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Modesto Bee shrinks their Sunday Comics

The Modesto Bee has shrunk their Sunday comic pages. The paper used to run 29 features over six pages, but has reduced the comic section to 29 features on four pages. The editor cites cost cutting as the primary reason. He offers that a third party company that prints the comics has a new process that will allow for sharper reproductions and that wordier features will be printed bigger (sorry Lio – you win that postage size space in the corner!). Many readers are not happy.

One reader wrote:

“I must take issue with your paper’s decision to cram as many comics as you can on one folded page. With a plethora of advertisements totaling close to five pounds each Sunday, I guess you had to cut back one page somewhere. I am sending in this letter in small font to illustrate your decision. … Who was responsible for the reduced size comics? One thing I can tell you, they are not middle aged, elderly or have a vision impairment. Your comics page may be in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.”

The editor says more changes to their comics will be announced on Monday.

Community Comments

#1 D.D.Degg
November/23/2007
@ 9:54 am

The incredible shrinking comic strip.
The Modesto Bee, on Fridays, prints their daily comic strips in an entertainment tabloid section, with two columns of comics per page.
I went out to get the paper this morning just to make a comparision.
One hundred years ago, on November 15, 1907, this first “successful” daily comic strip was printed. “Mr. A. Mutt Starts in to Play the Races” was published in the San Francisco Chronicle. It ran along the top of the page for the entire width of the page. Making some conservative estimates (16.5 inches x 5.5 inches) I came up with that “first” daily strip taking up about 90 square inches.
Going for the extreme in today’s Modesto Bee I measured the “Peanuts” strip – barely over 4.5 inches wide and less than an inch high.
In 100 years we have gone from more than 90 square inches to less than 5 square inches!

#2 Dawn Douglass
November/23/2007
@ 10:56 am

I was watching The Brady Bunch one day a few years ago and the father was reading the newspaper. You could see the daily comics page, and I was startled to see how big they were. (How soon we forget.) And that was just the early 70s.

#3 Mick Mastroianni
November/23/2007
@ 8:03 pm

Why don’t they just put the Sunday comics on a *%$#@! credit card

#4 Quint Nelson
September/12/2008
@ 10:57 am

The Bee is pathetic and this a stupid move…and newspapers wonder why readers are leaving in droves.

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