Comic page changes in Times-Union, Detroit News

The Florida Times-Union has posted the results of their comic survey. They had previously announced that they were going to drop up to eight comics, but have now said that they will not be making any cuts in their daily selections. The Sunday comic page will lose four: Prince Valiant, Watch Your Head, Cathy and Brevity. Their comic poll netted more than 7,700 votes on 16 different strips. The end tally is:

  • Hi and Lois: 6,166
  • Beetle Bailey: 6,068
  • Lockhorns: 5,128
  • Hagar the Horrible: 5,104
  • Family Circus: 4,715
  • Middletons: 4,676
  • For Better or For Worse: 4,217
  • Andy Capp: 4,183
  • Snuffy Smith: 4,171
  • Dennis the Menace: 4,112
  • Luann: 3,956
  • Marmaduke: 2,929
  • Marvin: 2,350
  • Brevity: 1,917
  • Cathy: 1,598
  • Watch Your Head: 322

A couple of comic strip changes to note. Lastly, the Detroit News has picked up Jef Mallett’s Frazz.

UPDATE: I forgot the link to the Times-Union article. Here’s their announcement.

47 thoughts on “Comic page changes in Times-Union, Detroit News

  1. Prince Valiant being dropped…disaster! But, should people like me want to read it, where do they go…..where is the strip on-line?

  2. Prince Valiant being dropped…disaster! But should people want to read it, whre do they go on-line…where is the strip findable?

  3. Just how do the editors think they’re going to attract young readers with that comics lineup?

    And they’re confounded about how their readership continues to decline…

  4. I was flabbergasted when I learned that many newspapers don’t want to increase their circulation. They consider themselves to be at a sweet spot… if they had to print more papers, their expenses would increase.

    If newspapers don’t start attracting younger readers, only one thing can happen.

  5. “Prince Valiant being dropped?disaster! But, should people like me want to read it, where do they go?..where is the strip on-line?”

    There’s the rub!

    If one can read their favorite strip online, why bother to call or write your local newspaper editor and bug him or her to run Prince Valiant?

    So I highly recommend you call or write your local newspaper editor and bug him or her to run Prince Valiant. The only way comics remain active is by newspapers paying to have them. If that stops, so do comics.

  6. As times become more desperate for newspaper comic strips, I think it behooves a syndicate to hire a fulltime computer-geek-staffer whose sole purpose is to scan the internet looking for online comics polls, then rigging said polls to favor their comic strips…doesn’t that make sense?

    By the way, anybody ever notice how King Features comics always seem to come out in the top four or five spots in these polls?

  7. I don’t know about the King features connection – what I’ve noticed is that the polls always seem to favor the strips that are the top fodder for the comment section of the comic curmudgeon.

  8. Anne–sshhh! Josh pays us good money to rig those comics polls!

    “Andy Capp” is not only still being printed, it’s in the top ten?? Yikes.

  9. My local paper’s one-sheet Sunday edition: Look at this dreadful lineup: Peanuts, Garfield, FBOW, Dilbert, Cathy, Hagar, Family Circus, Wiz of ID, Shoe, Doonesbury, Sally Forth, MG & Grimm, B.C., Ziggy, Dennis the Menace, Blondie, Prince Valiant, Beetle Bailey, Frank & Ernest, Marvin, Born Loser, and Zits in another section.

    Ten legacies? The newest one is Zits?

    I have dibs on the cartoon showing all the greyhairs sitting in church reading the Sunday comics.

  10. I like Tatulli.
    Ta-too-lee. Ta- TOOOO-leeeee.

    It’s fun to say in a bar. “Yo, Ta-TOOOOO-leeeee… get me another beer!”

  11. #9 JESSE CLINE
    “Does anyone know if those are votes in favor of keeping or knocking off the comics? Not clear from the article.”

    Jesse, I’m pretty sure those are the totals for knocking off the comics.

    So I guess I’m bummed that Cathy beat us, and Check Your Head really killed us, but still, top 3!

  12. Seriously…on what planet does SNUFFY SMITH beat BREVITY and CATHY by more than double the votes?! C’mon, people, something stinks in Denmark, no?

  13. “Seriously?on what planet does SNUFFY SMITH beat BREVITY and CATHY by more than double the votes?!”

    The planet is called Florida. I’ve heard they’re not that good at counting votes.

  14. “On what planet does SNUFFY SMITH beat BREVITY and CATHY”

    Well it’s the same planet the people in Madison WI live on because Snuffy avoided the axe there too about a month and a half ago. It seemed pretty fishy to me at the time and I contacted the editor (pretty much to satisfy my own curiosity rather than to get anywhere with him – he did not disappoint!) He really could care less if there was vote rigging or not and the paper stood by their results.

    What’re ya gonna do?

    Oh, and the curmudgeon folks particularly despise Cathy and their general MO seems to be flooding a strip like Snuffy to make a strip they hate seem unpopular in comparison.

    Again – What’s to do?

  15. I understand that newspapers want to give readers what they want but pleeeeeeease. There are zero voter polls for any other type of content in the newspaper besides comics. Newspapers have editors who are paid to have a better understanding of what quality news and humor content the newspaper publishes. They should pick the best comics, too.

  16. snuffy smith is way better than cathy and brevity, lets see if these strips last longer than snuffy

  17. I really like the word “ilk”, because I detest it so much.
    I know that when people use it, it means they are stuffy jerks that don’t have a clue what they are talking about.
    I am sure we all know people of this ilk.

