Lucky Cow to close its doors in February

Universal Press has confirmed a tip I received yesterday that Lucky Cow creator Mark Pett has decided to end his feature in February. Lucky Cow launched in April of 2003 and appeared in about 50 papers.

When contacted for comment, Mark reports that he had been thinking about this for a while now, but wanted to end the feature at an appropriate time when he felt it had run its course. As to future projects, Mark says he has several ideas, some of which are cartoon related and others involve the internet.

The last daily will appear on February 2nd with the last Sunday appearing on January 27th.

57 thoughts on “Lucky Cow to close its doors in February


    Lucky Cow has become one of my favorite daily reads! When it started, I was mad that Mark pett had ended the good Mr.Lowe for Lucky Cow, a move I thought akin to ending Beavis and Butthead for King of the Hill. Sadly, I even posted at ToonTalk that I didn’t think Lucky Cow would last five years, and that Mr. Pett had made a bad decision…

    …then, the more I read Lucky Cow the more I liked it! Especially when the character of Neal was introduced. His innocent, naive ways gave the strip so many avenues of jokes. I guess most of those jokes didn’t find their intended marks, but I thought Pett’s writing was funny and getting better. Too bad I’m in the apparent minority…

    The comic pages can’t afford to lose fresh, newer, strips like Lucky Cow. I had always heard that five years was the wall for most cartoonists, and I’m really sorry to see that Lucky Cow has hit it.

    Alan…did Mark give any indication if it was due to lack of newspapers, editor problems, etc, that coaxed his decision to retire his Lucky Cow namebadge?

  2. Eric, I asked him if he felt that he had burned out or if it was a financial decision. He responded that the timing just felt right and like a television sitcom, 5 years is a good run. He was vague with details on future stuff, but that there are things he wants to get involved with, but can’t because the strip takes so much of his time.

    Like you, I always thought Lucky Cow was really well written. When Mark first told me about Lucky Cow, I was dubious on how far fast food jokes could go, until I saw his launch material. It was definitely a character driven strip and he has a great cast of characters.

  3. I love Mark’s artwork, I think he’s a great cartoonist with tons and tons of talent.
    I am a fan of “Mr. Lowe” and “Lucky Cow” and I am anxious to see what he decides to do with his talent next.

    Good Luck, Mark!

  4. Lucky Cow was an original strip and will be sorely missed on the comics page. I hope Mark’s future projects have to do with cartooning because he’s such a great talent.

  5. I just sent an email to the comics editor at The Boston Herald to suggest a few replacements for Lucky Cow. I sent links to Cul de Sac, Candorville, and It’s All About You, my hopeful personal pick(no offense, Richard and Darrin!)

    I had to resend an email to include Retail, by local boy Norm. The Globe or the Herald should support a local guy done good, so we’ll see…

    For all my fellow massholes and Boston Herald readers, here’s the comics editors email:

    Don’t be shy, send an email and support your toons!

  6. Thanks for sending that recommendation for Retail, Eric. At least the Attleboro Sun Chronicle shows me some love 😉

    I have to add that I too will be sad to see Lucky Cow go. It was one of my daily reads and a great feature all around. I wish Mark well in his future endeavors.

  7. I don’t think there’s too much mystery about his decision. With the strip being in only 50 papers after 5 years, with the pay at 1970 wages… the amount of time and energy being put into producing a daily comic strip for the amount of return… do the math.

    50 years ago you could hang in there and have hope for growth, as there was a viable, competitive newspaper industry where most cities had 2 or more newspapers. But not so today. As Mark Tatulli pointed out in another thread, it’s almost impossible for a new feature to break through and make a living on it today.

  8. Mark’s work has consistantly been top rate and it’s always dumbfounded me why he hasn’t gotten more support and recognition for it. Let’s hope that he hits the ground running.

  9. This is very sad, and certainly reflects a decaying industry and nothing to do with Mark’s work. Mark is superbly talented, and is tremendous person. Even though we were competition, he was so considerate to us and eminently helpful when we were starting our strip and for this we owe him a debt of gratitude and will never forget his kindness.

