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The New Lee Enterprises Sunday Funnies

You may have heard that Lee Enterprises has instituted a standard daily comics page for all their 70+ newspapers. That standardization also applies to their Sunday comics section that began today (September 18, 2022). All their Sunday funnies will, like their daily comics page, come from Andrews McMeel Syndication. The Times and Democrat breaks it down:

Sunday comics

First, color comics are not going away. Their format is changing. Rather than a separate section of comics, you’ll find the Sunday comics inside the Sunday Magazine … The lineup of comics has some changes, but we think you’ll like what you see.

Sunday comics that we are keeping are Born Loser, For Better or For Worse, Doonesbury, FoxTrot, Frank & Ernest, Garfield, Peanuts, Rose is Rose and Pickles.

New comics in print on Sunday: Baby Blues, Close to Home, Crabgrass, Luann, Pearls Before Swine, Argyle Sweater, Baldo, Jump Start and Marmaduke.

The pages I found (below) are missing the listed Close to Home Sunday (the only daily comic not included in the Sunday section), and have the not-mentioned Lio.


Eighteen Sunday comics over four pages as opposed to the daily ten comics on a half page.
edit: Some Lee newspapers only printed the first two of the above Sunday comics pages
(see Paul Berge’s comment below).

Lee Enterprises also heralds their e-edition bonus comics:

 

Now I ain’t got no dog in this – the “big city” paper to the north is Gannett and to south we have McClatchy, while my own small town daily is a “chain” of a half dozen local papers.

That being said I do have a complaint about the daily Lee comics page: it’s boring.

Not the comics, the layout.

Whoever designed the page threw all the four panel strips together and tossed the panels to the side. Unlike the comics the page’s set-up shows no imagination.

I rearranged the page to what I think is a better look:

Separating the four panel strips and mixing them with the three panel strips adds visual variety. I moved the always popular Peanuts and Pickles to the top. The comic panels are also moved with a couple strips in between. This still leaves the mega-popular Garfield front and center. I see it as more appealing than what Lee’s page designer did. (Of course I’m prejudiced to my layout.)

Community Comments

#1 Scott Hodges
September/18/2022
@ 10:28 pm

I think this entire bloodletting of great comic pages blows. I intend to speak to Jason Adrians, the VP/Local News who was kind enough to write me back about these changes and willing to discuss it over the phone. Do I think it will change his mind…probably, likely not.

But, if these guys think this is the way to make their product more desired, they are wrong. Not one business that I know of has cut their way to success. In fact, most companies that are constantly cutting are generally one or two steps away from bankruptcy.

Let’s admit they are digging through the couch pillows looking for change. Meanwhile, loyal readers/customers get the shaft.

This decision was made by corporate. Meanwhile local management is taking the incoming and I would imagine it is pretty rough. Do they make some adjustments? One could only hope, but since they did the deal with one syndicator, that isn’t likely.

#2 James M. Delach Jr.
September/18/2022
@ 10:34 pm

Thanks for putting up the Lee comics pages. BTW the paper mentioned Non Sequitur among the comics in their e-Edition but the vertical strip is nowhere to be seen.

#3 Paul Berge
September/19/2022
@ 7:29 am

The Lee paper my Dad gets, the Journal Times of Racine, had only two pages of comics yesterday. The other two pages of the “Sunday Comics” section were a “Kids Page” (which Dad opined kids would find boring) and a human interest feature article.

Dad doesn’t use a cell phone, so the QR code is worthless to him. He’s been using computers since the days of Univac, so he is perfectly able to go upstairs to what 50 years ago was my brother’s bedroom if he wanted to read Frazz or Arlo & Janis. But it’s not something he’s apt to do.

He wants to stay abreast of current affairs, and he always does the crossword and sudoku. But there’s less and less in the paper that he subscribes to it for. The TV listing is gone, and, being printed two states away, the sports section goes to bed while yesterday’s games are still being played. (How long before Lee produces one lone sports page for all its papers?)

#4 Rick Kirkman
September/22/2022
@ 5:45 pm

I like your layout.

#5 D. D. Degg
September/22/2022
@ 5:52 pm

Thanks Rick

#6 Andrea Denninger
September/23/2022
@ 8:34 am

Hard to believe now, but I used to read three newspapers a day: the local Kenosha News (first Evening, then morning), the Milwaukee Sentinel (which became the Journal-Sentinel) and the Chicago Tribune.

Then, when we moved to FL in 2015, I never subscribe to any newspaper; I get a Palm Harbor/Tarpon Springs weekly freebie, but everything else – news to comics – is read online.

Do I prefer this? No, not really, but it seems the better way to go, using the subscription money for internet access money.

And reading the past few years about the gutting of the dead-tree news outlets, I think I made the right decision.

#7 Jennifer W
September/30/2022
@ 3:38 pm

I have spoken to editors at unnamed Lee Newspapers and they are not happy. I am not quoting them directly or using their names out of respect for their keeping their jobs. They’ve had numerous cancellations by readers over this misguided decision by bean counters who haven’t a clue about what readers value in their daily newspaper. These cancellations have long term negative impact on the newspaper’s revenues. This is just another nail in the coffin of the failing newspaper industry. Self-inflicted suicide on a mass scale.

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