Wallace the Brave Loses Local Newspapers

As part of the Gannett/USA TODAY Network The Providence Journal is implementing the corporate imperative to switch their comics page(s) to conform to some grouping of The Gannett 34.

Like all Gannett editors Lynne Sullivan, regional executive editor of The Providence Journal and Newport Daily News, is “thrilled” about the forthcoming changes:

For this reason, I’m thrilled to announce that The Providence Journal, along with newspapers across Gannett, will debut a refreshed comics page on Jan. 15.

Lynne notes some of the new (harumph) comics coming to the paper and some that will stay:

The Providence Journal’s comics page will include some of the most popular old favorites, such as “Peanuts,” “Dennis the Menace,” “Hagar the Horrible,” “Pickles” and “For Better or For Worse.” But we will also welcome some new comic strips, including “Crankshaft,” “Pearls Before Swine” and “Luann.”

With only an aside about the unnamed comics that the readers will lose:

Alas, we do say goodbye to a few comic strips. But times change, tastes change, and, as with everything we do, newspapers must adapt to better serve readers.

Unfortunately one comic that will disappear from the paper is Wallace the Brave by local cartoonist Will Henry.

(I’m guessing the even more localler Gannett paper, The Newport Daily News, will also drop Wallace.)

One Providence Journal reader is not taking the paper’s abandonment of Wallace the Brave quietly:

I sent this letter today…


As a decades long subscriber to the Providence Journal I’ve seen many changes to the paper and I’m sad to say that 99% of them have been for the worse. Among those unfortunate changes I’ve seen formats and typefaces changed, staff chopped, and the paper’s news and entertainment coverage dwindle to a mere shell of what it once was. Lately the only thing that has kept me reading is the reward of the comics at the end, the highlight of which is by far “Wallace the Brave.”

This strip is beautifully drawn, brilliant, relevant, moving, witty, and hilarious. It is by far the best comic strip I’ve read since “Calvin and Hobbes” ended and I am incredibly proud of the fact that it is created by a Rhode Islander.

Letter writer Jennie Polan admits she is not a typical Journal reader:

Granted, I’m 44 years old, likely placing me in the middle to lower age range of your subscribing audience, and maybe your elderly readers like the same old boring drivel, but still… are you kidding me?! It is mind boggling!

The entire letter can be read at the Wallace the Brave Facebook page to which she sent a copy.

I would like them to do what their sister paper in Florida did. The Pensacola News Journal moved the local comic strip they were carrying, Shrimp & Grits by Andy Marlette, to page two of the weekday editions and to the “Opinions” pages for their Sunday issue. Providence, and other papers that are being forced to kick local cartoonists from their funny pages, could do the same.

The Providence Journal has a history of supporting their local cartoonists, I hope that tradition continues.

17 thoughts on “Wallace the Brave Loses Local Newspapers

  1. I can’t imagine the logic behind keeping Peanuts and FBOFW, both of which must be on their third or fourth rerun regardless of their artistic merits, and dropping arguably the best strip running today.

  2. It’s a shame that 50, 60, 80-year old comics are still taking priority. Isn’t it time to retire them and let some new blood take over the comics pages?

  3. No Red And Rover or The Buckets either?!? I doubt local opinions were actually taken into account as they claim. If they remove these they will lose me as a subscriber. The rest of the paper has already been gutted compared to what it used to be before the series of corporate buyouts.

    1. I agree . Can’t believe they took both Wallace th brave and red and rover out. The cartoons they added are crap!

    1. Will, keep your spirits up. Continue what you’re doing. I buy each of your books as they come out, (if that’s any consolation). As stated by your RI fans, it’s the best strip out there by far, especially your Sundays. When my states largest paper has a comic strip recommendation survey yours is my #1 choice. I’m hoping they see the light eventually.

    2. If a strip as brilliant as WTB doesn’t have a chance, why would anyone new even attempt to enter this arena anymore? With the deepest of respect to Jeffy and Lynn, these companies are not only dropping great new work, they’re closing the door to anyone even attempting a new and interesting idea that might (god forbid) have the strength to jump from the web to print syndication to make a few extra bucks.

      Last one out turn off the lights.

  4. Why can’t any of the newspapers feature cartoons or comic strips by local artists? Or would that not be financially $ound for big, bad Gannett?

  5. The average newspaper comics page now is like an awful parody of a zombie movie. Although, even a 70-year old strip is still younger than many of those still reading it in hardcopy B&W on newsprint.

  6. Can’t believe I just renewed my subscription! With no coverage of Bruins or Celtic and hardly any Sox, it’s obvious Ganett just wants a USA today clone.
    I’m done after more than 50 years.

  7. I am not “thrilled” at the thought of losing “Wallace the Brave” from the Providence?Journal As a 25 year+ subscriber, this is one of the best comic strips I have seen in the ProJo. Awesome local artist, spunky, very funny, love all the characters. Please keep Wallace!!!

  8. Not only Wallace the Brave, but Red and Rover and Doonesbury (can’t have political content!). At least move it to the editorial page as many papers have done.

  9. Please KEEP WALLACE THE BRAVE!! A local cartoonist with a great comic strip…..and the Projo is dropping it?!!
    Terrible idea. Just another example of our “local” paper being so out of touch with “local” readers.

  10. I hope those who wish the Projo to keep Wallace will email (or even snail mail) the Projo direct.

    Anyone know if the ability to layout the page with comics from afar is a potential money saver? Or could easily be done by computer without much if any human input? Just trying to figure out “why” do it this way.

  11. It seems they took out a lot of thoughtful comics and substituted drivel. How could you take out Doone

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