    Last I spoke to him he had some exciting things going on, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

    Henry Beckett
    On A Claire Day

  10. Man, that really sucks when GOOD talented artists are retiring their strips because of “professional or financial reasons”. This past year alone, a number of artists have dropped out of the game… Rob Harrell (Big Top), Bill Amend (daily strips of Fox Trot), Leo Garza (Nacho Guarache), Aaron Taylor (Editorial cartoons), etc., etc.,

    Can someone please tell me why is it, that a strip like “Peanuts Classic” is STILL printed in the comics today and younger talent is being forced out like this? (No offence to Charles Schulz, yes I know, he’s one of the greatest), But really, there hasn’t been an original drawing of a peanuts strip since the man died. Yeah that’s right, he died about seven years ago (Maybe the editors didn’t get the memo).

    Well Mark Pett might NOT have the record for the longest running strip, but he DOES have the record for the LARGEST strip ever. (see his web site: )

    It’s really too bad, Lucky Cow was well written and very well drawn. Good Luck to Mark Pett.

  11. “As Mark Tatulli pointed out in another thread, itâ??s almost impossible for a new feature to break through and make a living on it today.”

    I had commented some time ago in another topic thread that I thought it unrealistic to think of syndication as a cartoonist’s only means of income these days. What we see on the comics page is just a handful of the cartoonists out there today trying to make a buck with their toons. Yet we tend to gauge the entire field by that view. I had asked the question before and I ask it again, I’m curious to know how many cartoonists here have other sources of income to suppliment their earnings from their strips.

  12. It was a great strip, regardless of any reasons for ending it. Petit’s truly talented and I feel certain we’ll see his work float quickly to the top again very soon.

  13. That was great. I misspelled Pett’s last name AND my own in the same posting. Sorry. Typing too fast. Thinking too slow. Except that I DID mean what I said about Pett’s work!

  14. I’ve always thought that Mark’s work had a Simpson’s-like quality to it, and that it would be perfect for animation. Hopefully, we’ll see his work again . I think he has a great style that will be missed…

  15. I got a chance to hang out with Mark at the 2006 Reuben Awards in Chicago and he couldn’t have been a nicer guy. As a fellow creator of a comic strip aimed at “younger readers” like Lucky Cow is, I became a fan of Mark’s work over the years and can relate to how hard it is getting a new strip into any paper – much less 50. It’s sad that both BoNanas and Lucky Cow have ended within a 6-month span. These were energetic, creative, well-drawn strips with a refreshing and original point of view.

  16. >>>Iâ??m curious to know how many cartoonists here have other sources of income to suppliment their earnings from their strips.

    Greeting cards, licensing, textile design, childrens book illustration, advertising illustration, magazine illustration, magazine gags, just to name a few

  17. If you are not widely syndicated or a very connected freelancer, many of us keep trying all ways and/or any way to earn something from cartooning (per Rick’s list), not to forget those that still maintain other jobs. Even many who are (widely syndicated or connected) use those methods to add to their bottomline, while others will choose not to. Licensing and books have been my main sources of cartooning income over the past several years.

  18. What a loss — Lucky Cow was one of the few strips that made fun of the culture of waste in our society. It was the highlight of my paper’s comics page.

    But I’ll definitely look forward to Mark Pett’s new projects.

  19. I was wondering if lawyers from the fast food chains had forced
    the strip to end for telling it like it is. Now we know.
    Good luck and looking forward to your next project.

  20. Mr. Pett – It has been a pleasure. I regret that I only discovered Lucky Cow in the last year or so. It’s a genuinely funny strip with a great cast of characters. Thanks for all your work.

  21. I just sent an email to the comics editor at The Boston Herald to suggest a few replacements for Lucky Cow. I sent links to Cul de Sac, Candorville, and Itâ??s All About You, my hopeful personal pick(no offense, Richard and Darrin!)

    In today’s Boston Herald, Lucky Cow was unfortunately replace by Family Tree a strip that I’m not a fan of.

    HOWEVER…in great news, Wizard of ID was FINALLY replaced by…


    Just goes to show that one man, with one well placed email and faith in the comics page gods, can alter the face of the comics pages, no matter the hordes of letter writing blue hairs in his way.

    Never stop believing, kids.

    Welcome to Boston, Darrin!

  22. I loved to read LUCKY COW everyday. It was the best and will be missed
    by my family and cowokers. A sad day. Thank you for letting get to
    know all the characters. Friends one and all.

