cafe is in the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Orange County Register.

    One Big Happy is in the Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, CT).

    Baby Blues is in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

    Flo & Friends is in the East Valley Tribune (Mesa, AZ).

    Preteena is in the Times Argus (Barre, VT).

    Pickles is in the Florida Today (Melbourne, FL).

    Baldo is in the Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY).

    Tundra is in The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), Los Angeles Times.

    Girls & Sports is in the Albuquerque Journal.

    Frazz is in The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA).

    Edison Lee is in the Quad-City Times (Davenport, IA).

    Cow & Boy is in the Hartford Courant.

    Diesel Sweeties is in the Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ).

    Candorville is in the Austin American-Statesman.

  6. Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer is not committing to “Pearls Before Swine” just yet. The paper is going to run four weeks of the strip, then two more strips for four weeks each before they select the one that readers prefer the most.

    The Plain Dealer (erroneously) reported that “FoxTrot” had been retired by its creator. Further it stated “the end of the daily ‘FoxTrot’ also give us the opportunity to publish ‘Zits’ on Sundays … [The Plain Dealer] currently runs ‘Zits’ on weekdays and Saturdays only.”

    I’m glad to get “Zits” on Sunday but I’m really bummed about losing “FoxTrot”.

    Maybe the Syndicates need to follow a TV network model and schedule strips in “seasons”. Let’s say for example that “FoxTrot” ran for 4 straight months and then was off to draw, developing and recharge while another strip ran for several months and so on.

    Hey it works for TV, even daily TV shows go on hiatus.

  7. The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal is only running “Lio” for a two-week “audition” right now. They’ll run three other strips for two-week auditions after that, and then allow readers to vote for their favorite of the four. (They haven’t named the other three, but said they’ll be among the “hottest” strips offered by the syndicates.)

    Considering the stink that readers raised when “Dilbert” replaced “Mary Worth” some years back, I wouldn’t count on anything groundbreaking being chosen.

  8. I know DS added the Seattle Times & Newark Star-Ledger in addition to the Rocky Mountain News. Not sure how many others we started early in, but I can confirm those three.

  9. Oh, and here’s some more changes.

    Pearls Before Swine was also added to the Times-Tribune (Scranton, PA).

    F Minus was added to the Patriot-News (Harrisburg, PA).

    Stone Soup was added to the Standard Examiner (Ogden, UT).

    Pooch Cafe was added to The Gazette (Schenectady, NY).

    and also Baldo is not in the Post-Standard. I misread the article. Family Circus actually moves back onto the comics pages after Foxtrot, Baldo & Sylvia were dropped.

  10. Commercial Appeal in Memphis, TN, also picked up Pearls Before Swine to replace FoxTrot.

  11. Just a note… it doesn’t seem that Stone Soup is on your radar, but my strip picked up quite a few new papers. In an industry that has little new real estate, it’s wonderful for all of us to have a shot at a little more turf. Congrats to everyone and anyone who gained a little ground.

    Jan Eliot
    Stone Soup comic strip
    dist. by Universal Press

  12. Tundra has also found it’s way into the Stamford Advocate, the Winnipeg Free Press and the Vancouver Sun. As of January 07, Tundra is now in 108 newspapers, up from six last March.

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