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…
PLEASE HELP SAVE WALLACE THE BRAVE FROM CORPORATE CUTS!!!
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.