Los Angeles Times Overhauls Comics Pages

The Los Angeles Times has revamped it daily and Sunday comics pages.

We’re excited to introduce five cartoons to our readers, beginning with the June 27 print edition and eNewspaper.

These are the results of an overall review of the syndicated comics that The Times publishes, which we promised to readers after printing a “9 Chickweed Lane” strip Dec. 1 that contained an ethnic slur.

In the immediate aftermath, we permanently dropped “Chickweed,” temporarily replaced it with “Luann” and asked readers for input on The Times’ comics lineup. About a thousand of you responded. Thank you.

We then assembled a panel of Times staffers from across departments to review readers’ input and take an in-depth look at what our comics pages featured and what was available (some popular requests, such as “Calvin and Hobbes,” were not). Our goal was to bring you a dynamic and diverse mix.

To make room for new titles, we carefully considered what to remove. The panel evaluated criteria including reader support, frequency of new installments, instances of insensitivity and quality of content [emphasis added].

The “old” (last month’s) L. A. Times daily comics page:

In addition The Times publishes six panels on their puzzle page and
continues the long tradition of printing Love Is… in the classifieds:


New to The L. A. Times:

That’s the print kickoff for Tauhid Bondia’s popular online comic “Crabgrass,” which chronicles the high-spirited adventures of young BFFs Kevin and Miles. It will run every day. Award-winning cartoonist Liniers’ visually imaginative international hit “Macanudo” will also appear daily.

On Mondays through Saturdays, they’ll be joined by Sandra Bell-Lundy’s “Between Friends,” which follows middle-aged friends Maeve, Susan and Kimberly through the funny and poignant changes of their professional and personal lives; Donna Lewis’ “Reply All Lite,” which stars Lizzie, a successful career woman whose “inner fifth-grade voice” sometimes gets the best of her; and “Six Chix,” which showcases the distinct styles and wits of Isabella Bannerman, Bianca Xunise, Susan Camilleri Konar, Mary Lawton, Maritsa Patrinos and Stephanie Piro, who take turns drawing the strip.

Dropped to make room:

The Times is discontinuing Monday through Saturday reruns of “Doonesbury” (don’t worry — the Sunday-only new strips will stay); seven-day reruns of “Get Fuzzy”; all seven days of “Prickly City”; and the Monday through Saturday “Argyle Sweater” and “Luann,” which were not in Sunday Comics.

But we’re not pulling the football away from Charlie Brown: The all-reruns “Peanuts” continues for kids of all ages.

This is not a small matter to affected cartoonists as the price of running syndicated comic strips and panels is based on the newspapers’ circulation and The Los Angeles Times’s numbers are among the top five U. S. newspapers that carry comics.

The Los Angeles Times story on the changes. The story via AOL.

We take the funny pages as seriously as you do.


Syndicate scorecard.

Counting the dailies and the Sundays separately (as the syndicates do)

Andrews McMeel Syndication gained two: Crabgrass (daily and Sunday); but lost seven: Get Fuzzy (d&S), Prickly City (d&S), plus the daily Doonesbury, Argyle Sweater, and Luann.

King Features Syndicate gained four: Macanudo (d&S), and the daily Between Friends and Six Chix.

The Washington Post Writers Group gained one: the daily Reply All Lite.

Below is an “old” (last month) L. A. Times Sunday comics section.


9 thoughts on “Los Angeles Times Overhauls Comics Pages

  1. The “Monday Morning Massacre”!

    Actually, it is good to see the Times drop the zombie strips “Doonesbury” (daily) and “Get Fuzzy” to make way for new artists and material. The Times indicated for almost a decade that “Doonesbury is on vacation. This is a reprint” when it was clear that Trudeau years ago said he would only continue it on Sundays. I am surprised that the paper decided to drop “Luann” and “Argyle Sweater”. I thought both were were very popular. They missed a real opportunity though by not adding “Wallace the Brave”. Will Henry’s strip is a worthy successor to “Calvin and Hobbes”, particularly the incredible art, humor and imagination of the Sunday comic.

  2. Good for them for soliciting reader input but not calling it a “poll” and not letting it relieve them of making the actual decisions. More papers should take a lead from the process.

  3. I was surprised to see the changes in the Comics section today. I understand Doonesbury and Get Fuzzy were re-runs but they will be missed! Glad we will still have new Doonesbury strips on Sunday but I will miss Bucky B. Katt and Satchel.

  4. My wife Helen Rebecca Rausch and I are frustrated that the LA Times has discontinued “Prickly City”. It was one of the best unbiased comic strips in your collection. We read enough biased coverage on the front page and should not have to tolerate more bias in the comics. You are requested to reconsider your unfortunate decision. Thank you.

  5. Congratulations! Slowly but surely you are eliminating my favorite comic strips. First 9 Chickweed Lane gets the ax, now Doonesbury and Get Fuzzy. I don’t care if there are reruns….old Get Fuzzy and Doonesbury strips are better by far than anything like Crabgrass or Macanudo. I’ve subscribed to your newspaper for well over 30 years, but I guess I’ve become too insensitive and/or have fallen out of your target demographic. Very sad….

  6. Er, folks, you do realize that D.D. Degg is just a journalist reporting the news of the paper dropping these strips, and has no personal connection with the decision or the TIMES itself? No problem with complaining here, if it’s just venting off steam, but if you want your opinions to possibly “count” in any way you should be sending them to the paper. Don’t shoot the messenger.

  7. I can’t believe I’m writing about the comics section, but here I am I too will miss not seeing Luann, reruns of Doonesbury, and Prickly City in the daily comic section. I found the reruns comforting and still relevant, much like Snoopy. I’m not sure what their reasoning was for discontinuing the strips. I hope that sometime soon, they will return.

  8. Shocked to not see Get Fuzzy in the Sunday Times — one more reason to cancel my subscription to this horribly biased newspaper.

Comments are closed.