< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://caltechgirlsworld.mu.nu/" /> Not Exactly Rocket Science: Calling Patterico!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Calling Patterico!

The LA Dog Trainer pulled another fast one. They've dropped Garfield. Now I am NO fan of Garfield, in fact the only character I like is Nermal. But COME ON people. It's like pulling Peanuts or Blondie.
When asked for comment, the LA(D)T responded:
""Garfield" has received mixed reviews in recent years, but the Times is one of the few papers to ever dare pull it. Reader reaction? "We are getting complaints," said Jennifer James, a Times editorial aide, but she declined to reveal how many."
But my favorite bit was this, from the spokesperson of Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes Garfield and a number of other cartoons:
""Our understanding is that 'Garfield' ran in a children's section of the Los Angeles Times. When a feature is dropped on pages which are predominantly read by children, those young readers are less likely to complain or demand its return.""
Say what you want about the quality of the strip over the last few years (don't even mention the movie), but Garfield will always be on the list of great American cartoon strips, with or without the LA Dog Trainer.

(h/t Joe Gandelman as Dean)

Update: for more comics discussion, see this post over at EcLECTIC RAMBLINGS.


At Saturday, January 08, 2005 11:53:00 PM, Blogger thinkindependent said...

This is such a coincidence. I just posted an essay on comic strips on EcLECTIC RAMBLINGS. Please go read it and comment. I also started a new blog dedicated totally to my comics, called Komikazee (check in my profile).

I'm not a fan of Garfield either, but I agree with you. There are certain things that we treasure from our childhood that we just don't want changed.

Good Post.

At Sunday, January 09, 2005 5:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look, could I offer a tiny little suggestion?

How about newspapers actually start posting comic strips that are ENTERTAINING and FUNNY, not just "nostalgic?"

Garfield sucks so hard it could pull a bowling ball through a 50 foot garden hose, and it has for years. Jim Davis doesn't even write the pathetic thing anymore.

Blondie is just as bad. It's humor is thirty years outdated even at it's BEST. It's been wasting space on the comics page for nearly EIGHTY YEARS. They've had two artists --- the original creator and his successor-- **die of old age** doing this godawful Strip of the Living Dead, and the third faceless ink-slapper is just as atrocious as his predecessors.

And give it UP, people, Charles Schultz is DEAD.

Yet these, and dozens of other strips that jumped the shark years and even decades ago, are clung to for fear of upsetting maybe three people who still read the wretched thing.
Remember the last time that a newspaper comic strip made you literally laugh out loud? Neither do I. Neither does anyone else who reads the local fishwrap.

Look, there is a decades-old bottleneck on newspaper comics. Despite the reader pull of comics, most newspapers that run comics have only a single page or half-page of comics, and every year they shrink the comics size just a little more so they can squeeze in yet another "dear abby" column or crossword puzzle in the corner. That extremely limited space is controlled entirely by 5 or so comic syndicates who, even though they are inundated daily with literally thousands of submissions by talented hopefuls, prefer instead to take the mouldering corpses of their cartoonist workhorses from the last century and prop them up at the drawing table for another 4 or 5 years. Brilliantly funny cartoonists labor in obscurity while "Mark Trail" and "Rex Morgan M.D." hog space for another decade. Readership has been plummeting for decades. Noone even LIKES these strips anymore.

Yet change just ONE of them and people freak like their food dish has been moved.

Thank God for webcomics--- otherwise there'd be no place for TALENT to go.

At Monday, January 10, 2005 11:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd split the difference. Newspapers should only run strips that are actually funny.

Nostalgic strips -- like the Li'l Abner strips I read every day online -- should be made available on the Web for those of us who want to stay in touch with our childhoods even if the humor is dated.

The previous comment has me considering adding Blondie to my daily online reading list.

(I have a Blogger profile somewhere, but am too lazy to look it up)

At Monday, January 10, 2005 10:10:00 PM, Blogger EdWonk said...

My all-time favorite was, and is, "Bloom County." I faithfully read it from the beginning, and every day, until its artist, Berke Breathed retired (after winning the Pulitzer) at the "top of his game."

The strip is still funny today and can be found on-line.


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