    I hereby reserve the use of the title “People of Ilk” as my new strip about an alien world populated by stupid creatures that think they are smart.

  18. Gee, do you think there might be a little “ballot stuffing” going on in Jacksonville? Look at all of that old King crap at the top of the heap. Good God, the Lockhorns and Andy Capp in the Top 10.

    There’s nothing new under the Sun at the Times Union…and they wonder why their circulation is in a freefall. I guess they deliver their newspapers directly to their readers at cemetary.

  19. Quint, This is Jacksonville. It might just as well be called Stupidville.

    Did you know that the CSI crime drama was looking to have another offshoot, titled CSI: Jacksonville.

    The only flaws were that there were no dental records and all the DNA matched.

  20. “This is Jacksonville. It might just as well be called Stupidville.The only flaws were that there were no dental records and all the DNA matched.” -Mr. Kranky

    Dear Alan Gardner: The above is illiberal, prejudiced, sectarian, xenophobia from a guy who doesn’t earn a living in cartooning and I’d be willing to bet, has never set foot in Jacksonville, Florida. He could never make the same comments about Muslim filled Detroit, Black filled Harlem or Gay filled S.F. w/ impunity. Me? I ignore his personal attacks. But I’m sick of racists like this flying under the radar because he spouts fashionably accepted liberal dogma.

    P.S. Until the BabyBoomers die, this is the comics you’re going to get in any survey.

  21. Dear Mike Lester: I get emails about the things you post on the blog (e.g. describing your fellow editorial cartoonists engaged in a “circle jerk” because they like Obama. Seriously – you had to go THERE?). I often find your comments equally offensive (and I’m a conservative), prejudiced, and illiberal.

    I’ll ignore that you even brought this up.

  22. I tried, I really did. I let several comments pass, and nobody else caught it…so I’ll be the one to ask. Wiley, is that how Ta-TOOOOO-leeeee got you to write that wonderful foreward to his book, just by buying you beers?

  23. I wonder only because I was recently asked to write a review for a comic before it was published, and I was not offered a single beer.

  24. Seriously, folks, as to those newspaper polls: As Wiley said above about them attracting younger readers – younger readers ARE NOT reading newspapers today, so obviously the people who do answer the polls are predominantly older readers; hence, those kinds of polls are, in essence, rigged.

  25. Look, I don’t care how old you are or how many beers you’ve hadb…SNUFFY SMITH?! Really, and no offense to those who draw and write SNUFFY SMITH but…SNUFFY SMITH?!?!?!

  26. A bit off topic, but recently we were discussing the changes in art styles on Judge Parker. If you look at some Sundays from late 2006, such as:


    You say, “Yum!” Lovely line work, credited to Barreto. Then, a very abrupt change of style in early 2007, still credited to Barreto:

    Then you look at some more recent JP strips, also credited to Barreto:

    Nice, but not AS nice as late 2006.

    So, WTF?

  27. This poll was sandbagged all the way. There’s no way Andy Capp and Snuffy Smith rank this high without cheating going on. This newspaper is a prime example of why the comics’ industry is in such sad shape.

    Heck, let’s bring back “I Love Lucy”….oh yeah, everyone on that show is dead. Same thing in Jacksonville. They are brain dead to let this garbage go on without challenge.

  28. Will, I’m not sure I’d call everyone in Jacksonville brain dead, just the newspaper editors who rely on whop-sided polls. As for “Andy Capp” and “Snuffy Smith,” I personally find them more entertaining – for the art if not always the writing – than a lot of the so-called “new and fresh” strips whose creators think they should have those spots in the newspaper JUST BECAUSE they’re new. While there are many “under 20” strips out there deserving of a shot, the truth of the matter is that the over-50 readership that newspapers cling to doesn’t care for these newer strips.

  29. “There?s no way Andy Capp and Snuffy Smith rank this high without cheating going on. ”

    Actually, there is a way, and it’s quite common, which is why these so-called polls are so ludicrous. They are dependent on readers seeing them in the first place, then having the time and inclination to fill them out. This skews the poll to the one demographic that editors should care the least about when it comes to the comics section, the oldest readers.

    If editors were truly serious about conducting a poll on the comics, they would do it scientifically, as they do in the marketing department, where they’d break down the numbers based on the demographics they’re most interested in for that section, they would come out with an entirely different ranking.

  30. “Will, I?m not sure I?d call everyone in Jacksonville brain dead, just the newspaper editors who rely on whop-sided polls”

    You left out Jack Del Rio and the rest of the Jaguars 🙂

  31. Tom…those two Sunday panels in late 2006 were the last Eduardo Barreto did before he fell ill.

    The daily strip you pointed out was ghosted by John Heebink.

    I still think that Eduardo was trying to emulate (to some degree) the LeDoux style, while merging it with his own back in 2006.

    What you are getting now, is his style.

  32. Lets go to the beginning! What are the comics main purpose? To intertain–to make one laugh–to start the day off on a happy note-to make one see themselves in a humorous light. Every one has a different tickle spot so the same comics will not be perceived in the same way. If they were, there would be no GET FUZZY to try to decifer through a magnifying glass every day. I believe everyone should participate in the survey again with these main purposes in mind. Bet the results will differ

Comments are closed.