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Florida Times-Union to drop 8 comics

The Florida Times-Union has announced that it will be cutting eight comics from their line up to save money. To accomplish the cutting, they’re opening up a poll asking for reader input to judge from a pool of 15 which one’s should go. The comics in the poll include: Andy Capp, Beetle Bailey, Brevity, Cathy, Dennis the Menace, Family Circus, For Better or For Worse, Hagar the Horrible, Hi and Lois, The Lockhorns, Luann, Marmaduke, Marvin, The Middletons, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith and Watch Your Head.

In answering a pre-conceived question about how the comics were selected to be on the list, Lifestyle editor Jeff Reece writes,

All of the strips have fans. If we drop even one, we will hear from the folks who really loved that particular strip. So there is no way we will be able to make everyone happy.

We wanted to make the list large enough to give readers some choice but keep it to a manageable size. There were a number of reasons why these strips were picked for the list. Thirteen of them finished in the bottom half of an online poll we conducted in 2005. One other, For Better or For Worse, is essentially in reruns. The other two, which were added in recent years, have received an unusual amount of criticism from readers since they were introduced.

As of this writing, the poll did not appear to be working. Several of the paper’s readers left comments to the announcement complaining that the link to the poll responded back “You have already submitted this form.”

Community Comments

#1 Larry Levine
December/15/2008
@ 9:55 am

In these tough times people need to a good laugh more than ever–trim the sports coverage, NOT the funny pages!!!

#2 Jimmy Delach
December/15/2008
@ 10:40 pm

I see that “Classic Peanuts” was not among the comics being considered … Oh wait that’s right! They already canceled “Peanuts” a long time ago. When I saw that I wrote to the paper to complain (even though I was not a subscriber to begin with) and they wrote back to what amounts to a “Too bad” message. That was back in 2001. Other papers have dropped “Peanuts” since then including the Tampa Tribune, the New York Daily News and the Gainesville Sun (Gainesville Sun stopped running “Peanuts” Monday through Saturday but still runs the Sunday strips) among others. “Andy Capp”, “Marvin” and “Snuffy Smith” are among comics that are way past their prime. Maybe “Cathy” too.

#3 Monty Rohde
December/16/2008
@ 9:20 am

If you love Peanuts buy the anthologies. You can find them all at:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Peanuts&x=0&y=0

Decades upon decades of old content for your delight. Schultz has been dead for years. You can have your nostalgia without imposing it upon others.

Frankly all the cartoons listed here are geared towards an older crowd, so pretty much the same 50+ set is going to complain no matter what you cut.

#4 Jimmy Delach
December/16/2008
@ 4:21 pm

FYI, I am 28 years old and have been reading newspaper comic strips regularly since 1987. One can’t help but be curious but wonder how “Peanuts” fans in Jacksonville would react if “For Better Or For Worse” survives these cuts despite being essentially reprinted material. As far as I know, the Tampa Tribune cut “Peanuts” three years ago but still run “Better/Worse”.

It’s also worth pointing out that United’s web site has the entire “Peanuts” archive online.

#5 Monty Rohde
December/16/2008
@ 8:29 pm

All the more reason it shouldn’t be run. And yes I whole heartedly believe FoBW should be cut.

I realize my previous comment might seem snide, and it is but I’m frustrated by the number of older strips run in newspapers. Legacy strips and strips of dead authors reek of an audience unwilling to move on and explore new content. This conversation gets dredged up enough here so there’s no reason to repeat here.

There’s nothing wrong with loving Peanuts. I just can’t comprehend why people need it in a particular form when others are available.

I read the comics very avidly for 13 years from 1989 to 2002 most of my life. Everything I love I have in book form. Quiet frankly I don’t want to see the retired strips I love in the paper anymore.

#6 Margaret Shulock
December/17/2008
@ 8:07 am

Have you read Barney Google And Snuffy Smith lately? John Rose’s art work is beautifully true to the tradition of Fred Lasswell and the writing may be sharper than you remember. In these hard times the wisdom of rural folk is often spot on. And when it comes to going Green you can’t beat the folks of Hootin’ Holler at recyling.

#7 Sharon Kern
December/18/2008
@ 7:20 pm

Very confusing web site. Tried to vote for comic strip and couldn’t. Lousy service

#8 MARY SMITH
October/21/2012
@ 8:35 am

Seems like a good way for the paper to save is to omit sections of the paper. Toda;y, Sunday, the comics section was not included. Is this the way you intend to save money. I guess so. I guess I can just forget to pay for my subscription.
MAS

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