Doonesbury hiatus creating many changes

I’ve kept a list, but haven’t had time to post what changes have been announced in various newspapers around the country. What is clear is that many papers have opted to run new comics in the vacationing Doonesbury slot.

Here’s the run down for the last two weeks:

» The Bradenton Herald (Bradenton, FL) tried Prickly City for about a week in Doonesbury’s slot, but reader feedback sent the editor looking for something else. He picked a local feature called Hole Molé

» The Times Herald (Port Huron, MI) went to a narrower page format that required shrinking the size of their comics. They added more puzzles, lost the bridge column and dropped Family Circus. Family Circus runs in their Sunday offerings.

» The Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, OH) ran a comics poll with 1,300 readers voting. As a results they are adding Pickles and Argyle Sweater. Seven out of 10 readers named Pickles as one of their two favorites. To make room, Prickly City and Cleats are out. Daddy’s Home remains as a temporary guest comic in Doonesbury’s slot.

» Darrin Bell announces that his feature Candorville was dropped by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat a couple of months ago to try out some other features, but public demand has brought it back.

» The Hattiesburg American (Hattiesburg, MS) has picked up The Argyle Sweater which replaces Isaac Asimov quiz daily and Prince Valiant on Sundays.

» The Annapolis Capital (Annapolis, MD) is running Pearls Before Swine in Doonesbury’s slot. Doonesbury continues to run on Sundays.

» The Santa Cruz Sentinel has picked up six new features: Bizarro, F Minus, The Argyle Sweater, Baldo

, Pickles and Pearls Before Swine. Only Cathy was dropped. They’ll continue to run Doonesbury when it returns. That should result with a gain of 4-5 comics for their paper.

» The Sacramento Bee is running a poll in Doonesbury’s slot. Competing comics include: Family Tree, Tundra, Deflocked, and The Knight Life.

» The Birmingham News is running Candorville whilst Doonesbury is away.

» Pearls Before Swine has been picked up by The Kansas City Star.

» The Sunday Herald (Nova Scotia, Canada) will be running a 12 week comic feature called Jennyâ??s Brothers.

» And lastly, The Whinnipeg Free Press is running a local comic featuring local police mascot “Cuffs.” The feature runs on Saturdays and is intended to promote community safety.

18 thoughts on “Doonesbury hiatus creating many changes

  1. There are few reasons to buy a newspaper today. One is the newspaper coverage of the local scene, be it news or sports or events. If my local paper offered a spot on the comics page to a local talent I might actually buy the paper.

  2. I should add The Tampa Tribune is running “Red & Rover” in both the daily and Sunday comics sections in place of “Doonesbury”.

  3. Ooops, did it again. Went looking for “Deflocked” and, er…..
    Eric, what are you smoking?

    Eric Thompson’s “Lost Sheep” has already trod this ground, excellently, I might add, I don’t mind general themes, kid strips, family strips, and even dog and cat strips are pretty universal, but when there’s a sheep strip out there already, well, you’d think an artist would steer clear.

  4. I like Deflocked too.

    Is Lost Sheep still running new strips? I think Dan’s moved on to a different strip — Rip Haywire.

  5. Malc, you should know by now that I only smoke the finest!

    Lost Sheep is a very good strip that Universal should’ve syndicated, but I’m willing to give Deflocked a chance to earn my readership and a blurb in the Sunday Funnies Review®

    if it’s lucky.

  6. “Deflocked” looks funny! Jeff’s sheep looks hilarious! I googled the Deflocked strip and the strips i’ve read look great! Good stuff!


  7. The Palm Beach Post runs Doonesbury, For Better or for Worse and Peanuts. While it hasn’t replaced any of those, it has added The Pajama Diaries. I’m surprised the papers that dumped Doonesbury haven’t quit the others (Peanuts is on permanent vacation, and who knows when Better or Worse will get off its Jekyll or Hyde jag of old or new).

    It’s hip for newspapers to buy syndicated editorial cartoons instead of hiring their own (the way radio stations would rather buy the services of a cheap voice-tracker like Delilah instead of paying extra for a local). I hope papers don’t extend the idea to the funny papers. I watched my old paper give up its old Sunday magazine in favor of the syndicated Parade. Do we want the Parade company to supply papers with the Sunday funnies?

  8. My newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times, currently runs “Doonesbury” (the Times also stuck with “Doonesbury” during its’ 1992 hiatus), “Peanuts”, and “For Better Or For Worse”. My take on all three:

    “Doonesbury” – best satirical strip hands down.

    “Peanuts” – I still think it’s a wonderful comic strip and I hope the Times still continues to run Peanuts as long as United Features continues to distribute the repeats.

    “Better Or Worse” – Don’t mind the occasional old strips but I got tired of the current version a few years ago.

  9. Both Tundra and The Argyle Sweater are weak, weak.
    Look at Sweater’s balloon print–it’s unreadable! Maybe that’s to hide the weak humor?

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