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The Cartoon Island Poll Launched to Drop Two Features

The Times (Shreveport, LA) is playing, “The Cartoon Island” in which readers get to bump off two of the least favorite comics. Candidates to be voted off include: Mary Worth, Sally Forth, Beetle Bailey, Marvin, Hagar, For Better or Worse, and Curtis. On the list of possible new comics include: Cafe Con Leche, Dog Eat Doug, Flo and Friends, On a Claire Day, and Baby Blues.

Community Comments

#1 Brian
August/14/2007
@ 9:52 am

Please don’t drop Mary Worth… it is the BEST

#2 JoAnne STadnicar
August/14/2007
@ 10:07 am

Mary Worth is so very socially relevant with fast-paced storylines. She’s an American Icon – please don’t get rid of Mary Worth!!

#3 brian
August/14/2007
@ 10:42 am

Man, you mention Mary worth anywhere and the hits just come pouring in.

#4 nicole
August/14/2007
@ 11:43 am

as a child, i only had role models of questionable moral fiber…but, after reading mary worth with her honorable ethics and principles…i knew i had found a place to turn when i need a guiding light. please keep mary worth…and have a blessed day!!!!

#5 Dawn
August/14/2007
@ 11:56 am

Please Please Please don’t remmove Mary Worth. My friends Vera, Drew and I love it as does Julie G!!!!!

#6 Deanna Miller
August/14/2007
@ 11:59 am

Mary Worth is one of the few lasting American traditions in the world of comics! For the love of God P-L-E-A-S-E don’t exterminate her! Mary is beloved by Americans and people around the globe. And we Baby Boomers and large in number and can cancel our newspaper subscriptions if necessary! SAVE MW!!!!!

#7 Katie Verkland
August/14/2007
@ 12:00 pm

I come to this country long time ago. Mary Worth, her story it helped me read English. Now I have husband. He good man (you know I mean it really good!) Please don’t remove Mary Worth.

#8 Irene Krywy-Majors
August/14/2007
@ 12:05 pm

I am a tween and I love Mary Worth. I especially liked the story with Aldo and have a picture of him in my locker at middle school. I have some biological issues that are embarassing and Mary Worth helps me relax so I can go!

#9 Debbie Robine
August/14/2007
@ 12:21 pm

Listen – your idle threats to cancel Mary Worth are “worthless!” If you cancel Mary, cancel my subscription. Forever. You keep loser comics like Hagar and Beetle Bailey and want to cancel a compelling story like Mary Worth? This is a no-brainer – KEEP MARY!

#10 Tommy Vitalic
August/14/2007
@ 12:28 pm

DO NOT cancel Mary Worth…that is the only reason I read the paper. Her stories get better and better each week. Please vote off Hagar it is vulgar and disgusting….I wish Mary would beat HAGAR to DEATH!

#11 Randall Kirby
August/14/2007
@ 8:24 pm

Reading Mary Worth healed my athlete’s foot somehow.

#12 Eric Burke
August/14/2007
@ 9:46 pm

Brian, you’re up against a hostile resistance front with bizarre testimonials!

I must be reading a differnt Mary Worth. The Mary Worth that my baby blues have perused is one stale, borish, snorefest of an outdated serial strip. But…apparently what I’ve missed all these years is that Mary is…

…a socially relevant icon doling out sage advice in fast paced storylines who has honorable ethics and principles that serve as a guiding light to a global fanbase of baby boomers with the ability to cancel newspaper subscriptions and is an newsprint tutorial on learning english and meeting good men filled with sexual innuendo and seems to calm the biological function of tweens and apparently aid in bowel movements and can even cure athlete’s foot while beating Hagar TO DEATH!

Good luck to Dog Eat Doug, Brian. I’m pulling for you and for Curtis to stay.May you find victory before Mary cures hemorrhoids and gets a holiday named after her!!

#13 mike3031@peoplepc.com
August/14/2007
@ 10:59 pm

afew yrs ago they ran a test strip in the ajc to seee if it wiuld replace mary worth sorry no dice mary won

#14 Debbie Robine
August/15/2007
@ 6:54 am

Eric, you loser…you must be loads of fun at a party! EVERYONE who is ANYONE LOVES Mary Worth! The Aldo Kelrast storyline was classic – suspenseful, relevent with a slam-bang ending! And now Dr. Drew in a “love triangle” with an older woman and a disinherited blonde is compelling as well. Grow up and get back to your job at Wal-mart and leave the rest of us Mary Worth lovers to our heroine! Mary is WORTH keeping – Charterstone forever!!!!