    William “Willy” Campbell

  23. If your newspaper ran “Lucky Cow,” what did they replace it with?

    Judging by posts from RACS, most replaced it with “Cul de Sac” (I’ll have to see what St. Louis Post-Dispatch” replaced it with)

  24. Oh man! My comic loving 10 year old is a wreck about this. I’m not too happy either. What a great strip. Very tight gags, well drawn with strong characters. If that strip couldn’t make it it’s a sad commentary on the industry. We get the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and to be honest, the comics are the main reason. I don’t think they’ve replaced it yet. Brenda Starr (ugh) was in Lucky Cow’s spot today.

  25. i liked lc myself since i came i late i read it o my comics there is a mothly fee. as for family tree i have just started readig it so i cant say one way or the other. i also like wizard of id and candorville as far as brenda starr replacing lucky starr the artist retired the strip and in my opinion brenda starr was a good choice, but that is why i read all of my favorites online

  26. I am quite sad that this comic has ended. A good comic strip is hard to find these days so it is tough to loose one. Clare’s laziness and Neal “the wuss” were the cornerstones. May they appear one day again.

  27. Oh, no!! Tumbleweeds is gone, and now Lucky Cow!! My two most favorite ever comics, and both that I followed from their beginnings. I understand that artists might want to do something else with their lives, so I wish Mr. Pett well. I do wish that Lucky Cow had ended on a more positive note, though. The last cartoon was kind of depressing.

  28. Tom in STL,

    They didn’t really replace Lucky Cow with Brenda Starr; they just moved Brenda Starr from the inside page to fill the gap, and they moved one of the puzzles to the spot that used to have Brenda Starr.

    We just lost a comic.

  29. I really enjoyed reading lucky cow over the course of its run. I feel that it was a great strip with a great subject. I will sorely miss it.

  30. I dont believe it! How could he retire!? I’ve always been one of the smallest people in my grade so I’d always copy the bully by going up to people, punching them in the gut and yelling “wuss!” I have become accustomed to waking up in the morning and reading the comics. When Bill Amend retired, they replaced Foxtrot with “elderberries”, the lamest comic of all time right next to “clear blue water” and “girls and sports”. Now, Lucky Cow, the last remaining good comic in my newspaper, is gone and has been replaced by another lame comic. On another note, the funniest Lucky Cow comic ever appeared a few months ago involving monk driving a child labour Suduku writing place. “Imbecile, there are two fours in this row! No rations for you!

  31. I will miss the crew of Lucky Cow. Mark Pett was able to create one of those special strips where the world he drew came alive. There were so many strong characters with which to identify and this “retirement” of Gary, Neil, Claire and the rest will leave us feeling a little emptier. There have been other very good strips that “retired” for various reasons – Bloom County, Big Top, Calvin and Hobbes, etc. – and somehow I’m feeling a similar sense of loss with no more Lucky Cow.

  32. My local paper, the Calgary Herald, messed up by running the final strip a week early, then continuing the strip until the end, re-printing the final strip on the last day when it should have been run. Talk about confusing! In its place is now another lame-o Far Side rip-off.

    I totally miss Lucky Cow. It even got referenced by another strip, Pooch Cafe, about a month ago.

  33. I didn’t start reading Lucky Cow until the Star Tribune started printing it a long time ago. They stopped printing it last year and it’s one of the few comics that I was actively searching online to try to read. I have worked at various fast-food places while I was in school (Wendyâ??s and A&W, to name a couple) and I could definitely relate to the characters (Carla, especially).

    I thought that overall the comic was very funny. I especially liked the last strip since the A&W I worked at had suddenly closed shop as well.

  34. I think Mark Pett is a coward. The strip was doing great. Maybe not every one was hit the nail on the head gold, but you have to stick to it. All the best ones did. I think Mr.Pett couldn’t take whatever little critism he got and choose to end now, rather than have the balls to see how far he could take it.

  35. Jo must be like Cher (no last name) or doesn’t have the courage to post a last name on to his/her rather mean-spirited post. So Jo, who’s a coward? Creating a daily strip for 4-5 years is a lot of work and I’m sure a very tough decision to pull the plug on it.

  36. Mr. Pett i am deeply saddened by your decision to discontinue Lucky Cow. I absolutely loved it everyday i looked forward to coming home and reading that to make me laugh. Major bummer, but I hope you decide to replace it with another great comic strip.

