All the news that I can cram in on one post

I’m traveling today and am way short on time (and internet connection), so here’s the round up for the day.

Stephan Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine received a whooping 70% of the vote in a recent comic poll conducted by The Winston Salem Journal. Lio appears to be decisive. For Better or For Worse’s hybrid format is proving confusing for readers.

Aaron McGruder has a Boondocks comic collection coming out. It’s advertised as a collection of his final strips and contains strips that were pulled because of controversial subject matter.

Dave Astor has contacted a few white cartoonists to get their reaction to the February 10 action to be taken by eight African American cartoonists trying to attract attention to the way their strips are being perceived and purchased. They’re reaction is mostly supportive. Charlos Gary, creator of Working it Out and Cafe con Leche and one of the eight participating cartoonists, reports on his blog that their attempt to get attention is working as many newspapers and national publications are looking into the story.

Bob Andelman, has posted an interview with Stephan Pastis.

Mutts creator Patrick McDonnell is the featured guest on this week’s Comics Coast To Coast podcast.

16 thoughts on “All the news that I can cram in on one post

  1. Wow, I never expected that to happen. “They’ll Do It Every Time” has been running since 1929, being created by various cartoonists. It is rare (if not unheard of) for a legacy strip to be discontinued, but maybe the feature was no longer profitable and only kept alive by the late Mr. Scaduto’s drive to continue it.

  2. King Features has a habit of continuing legacy strips that’s not in many papers as long as its current cartoonist(s) are willing to continue it.

    That was the case with “Bringing Up Father,” which finally ended in 2000 when the last cartoonist decided to retire. When “Father” ended, it was in less than 100 US papers.

  3. Charles,
    Would “The Katzenjammer Kids” be included in that group? Respect is due to Rudolph Dirks for creating one of the earliest comic strips and playing a large role in establishing the visual language of comic strips. Nonetheless, I think that it is in very few newspapers nowadays and frankly I was shocked when I found out that it was still in syndication. It’s the kind of strip that is more readily associated with the first half and not the latter half of the twentieth century.

    So, is “The Katzenjammer Kids” one of those King Features strips that is only continued because the current artist doesn’t want to let it die?

  4. I don’t know the behind the scene details, but probably. The fact that the strip is the longest-running in syndication might have something to do with it continuing to appear as well.

    An extreme example of KFS’s stubborness with old strips is probably “Tim Tyler’s Luck,” which was created by Chic Young’s brother, Lyman. It was moderately successful in the beginning but it began to lose papers after many years. When it finally ended in August 1996, only one newspaper, Conroe (TX) Courier, carried it.

  5. Charles.
    Thanks for the information. Very interesting.
    Maybe King Features insists on keeping these very old strips alive for as long as possible because they want to emphasize how long their syndicate has been in the business. Other than the recently ended “Bringing Up Father,” “They’ll Do It Every Time,” and “Tim Tyler’s Luck,” KFS continues to syndicate several other strips from the first half of the twentieth century:
    “Barney Google and Snuffy Smith.” I wonder how many papers this could possibly be in. Since 1919.
    “Blondie.” Fair enough, it’s still very popular. Since 1930.
    “Henry.” Yes, the wordless strip that partly inspired today’s “Lio” is still being distributed by KFS; apparently it’s in 75 papers (!). Since 1932.
    “The Katzenjammer Kids.” Like I said, it’s historical value is significant but it’s current number of papers is probably low. Since 1897.
    “Madrake the Magician.” It’s been running since 1934.
    “Mary Worth.” I realize that this one still has a fan base. Since 1938.
    “The Phantom.” Since 1936.
    “Popeye.” E.C. Segar’s “Thimble Theater” was great. I’m not sure how popular the current incarnation is, however.
    “Prince Valiant.” Admittedly I’ve seen this running in multiple papers, including my own. But who actually READS it?

  6. The Phantom has always been a favorite of mine. As well as Madrake the Magician.

    Prince Valiant used to have beautiful art, nowadays not so much. I love to look at the old Valiant sunday panels. You just don’t see art like that in the papers anymore. But I never really followed the story line as much as I just always loved the art.

  7. Garey…a little Sunday Fun Fact for you Re: The Phantom:

    Current artist Paul Ryan lives in the town right next to mine, and I met him back in my sophmore year high school. My art teacher went to the same hair dresser as Paul, and she asked him to come in and talk to us about comics.

    At the time Paul was drawing Quasar(he signed issue #1 for me, which I still own) and spent around 2hrs. with us. There were several of us in the commercial art program that wanted to go on to become comic book artists and were thrilled to have Paul there.

    What was really amazing was that my classmates and I were complete derelicts, always in trouble and raising hell in class, yet Paul held our attention and respect. There wasn’t a day when one or more of us weren’t sent to the office. The principal personally drove me home once. Ahh…memories. I was never a fan of The Phantom but I read it today because of the great art of Paul Ryan…

  8. From what I’ve heard Mary Worth is still in around 400 papers, which is quite incredible for a story strip nowadays. Maybe it has something to do with “Jumping” Joe Giella’s fantastic art on the strip.

  9. Actually, Mary Worth today bears little resemblence to the strip of 10 years ago, let alone the “classic” Mary Worth and Apple Mary of decades ago. Its longevity is probably best explained by its ability to change and re-invent itself.

    As for “story strips,” the romance aspects of Mary Worth and Apartment 3-G work better in three-to-four panels today than the old action-adventure story strips do without a lot of room for art and storytelling. That’s why they’re still in good numbers of papers while “The Phantom” and its like are floundering.

  10. “Thatâ??s why theyâ??re still in good numbers of papers while â??The Phantomâ? and its like are floundering.”

    Sigh. I guess I’m just a die hard fan.

  11. Does anyone remember a cartoon called “Defenders of the Earth” from the 90’s. It was starring the Phantom, Mandrake and Flash Gordon in a battle against Ming. I guess KFS was trying to keep the characters in the public eye or at least inform youngsters that thety still exist.

  12. I agree with the above opinions of Paul Ryan’s art on “The Phantom” – it’s one of the reasons I subscribe to Daily Ink – but I really liked Graham Nolan’s take on The Ghost Who Walks, too.

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