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Ollie and Quentin replaces Lio, again

Last week I reported that the The Observer-Reporter, (PA) dropped Lio in favor of a new-comer Ollie and Quentin. Now I read that the Quad-City Times (IA) has also dropped Mark Tatulli’s Lio so it could pick up Piers Baker’s Ollie and Quentin. Two instances probably doesn’t establish a pattern or mean much in the bigger picture, but I find the coincidence interesting.

Community Comments

#1 Piers Baker
January/7/2008
@ 11:41 am

Uh-oh! Is Mark big and strong?

#2 Mark Tatulli
January/7/2008
@ 12:17 pm

Alas, this is the nature of the beast these days. The new strips play musical chairs. It blows, but what’re ya gonna do?

#3 Rick Ellis
January/7/2008
@ 12:57 pm

“It blows, but whatâ??re ya gonna do?”

Crying is always an option. Or, throw in a ton more anthrophomorphic characters. Especially obscure ones like the lugworm. The more obscure the better.

#4 Mike Cope
January/7/2008
@ 1:00 pm

“It blows, but whatâ??re ya gonna do?”

Create a 3rd strip and reseat yourself :)

#5 Tom Racine
January/7/2008
@ 6:30 pm

In a fair fight, Lio (the character) would wipe the mat with a hat-wearing seagull and a worm. But then again, if that were the case, Hagar the Horrible would’ve slain Dagwood and run off with Blondie a long time ago.

Hmmm…aside from superhero strips, what strip WOULD win a battle of pure brains vs. brawn, American Gladiator style? Rat from “Pearls Before Swine” would have to be considered, purely for his ability to adapt and his lack of morals…Dogbert would be in that category. Sarge from Beetle Bailey would have the physical beating side down pretty well, even over Hagar…I mean, we usually just see Hagar adrift on a desert island, or pierced by many arrows…he doesn’t seem particularly adept at the whole Barbarian thing….but I digress. Alan, make this a new thread and let the battle begin! :)

#6 Garey Mckee
January/7/2008
@ 10:31 pm

As I recall Lio started strong out of the gate with a good number of papers right off the bat. I don’t think losing one or two is any skin off Mark’s nose.

#7 Janine Pineo
January/8/2008
@ 10:10 am

Isn’t it sad that the newspaper industry can’t figure out that change would do them good? And maybe having a spirit of adventure in choosing something different?

I’m an editor (no, not THE editor) and columnist at a Maine daily that just added “Ollie and Quentin” to its daily and weekend color pages. This is likely an unprecedented move for this paper, adding a strip that hasn’t been around for a gazillion years. I certainly don’t remember it ever happening while I’ve been here, which is now the equivalent of two decades. Plus I grew up reading the thing, knowing that strips seldom ever changed. (Lord, this makes me sound old, but I am younger than Piers Baker, ha!)

Over the course of the past year, we’ve had several changes to our daily and weekend comics pages (prior to that, we were status quo for YEARS). We dropped “B.C.” shortly after Johnny Hart died, replacing it with the daily “Non Sequitur.” For the weekend colors, this past summer we added “Pickles” and “Dog Eat Doug,” although “Dog” gave way to “Arctic Circle” in December. And now we have added “O&Q” this coming weekend. (Still room for two more strips; send us your sales rep, please.)

Pretty much every comment I’ve read so far on this site is what I have heard regularly about newspapers and comics. And a lot of them are spot-on about how things happen internally at newspapers in general. I think folks have a weird idea about democracy and freedom of the press, like it is some sort of free-for-all, but let me just say that it ain’t so. If anything, because of budget issues and fear of losing more customers (quaintly referred to as readers), it is even more controlled now than when I started in the business 20 years ago.

That said, I know what works on comics: a sales rep that keeps pushing and offers a deal. Money talks.

Unfortunately, fear still has the upper hand.

I, for one, would dearly love to see new, innovative, clever cartoons populating our dreary pages. Because, sometimes, even the best ideas run out of steam.

#8 h saffell
January/8/2008
@ 10:59 am

Where on line can one see(read)Ollie and Quentin? Do not like Lio.

Retro Geek is worse than Lio.

#9 Piers Baker
January/9/2008
@ 9:05 am

“Where on line can one see(read)Ollie and Quentin?”

You can see samples at http://www.ollieandquentin.com

#10 Quint Nelson
January/9/2008
@ 9:23 pm

After reading the comments of Janine it’s not surprising that newspapers are failing. If she’s buying comics based on price, than she will blow through them like crap through a goose.

Honey, quality wins out 95% of the time if given a chance.

Arctic Circle & Dog Eat Doug are both TJ Maxx comic strips, they should be marked down. They are good tries, but won’t survive long tenures on the comics’ page.

Perhaps she should consider more of those strips that have proven to be successful in the past few years, like Pickles. However, not too many 25 to 35 year olds will read that one either.

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