Here’s our regular roundup of comics-related letters to the editor.
San Jose Mercury News: a reader calls Mallard Fillmore “disrespectful” and “insensitive”
Coeur D’Alene (Idaho) Press: An editor recounts an editorial decision to ask readers for their comics opinion — cliche headline “Nothing to Laugh at” checks in.
Statesboro (Ga.) Herald: A reader is disappointed in repeating comics.
Santa Fe (N.M.) New Mexican: A reader is unhappy with LaCucaracha’s “stereotypical” portrayal of vegetarians
2 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor: Comics Edition”
I found it amazing that the Coeur d’Alene Press, with a circulation of around 17,000 (according to balletpedia.org), “spends about $70,000 on its comics each year, including fees to the syndicates that represent the artists, newsprint, ink and staff time. The price of comics only goes up, and in recent years so has newsprint and ink. That’s a significant investment for a fairly small paper like The Press and explains why some papers have reduced comics or dropped their comics pages altogether.”
A couple of possibilities.
One is that they print their own Sundays, which is generally more expensive than purchasing a pre-printed package.
However, second possibility is that they reflexively sign off on things. When I redesigned a comics page at a 25,000 circ paper, I saved several thousand dollars simply by noticing what we were paying for some very lame, old-school comics that were part of our Sunday package — no names, but paying more for them than we were paying for more popular, contemporary strips.
And the third is that it’s an accounting function, like those thousand dollar hammers, in which somebody divides things up and assigns costs that don’t reflect reality.
Also, $70,000 a year divided by 17,000 copies is about four bucks a year, which, assuming they publish every day, is a little over a penny a copy. Not sure of the logic of remarking over how stirred up people get over the comics and then whinging over paying a penny a copy for something you’re selling for a buck or so.
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