#15 Aldo fan
August/15/2007
@ 7:01 am

Please don’t let Mary go she is an angel of LOVE… and VERA IS HOT

#16 Mary is Worth Saving!
August/15/2007
@ 7:09 am

Please, I beg of you – KEEP MARY ALIVE!!! Get rid of Beetle Bailey – so stupid and I swear they recycle it over and over and over again. Incredibly sexist as well. Mary is a beacon of hope in this otherwise putrid world that Eric has polluted for the rest of us.

#17 Please keep Mary
August/15/2007
@ 8:54 am

Mary is timely fun and exciting please keep Mary! Get rid of that sick sexist FREAK Beetle Bailey… there are weird sick messages in that strip! I will NOT let me kids read it.

#18 Rich
August/15/2007
@ 3:12 pm

I’m amazed that MW has groupies, but more power to you. You really should petition the paper that is considering dropping the strip rather than this blog. Alan may have clout, but this may be outside of his normal job description! ;)

#19 MJ
August/15/2007
@ 5:53 pm

I applaud Alan for shaking up the comics page to add different strips. I would like to see more editors look for different strips from other sources though. Instead of continually picking from one syndicates offerings. There are some great cartoonists out there that produce equally entertaining material, some are even better than what’s offered in syndicate packages.

#20 Rich
August/15/2007
@ 6:15 pm

So Alan, are you an editor for the comics page of a newspaper?

#21 Alan Gardner
August/15/2007
@ 8:04 pm

Yes, all of them. And the president of the Mary Worth fan club. Why do you think so many MW fans came here in droves the last couple of days? I sent them!

#22 MJ
August/15/2007
@ 8:31 pm

Sorry for the confusion Rich. Alan English, Editor at The Times. By the way Alan (Gardner) I never got my MW Fan Club membership card…

#23 Alan Gardner
August/15/2007
@ 9:33 pm

MJ, I guess you weren’t “Mary Worth-y.”

Ouch. That was bad.

#24 MJ
August/15/2007
@ 10:19 pm

Score – Alan G. 1, MJ 0
Actually though back to the subject at hand. Alan English seems like a cool, straight shooting editor. But all these dead wood editions should really drop most of the useless stories reported on and expand the comics sections. Is it really that important to continually report on Death, Murder, and Mayhem. As all the editors sit around at the office meetings, “Hey I wonder why subscriptions are down.” There’s enough of that on the evening news. Nobody wants to continually read about depressing subjects.

#25 Mark
August/16/2007
@ 8:28 am

Please don’t drop Mary Worth. I simply relish those three month long poolside chats!

#26 Rich
August/16/2007
@ 12:52 pm

MJ, I agree. The cop-out that there is only so much space for comics is ridiculous. I’d guess that front page, weather, comics and sports pages get 90% of reader time. Expanding the comics page should improve circulation and advertising.

Oh, and Alan, condolences on the MW fan thing . I am amazed that folks write to this blog like it’s the paper considering dropping a strip. I know that quite often you’ll get the cartoonist reading and responding. Has anyone ever admitted to being an editor and responded here? ;)

#27 Alan Gardner
August/16/2007
@ 12:56 pm

I receive email occasionally from paper editors/writers, but I have not seen any comments posted from individuals with an email address of a newspaper. My guess is if any editors read this blog, they’re lurkers OR they use their personal email address when submitting.

#28 Rich
August/16/2007
@ 1:41 pm

Makes sense! I would at least respond anonymously if I were an editor too! However, I think this blog is generally social enough not to totally pounce on one. I would be a good forum and interesting to get their take on these issues. I suppose we’d learn that they have much less clout, and are more frustrated, than we think within the rest of the newspaper hierarchy!

#29 EMY
August/16/2007
@ 2:01 pm

Please don’t cancel Sally Forth, Bettle Bailey or Marvin. Thanks!

#30 Rich
August/16/2007
@ 3:25 pm

Tell me this just didn’t happen again! [ ;-{)}

#31 Eric Burke
August/16/2007
@ 8:39 pm

Debbie, I think Mary would make a great greeter at Wal Mart®. She’s there to buy her Depends®, anyways, so why not work there and get an employee discount!?

