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Comic page changes for the week

» The Great Falls Tribune (MT), has added four new comics: Pearls Before Swine (Sunday), The Argyle Sweater, Tundra and Family Tree. Outgoing comics include the daily version of Pardon My Planet, Rose is Rose, Six Chix and the Sunday Little Dog Lost.

» The Detroit News is bringing back the Peanuts for both Sunday and daily.

My contact at United Media tells me that the following strips have been picked up:

» Victorville Daily Press (CA) has added Rip Haywire and Prickly City.

» Marysville Appeal-Democrat (CA) has added Luann on both Sunday and daily as well as Get Fuzzy.

» The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has also added Rip Haywire into their daily line up.

» The St. Paul Pioneer Press has added Prickly City on Sundays but will not appear Until the first Sunday in January.

» And lastly, the big news is the Washington Times has dropped their WHOLE comics page. I was tipped off last week, but sat on the story in hopes of getting a response from the Times’ features editor. I’ll post any reply I receive, but since the drop has been mentioned on Mike Rhodes’ blog and elsewhere, I’ll mention it here now.

Community Comments

#1 Mike Peterson
December/5/2009
@ 6:41 am

Bad news for cartoonists who were running in the WashTimes, but the overall changes there are simply an admission that the paper was really conceived as a political journal and not a full-service newspaper. They can’t get regular readers to pick it up and are now relying on free distribution to select neighborhoods and the offices of decision makers. Political orientation isn’t really the point — it doesn’t matter whether it’s the Washington Times or the old Berkeley Barb.

But it DOES re-energize the question of whether certain “news outlets” are seriously trying to present mainstream news or just reflecting the politics of their owners. And the question of whether there will now be people at Dulles airport handing out newspapers instead of selling flowers …

#2 Darryl Heine
December/5/2009
@ 1:13 pm

Classic Peanuts returns to the Detroit newspaper, what a great Christmas surprise. Now I wish the New York Daily News gave Classic Peanuts another chance after dropping the strip in January 2007.

Also: With the Washington Times about the drop the comics page for good. Will it become a clone of the New York Times (a newspaper that doesn’t carry comics) and the only paper in the D.C. area to get comic page access for D.C. residents will be the Washington Post? (Maybe the Post could pick up some comics that were in the Washington Times like maybe Heathcliff, Dick Tracy, Bliss, and My Cage).

#3 Darryl Heine
December/5/2009
@ 1:17 pm

Another comic change you didn’t mention that happened this week: The Chicago Sun-Times dropped “Love Is” in favor of the NEA distributed “Moderately Confused” comic panel strip.

#4 B.J. Dewey
December/5/2009
@ 6:34 pm

Considering the deeply distressed state of printed newspapers, I am nothing but heartened to see any paper pick up new comics. Even better, most of these strips are among the best. As for comics dropped, they can be found online.
Are there any statistics out there showing whether more comics are being added than dropped in U.S. papers? Or any stats on what the comic adds are reflecting? The economy? Higher-quality comics? Any new trends?

#5 Scott Kurtz
December/6/2009
@ 3:35 pm

Seeing Rose is Rose being dropped jogged my memory that I miss Pat Brady drawing that strip. No offense to the guy he hired to take over but what’s he so busy with that he can’t draw one comic?

I miss his art so much. It was really dynamic.

#6 Scott Kurtz
December/6/2009
@ 3:37 pm

Further research turned up that Pat drew the strip from 1984 to 2004. 20 years is a long run. I don’t blame the guy for being done with it.

Still sad though.

#7 August J. Pollak
December/6/2009
@ 6:24 pm

Honestly, I’ve always been in a harsher camp. If the original artist voluntarily wants to stop drawing a strip, then end the damn strip. Likewise with the papers that still rerun Peanuts and Calvin & Hobbes- it’s not like you can’t get those in collected books, and while obviously those are legendarily great cartoons, for godssakes free up some of the precious little space left for new and original cartoonists. I can appreciate the idea of nostalgia, but I’d really love to see more new cartoons in the paper before the entire newspaper become a nostalgic item.

#8 August J. Pollak
December/6/2009
@ 6:26 pm

Argh, second sentence may break language code. Advance apologies and please correct if necessary.

#9 Jimmy Delach
December/6/2009
@ 9:07 pm

Does anybody here know exactly all the comics the Washington Times ran prior to being dropped? I can name a few like Luann, Rose Is Rose, Dick Tracy, Funky Winkerbean, Jump Start, Fred Basset, Heathcliff.

#10 Shawn Labadie
December/7/2009
@ 4:44 pm

Charles Schultz and the Peanuts are and should be honored as one of the greats, but I agree that the precious space “Classic Peanuts” is taking up could be used to place a current talented cartoonist. SERIOUSLY do major television networks re-run old sit-coms in prime time instead of running new one…..wait ABC SCRUBS…..sorry my bad.

#11 Ted Dawson
December/7/2009
@ 5:51 pm

The features editor might not be there to give a response, since the Times let go 40% of its staff this month. Apparently the church has been sustaining the paper and now that the Messiah’s children are running things, there will be no more financial support for the Times and it may cease publication.

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