The Albany Times-Union notified its readers that they will begin carrying the new Macanudo strip starting Sunday September 9.
But I will also tell you that an editor quickly learns what readers consider important when, say, there’s a missing clue to a crossword puzzle, or when a typo creates a recipe calling for 1 T. of baking powder rather than 1 t. (If you don’t know the difference, don’t bake.)
Beyond that, though, if you want to see tumult in the newsroom, rookie editor, go on and cancel a comic strip. Take away, suddenly, something that a reader has grown accustomed to looking at every day for decades.
Never mind that the humor has grown stale or the story lines repetitive. Forget the surveys that you’ve carefully crafted and wearily reviewed, showing that a strip is popular with only a fraction of your newspaper’s readership, because to that fraction, it may be the best thing in the paper. Are you ready to hear from every one of those readers?
Editor Rex Smith knows he is going to get some grief from readers.
Rex does introduce Macanudo:
It’s a wild and varied world that I think will delight you with its humor, charm and irreverence. The characters are wide-ranging: there are gnomes, a band of penguins in Antarctica, some mischievous dwarfs in tall hats, a little girl named Henrietta with her teddy bear, Mandelbaum, and a boy with an imaginary hairy monster named Olga. And there’s a lot more. It will take you a while to get familiar with “Macanudo,” but I know that for many readers, it will become an important reason to pick up the paper every day.
“Macanudo” may be new to America, but it has a track record: It has been published for 16 years in Argentina, and its creator has become one of South America’s most popular cartoonists —a man who goes by the signature “Liniers.” You can call him Ricardo if you know him.
Also, Rex lets us know that the strip is getting decent intro numbers:
The Times Union was the first American newspaper to commit to publishing “Macanudo.” About 150 others have jumped aboard and will join the launch.
But no word on what comic strip is being cut, delaying the angry responses as long as possible.
The Times-Union introductory editorial can be read here.
When the Aberdeen News introduced Macanudo it was behind a paywall. The article is now available, and it reveals that Rex Morgan, M.D. is the strip being replaced by Macanudo in the Aberdeen News.