  37. Creators who end their strips are actually demonstrating their professionalism.
    In other words they’re busy people and don’t need to keep banging their head against a brick wall (of whatever type) just so they can say they’re syndicated, published or whatever.

    Real pros do it for the money as well as the job satisfaction (which in part is down to being paid well).

    Only amateurs keep on plugging away for years with no reward but internet exposure or the “fan” letters they receive.

  38. Sorry to see your strip come to a close. Come to really enjoy my daily smile, and will miss your comic contributions. I’m glad to see that at least it was YOUR decision and not the newspaper’s!! As it was when the Chicago Sun-Times decided to DUMP “Rose is Rose”!!

    Good Luck on future endeavors!!

  39. I would read Lucky Cow every morning in the Chicago Sun-Times. I too am disappointed that it is gone,I really got to like the characters and the way that he would poke fun at the way real companies and life is. It took me by surprise when it just ended like it did, but that last panel I felt was a appropriate knock on how the U.S. has become. Someone’s misfortune, someone else jumps on for their own gain.

  40. My family is also sad because we have no more Lucky Cow. We all appreciated Mark Pett’s clever, amusing, and very real strip. Cul De Sac replaced LC in our newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times, and while amusing, it is not LC. “Another one bites the dust.” Sigh.

  41. If you can believe it, there are some print outlets which still have reruns of classic Lil’ Abner cartoons, not just Snoopy or Calvin & Hobbes.

    I do appreciate some of the older strips which have new material. You grow up with them and you’re comfortable with them. Hagar the Horrible, Garfield, Blondie, Beetle Bailey, Tarzan, The Phantom, The Lockhorns, Prince Valiant – even though they are hopelessly outdated. Being 55 myself, I used to get comics delivered in the mail by subscription as a lad. Like many people my age, I could say “I was a millionaire until my mom threw away all my old comics when I went to Viet Nam”.

    Yet there are so many great internet comics I wish people could come to know in papers. Sheldon, Schlock Mercenary and Prickly City to name a very few.

    I thought, as American ages, that more senior humor would begin to hit the funny pages, yet The Elderberries is struggling for circulation. I wrote my paper to suggest Elderberries when one strip they carried closed. They said that they were “looking for a younger audience” and had “several legacy comics” already. I called the editor and asked her who she thinks still READS papers?

    Comics are usually amusing, sometimes they make you think and sometimes they do both. It would be a poorer world without them.
    But as the newspaper industry is shrinking due to penny pinching, poor management and bias (either way), the comics are an easy target for cutting costs. Yet you’ll notice that nothing shuts down the blasted horoscope column. This is not the 1960s-70’s. Nobody has asked me what my sign was in thirty or more years (thankfully). It is not even religion, it is pure bunkum, yet papers will waste time on horoscopes which nobody I know ever bothers to read, except occasionally to ridicule.


  42. “Yet there are so many great internet comics I wish people could come to know in papers. Sheldon, Schlock Mercenary and Prickly City to name a very few.”

    Uh, “Prickly City” IS a newspaper strip. Universal Press Syndicate distributes it to over 100 newspapers.

  43. In all the threads that I’ve read on the shrinking comics pages and what replaces it, this is the first time that anyone has brought up what a waste of space the horoscopes are! Damn fine point, Delta…

    …I’ll read them with the same morbid curiousity as the obituaries, but does anyone still actually read them?

  44. I’m sure that there are weir….people still reading them. Probably the same folks who watch “Crossing Over.” I just don’t understand why they get lumped in with the comics section.

    But you’re exactly right, Eric…Morbit curiousity.

  45. This is really sad – We really enjoyed Lucky Cow.

    Good luck to Mark in whatever he chooses, and maybe one day the franchise will reopen 😀

  46. Please, if I can’t have Lucky Cow daily, would you consider making another book or two?

  47. Wow, I’ve been so busy the last several weeks, I missed seeing that “Lucky Cow” ended. It was one of my favorite strips and while I respect Mark’s decision to end it, I wish he hadn’t! That said, I look forward to seeing what he’ll come up with next.

  48. After not being able to read my comics for a while (during the crunch of tax season), I am now attempting to catch up and wondered what became of Lucky Cow. ‘Tis sad news indeed…how come the good ones always seem to end so quickly while crap like B.C., Cathy, and Broom Hilda are still hanging around. They wore our their welcome a looong time ago. Adios, Lucky Cow…I guess only the good die young.

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