Comics Corona Conundrum – updated

When is too late? What is proper?

Syndicated comic strips are created weeks in advance, and Sunday editions are set in stone a couple weeks before delivery to our front porches. So times and circumstances often conspire against the medium.

Today Tank McNamara had a (really funny) baseball gag.

Unfortunately baseball season for 2020 has been delayed for months, if not entirely, this season. But Bill Hinds already had this Sunday set to go before everything went ka-blooey.

The season openers were set for March 26, which left Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman scrambling to replace a Zits strip:

King Features Syndicate has issued a correction for Zits black and white and color for 3/26.
Due to the event’s postponement, a comic about baseball’s Opening Day was replaced.

I’m guessing the current calamity will not affect Peanuts, as everyone know they’re reruns.


Unanticipated Reactions.

Today’s The Fusco Brothers.

Thoughts of turning hotels into coronavirus hospitals make this unexpectedly relevant.


above: for illustrative purposes only; not the Zits discussed below

While Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman (them again?) are replacing a Sunday Zits just under the wire.

King Features Syndicate has issued a correction for Zits Sunday for 4/12.
At creator’s request, due to current events, a strip involving a large gathering was replaced.


Macanudo by Liniers, like other comic strips, is not averse to showing Death.

above: for illustrative purposes only; not the strip discussed here

But the decision has been made that this is not an appropriate time:

King Features Syndicate has issued a correction for Macanudo Sunday for 3/29.
At creator’s request, due to current events, a strip involving the Grim Reaper was replaced.


Some strips are already featuring the Covid-19 crisis in their strips,
while others are so far ahead that related flukes will still happen.


Update (Later That Same Day) –

On March 21 Bill Holbrook updated fans of his strips about how he will be dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic, and includes some inside information about his syndicated (On the Fastrack) versus  his on-line (Kevin and Kell, Safe Havens) comic strips:

For “Fastrack” I had gotten ahead of my schedule to complete the Dethany graphic novel which I finished on March 15. I had sent in strips all the way up to May 9, all set in the workplace.
Things have changed, which required some improvisation. I couldn’t do anything about the strips up to April 12 since they’ve already gone to the newspaper clients. (Just assume that they take place in February when I created them.)
Beginning with the strip of April 13, the Fastrack staff will begin working from home. Bud will have his hands full connecting all the employees for videoconferences.
All of those strips originally scheduled from April 13 to May 9 will eventually run, when life returns to normal.
The “Fastrack” Sundays are separate from the dailies. I’ve sent in the Sundays up to May 31, some of those have office settings. Again, until June just assume they’re a recent historical fiction.

For “Kevin & Kell,” I’ve inked strips up to April 26 that involve Carl and Leona’s honeymoon and this year’s Easter Bunny story. After that I’ll decide on where to take the storyline.

As for Safe Havens, that takes place in a parallel fantasy universe depicting a mission to Mars with merfolk, time travelers and genetic manipulations on a planetary scale, so there will be no changes.

Go to Bill’s update for more background and more Bill Holbrook news.


4 thoughts on “Comics Corona Conundrum – updated

  1. I don’t think anyone reading newspapers expects the Sunday funnies to be relevant in a 24/7-social media world. I have been writing about the pandemic via my “The Norm 4.0” strip. Are there other online-only comics strips looking at it through the prism of their features and characters?

  2. My webcomic, “The Fuzzy Princess”, is written and drawn up to October 5 (yes, I work ahead), and I have wondered if I should even address the issue in the comic, although I ultimately decided against it, since the world in my comic isn’t exactly “realistic” anyway.

  3. Michael, we featured Chen Weng here yesterday, and there is your Norm ( ). Randall Munroe ( ) has been doing some How To cope with the current problem for a while now.
    Lennie Peterson ( ) has been doing some bits about it.Connie Sun ( ) and Pab Sungenis ( ) are among those doing things. And I’m sure others.

  4. What about these other rerun strips to deal with COVID-19 situations – mostly For Better or For Worse, Get Fuzzy, and daily Doonesbury?

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