Mary really would be a beacon of hope in this otherwise putrid world to each and every Wal Mart® shopper she cheerfully greeted…

The storylines could follow Mary’s every day dealings while she hands out those smiley face stickers to peeps! The intrigue and suspense that’s in her strip now would be enhanced by everyday low prices that are always being slashed to even lower prices!

Just imagine if Beetle Bailey, Recently out of the ARMY, were somehow worked into Mary Worth as say, the head cashier/front end supervisior? Workplace flirtation spills over into the comic pages most controversial romance!

#32 Rich
August/17/2007
@ 12:41 am

LOL. That’s all fine and well Eric, until Zero dies of cancer. I just couldn’t take that. ;)

Oh yeah, the subject. I think they should expand the comics page and thus not drop any comics. The Cartoon Island poll is a bad idea – IMHO. Expansion would then allow the Wal-Mart (WM) Mary Worth (MW) (hmm … nah) thing as a second strip. MW of Alternate Earths or something like that.

#33 Eric Burke
August/17/2007
@ 5:32 am

Rich…you hit on something there! How’s about…

Bizarro Mary Worth!

Instead of doling out sage advice, Bizarro Mary spreads hurtful gossip and destroys lives!

And Beetle actually likes to work!

#34 MJ
August/17/2007
@ 7:32 am

How true Rich these polls to help decide which toons should be dropped are just nonsense. I don’t vote on any thing relating to dropping a comic. But I do if they are going to add without dropping another. If there are editors lurking in the shadows here, how about dropping marriages and obituaries to add some more comics. Come on editors lets be real. I’ll bet you even expanded your marriage section to the front pages today, Jenna getting married. I’d rather read a comic strip than a useless article like this.

#35 Rich
August/17/2007
@ 10:48 am

Eric – I like it! I wonder how they’d get her to say “htrow yram” to go back to bizarro world. Might be a cool strip idea to just parody other strips … we’ve seen some of that by Pearls and some others … but it could be the Weird Al of comic strips. Amen MJ! Most of the Life section is a snooze (heck, most of paper is a snooze)! Removing the Horoscope would at least allow one single-panel cartoon in! Replacing the whole Life section with comics – priceless!

#36 Chris
August/25/2007
@ 1:37 pm

“I am amazed that folks write to this blog like itâ??s the paper considering dropping a strip. I know that quite often youâ??ll get the cartoonist reading and responding.”
I agree, Rich.

Personally, I hope “For Better of For Worse” stays, and “Curtis.” I have great respect for Ray Billingsey. “Curtis” is very funny, and while it unfortunately doesn’t run in my paper, I have read it elsewhere.

I also hope “Dog Eat Doug” gets voted in. Good luck, Brian.

#37 lois scheib
August/26/2007
@ 8:24 pm

Of those being considered to be dropped I vote for Marvin and For Better or Worse.

#38 STEW
November/26/2007
@ 1:26 pm

ALL OF THESE MARY WORTH COMMENTS IN SUPPORT OF THE COMIC STRIP ARE NONE OTHER THAN THE PSYCHO ‘DEBBIE ROBINE’ HERSELF. SHE POSTS UNDER THE SAME NAMES AT THE http://WWW.TMZ.COM WEBSITE. WHAT A LOON!! THIS IS HILARIOUS READING HER NUTSO COMMENTS AS SHE DESPERATELY TRIES TO SAVE A COMIC STRIP BY USING MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES!! LOL! SHE CALLS EVERYONE A LOSER, ETC, ACCUSING THEM OF BEING FAT AND WORKING AT WALMART. TURNS OUT SHE IS A CLERK AT SOME COUNTY PRISON EARNING $8 AN HOUR! WHO’S THE LOSER? hahahahaha

#39 Malc McGookin
November/26/2007
@ 2:24 pm

The ancient strips usually have a group of adherents who flood the newspaper with fake messages (often at the behest of the creator) when the feature is threatened with being dropped.

I know this for a fact, because I’ve spoken with cartoon editors over the years who cheerfully admit they’ll keep a strip on if they receive even a few messages in its favour. single figure responses to an editor convert to hundreds because they multiply results using some weird newspaper editor formula.

One editor told me that Phantom beat Zits in an Island-style poll even though he KNEW that Phantom’s respondents consisted of four or five guys all sending fake messages.

Fact is that Zits was new and hadn’t had time to build up a fan base.

There’s no competing witn that kind of laziness and stupidity. It’s what keeps the old strips in place.

I never read Beetle, but its detractor(s) make it sound enticing!

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