Comic Strip Death Blow Down Under – Update

Mike Peterson mentioned the sad news in passing today, but here’s a bit more.

The Australian Cartoonists Association issued a statement about the Nine Entertainment newspapers dropping comic strips from their pages:

The Australian Cartoonists Association notes with disappointment that the Nine newspapers (including The Age, the Sunday Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Sun-Herald) are ceasing to publish regular comic strips next week. It follows similar decisions by News Corp and Australian Community Media last year.

For some local artists this means the end of their comics-creating livelihoods.

As noted News Corp Australia, which makes up 70% of Australian newspapers, dropped comic strips last year, now Nine Entertainment is dropping comic strips. The Wikipedia page shows that The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald are two of the largest circulation papers in Australia. Leaving only two Seven West Media papers left in the Top 10, and I don’t know if they carry comic strips.

The Australian Cartoonists Association statement makes clear that editorial and pocket cartoons are safe (for now), but comic strips in Australia are on life support:

For some local artists this means the end of their comics-creating livelihoods. Others will continue to be published in regional papers around Australia, whom we thank for their ongoing commitment to cartooning in their publications.

Major news outlets claim the changing interests of their readership and cost-cutting as their reasoning for ending comic strips, but we know perfectly well that good cartoons and comics remain popular and continue to draw readers in

August 21 Update:

ABC Radio Melbourne takes note of The Age no longer printing comic strips.

he Age newspaper in Melbourne will no longer publish daily comics, instead focusing on investment in digital content.

Australian Cartoonist Association president Cathy Wilcox is editorial cartoonist for Nine newspapers, including The Age.

She joined Sammy J to share her views on the change.

6 thoughts on “Comic Strip Death Blow Down Under – Update

  1. Yes, I’m afraid it’s true.
    The day I landed in Australia this week for my father’s funeral was the last day Ginger Meggs ran in the Sun Herald: the paper it first appeared in back in 1921.

    It is, as ever, a short-sighted cost-cutting move that will only reduce the already dwindling readership and give them even less reason to subscribe.

    The worst factor wasn’t the dropping of the strips (which, as the ACA points out, had ended the comic-making careers of working cartoonists) but the fact that despite asking for two decades, we were never invited to join the horoscopes, puzzles and crosswords and celebrity gossip onto the apps or website.

    For some reason, posting an image each day was just too insurmountable a concept to figure out for the 10+ editors that have sat in the chair in my 16 years working on Ginger Meggs.

    We didn’t get to follow our readers online. We were left to languish in the print edition, and, as of Sunday, vanish altogether.

    A sad day for cartooning.
    It has been a privilege to be part of the 102-year Ginger Meggs legacy. His next chapter will be an animated series. I have not been invited to be part of that process, but I wish the creator’s family well. I hope it becomes the next “Bluey.”

    GoComics will be the home for Gingers final storyline in the coming months. Andrews McMeel have been like an adopted family for Meggs these past 20+ years, and have always supported and protected the legacy. Josh Peres is a formidable editor. For that, I couldn’t be more grateful.

    (Note: Seven West media do still have a modest comics page (corner of a page) in The West Australian (in Perth), and a two-page comics lift out in the Saturday edition. It is the last newspaper in Australia to have that.

    It’s the first Australian newspaper I read the comics in as a kid. It seems it will be the last.)

  2. No more “Ginger Meggs” ( after 101 years. No more “bushy Tales” either. The Sun-Heralds replaced the comic page with Super Quiz. The Sydney Morning Herald with a new word puzzle. And, on top of it, both newspapers, increased in price, starting today.

    Last Sunday, at least the cartoonist, for “Ginger Meggs”, warned readers that its publication, in The Sun Herald, would be its last. Th Sun Herald is the Sunday edition of The Sydney Morning Herald. The newspaper, themselves, made not mention that comics were removed.

  3. As a long time subscriber to SMH, I am now intending to cancel my subscription. In the past I have often found the cartoon strips much more interesting than most of the news items. Soi sad.

    1. Cheers, Rex.
      Well, I’m happy to hear you’re canceling your subscription to the paper. I hope they have a big reaction to the poor decision. Please know that you can always sign up at to keep up to date with Ginger’s next chapter. (And read repeats every day at )

  4. The Australian Prime Minister has weighed in on the issue in an interview on national radio this morning:

    “Australian Prime Minister laments the disappearance of Ginger Meggs in the Nine Media papers”

    Sammy J: You’re a true politician, but I guess you are the Prime Minister, so that makes sense.

    Prime Minister: I’m a true Marrickville-ian also, and part of my stump speech at citizenship ceremonies is to say I’ve lived all over the world, Camperdown, Newtown and Marrickville, which is a bit like living in, I don’t know, Collingwood, Richmond and Fitzroy.

    Sammy J: Well, whatever you were doing here Albo, yesterday, I’ve got to say, you left the town and at the same time, comics disappeared from The Age newspaper, which is the end of an era. Is there any correlation?

    Prime Minister: Well, this is just another step in the decline of modern media. Thank goodness we have the ABC.

    Sammy J: I thought you meant the question.

    Prime Minister: It will upset a lot of people I reckon.

    Sammy J: It has on the text line. It’s something people grew up with.

    Prime Minister: I’m sure that that’s the case. I certainly grew up reading Ginger Meggs and Hagar the Horrible. I don’t think anything ever happened in that one, but anyway.

  5. So disappointed. Reading the funnies was my gentle way to start the day. Can’t believe it would make that much of a difference to their budget either. Strange, nasty decision.

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