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John Kovaleski’s Bo Nanas to Come to an End

Amy Lago at The Washington Post Writers Group emailed to announce that John Kovaleski’s Bo Nanas will be coming to an end on July 28th. Bo Nanas made its big syndication debut in 2003 after John completed a year-long fellowship program (FineToon). The last week of Bo Nanas material will “show a bit of Bo’s own wonderful life, particularly his influence on the lives of his friends — from the strong, silent Hot Dog Guy to the squirrelly Brittany the Squirrel Scout. And, of course, his landlady Mrs. Yannes.”

Amy hints that reruns may be possible over on

Community Comments

#1 j stevens
@ 9:01 am

This is really sad – I like this strip. Finally someone tried to do something different with a strip, and I guess the newspaper editors just didn’t support it. Sad.

#2 HB
@ 9:54 am

I’m also very saddened by this. John is a really terrific person and super-talented cartoonist. I hope this decision is his and he moves on to other great things.

#3 r stevens
@ 11:39 am

That’s too bad, Bo is a neat strip!

#4 Dan Killeen
@ 12:33 pm

John is a really good dude. He was very friendly and helpful when I met him. And I agree with j stevens’ comments. I hope we see Bo again, or at least another Kovaleski strip, in the near future.

#5 Charles Brubaker
@ 12:57 pm

Sad. I’ve been reading the strip since the beginning. It had a nice 4 year run.

So long, Bo.

#6 Chris
@ 3:39 pm

Man, a lot of great strips have been ending over the last year or so, huh?
“FoxTrot,” “The Boondocks,” “Big Top,” “Sutton Impact,” and now “Bo Nanas” and “Sunshine Club.”

#7 Rob
@ 7:36 am

Why is it coming to an end?

#8 Charles Brubaker
@ 8:01 am

I asked John about it.

He replied, saying it was the usual stuff – lack of money, too much projects, etc.

#9 denese
@ 11:24 am

This just plain sucks. I’m just now getting over losing Big Top, and now this. (Insert cartoon bad words here.)

#10 Mark
@ 12:49 pm

I hope this follows John’s wishes. Chuck’s comments about his reasons including “too many projects” leads me to believe he’s following a calling he’d prefer, but Bo Nanas will be missed. When Amy called me a few months back regarding my possible syndication with WPWG, I emailed John to see what is was like working with them. He responded the next day and was very helpful and encouraging. Good luck with whatever brings you happiness, John, and let Bo out of the cage now and again.

#11 Anne
@ 12:50 pm

The sad truth about producing comics is that, except for a notable few like Zits, the pay is not enough to support oneself as a sole source of income. Trying to combine daily comic creativity and neverending deadlines with whatever other job one needs to do to pay the rent etc. really takes its toll.

Combine that with limited comic real estate and a community like certain blogs that delight in bashing all comics daily and it can be really tough to get whatever space does exist. Unfortunately, a lot of fans only seem to voice their support when a strip ends and not during its run when the artist could use it most.

I only begun browsing blogs about a year ago, but that is the trend of the commentary that I see. Even on this site when a new comic is announced, some folks compliment it but a lot don’t even give it a chance.

#12 Art
@ 2:32 pm

Anne said: “Unfortunately, a lot of fans only seem to voice their support when a strip ends and not during its run when the artist could use it most.”

Truer words have ne’er been spoken.

#13 Andy White
@ 1:37 pm

Sad news. Bo Nanas is an appealing strip.

#14 Chris
@ 8:53 am

I’m really going to miss “Bo Nanas.”
Today was the last strip and I felt pretty sad to see Bo wander off to explore the world with the fantastic sum of money he accidentally earned earlier this week by spending the morning as “interim CEO.”

This and “Big Top” will go on my list of strips that never made it when they really should have. What Anne wrote above is very true…this strip had potential with its absurdist humor and bizarre set of characters, but no one really ever spoke up for it except at the beginning and end. Same with “Big Top.”

(“Big Top,” of course, ended in a comparatively less sentimental way.)

I feel like I will miss Bo’s presence, just as, in the last strip, Mrs. Yannesm, Mr. Bench, the Hot Dog Guy, and Brittany of the Squirrel Scouts do. I hope that John Kovaleski tries to get syndicated again, because his work has been truly funny, if unappreciated. I read a post by Mark Tatulli on the subject, which is replicated on Mark Heath’s blog, explaining how he persevered after the failure of his first syndicated strip, “Bent Halos,” and went on to create “Heart of the City” and then the hit strip “Lio.” I feel that John could do the same if he wanted to.

#15 Jean
@ 3:06 pm

Yes, very sad to see Bo walk off into the horizon to see the world… without us, the fans. What is to become of Mrs. Yannes? Although (thanks to her monkey benefactor) now quite wealthy, what will she do every day? Now, THAT’S a tale in itself!!

I have the 2005 Bo Nanas book, and I would have liked to see another book. I felt the comics improved over time, right up to the last strips!!
Boy, I am gonna miss Britney!!

#16 JTD
@ 11:07 am

Bo Nanas was the first strip I would read every morning. It is sad to see it go. I just question how we are suppose to offer consistent Atta Boys to keep a strip going. I e-mail back and forth with a few of the comic artists whose strips I enjoy and have e-mailed my two local papers on behalf of strips. But how are we suppose to keep the letters coming?

#17 Phillip Schearer
@ 5:53 am

I only today (Aug. 28) discovered that Bo is gone. I am torn by sadness for the strip’s demise, frustration that so many fine comics have ceased in recent years, and anger that so many mediocre ones continue decade after decade. But who ever said life is fair? I thank John Kovaleski for the years of pleasure and wish him the best in his future plans. If he’s half the primate that Bo was, he deserves the best. (Now I have to go buy the book.)

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