The Providence Journal gave notice that Will Henry’s Wallace the Brave comic strip returned to the newspaper on Monday January 29, 2024 after a two week absence with a front page above the fold feature story:
Fans of “Wallace the Brave” rejoice! The syndicated comic strip about the life of a young boy in the fictionalized town of Snug Harbor, Rhode Island, returned to the pages of The Providence Journal on Monday after a brief hiatus.
But Journal editors – and, more importantly, readers – would have none of that, so the editors scrambled to find another home for the student from Moonestone Elementary School and his friends — real and imaginary.
There is a clarification from their first announcement of Will and Wallace’s return when they said that “‘Wallace the Brave’ will have a new home, on page 2A most days.” Now the comic will appear on all days:
Readers will now find “Wallace the Brave” seven days a week in its own special home on Page 2A, not competing with other strips on the comics page.
The ProJo followed up the announcement with a great interview with the cartoonist.
What inspired ‘Wallace the Brave’?
“Then there’s kind of an ‘aha’ moment.”
He saw a group of friends hanging out on the pier in front of the liquor store one summer. One kid was standing on a piling and another pushed him off the piling into the Bay. They all clearly enjoyed it.
So Will began drawing a strip about a community of friends.
Unfortunately the reinstatement comes two weeks into the current Wallace the Brave story.
The interview ends with this Will quote:
And, while he still hasn’t come to grips with being the author of a popular strip, he thinks “Wallace the Brave” has years left to run – unless it all comes crashing down.
“Every day, I feel like the ride might come to an end,” he said. “I still haven’t gotten comfortable with the idea of being a full-time cartoonist.”
Which is where we start with a story about Garfield being dropped by its largest paper The Chicago Sun-Times four months after it began in 1978 and Jim Davis, the creator of that comic strip, saying about that time:
“I’d got Garfield in about 40 papers,” he remembers. “But then the Chicago Sun-Times dropped the strip. As that was the biggest paper I had, I thought this was the beginning of the end.”
But the Sun-Times readership had other ideas. More than 1,300 of them lobbied the newspaper demanding the return of Garfield, and the management eventually capitulated. Davis drew a cartoon with the cat triumphantly returning through the lobby of the Sun-Times.
Jim Davis continued:
It was the last time anybody was going to drop Garfield. Now the strip runs in 2,100 newspapers and has a readership of more than 200 million.
“Newspaper bosses hate strips like Garfield,” laughs Davis. “And that’s because they can never drop them! There are only a handful of strips like that… Peanuts, Blondie, Beetle Bailey.”
Brought to mind by ScreenRant’s recent posting of an excerpt of the Independent article.
Maybe Wallace the Brave can achieve half the success of Garfield.