The webcomics blog about webcomics

Minifleen V (The Next Generation)

Looks like one last two month reprieve for Little Dee‘s syndication hopes, Chris Baldwin reports:

The current situation is (and it is in writing to this effect) that I will continue running Little Dee at until the last day of July. They have requested this as further “development” time.

So Dee will be back to on August 1st unless they make an actual offer of syndication.

I wish this gray area of what’s happening wasn’t continuing, but I am still tempted by the carrot they’re dangling.

Okay, here’s where you can help get something good onto the comics pages. It seems that (although curiously, it has not been widely reported) that Cathy Guisewite is handing off writing and/or art duties to a collaborator. From what I can tell, her strip has always metered high in the dump it category of newspaper comic strip polls.

This affords the perfect opportunity to write a polite letter to your local paper’s features editor, asking them to a) move away from a strip that’s gone zombie (that is, moved away from original creator to substitute hacks, a fate recently shared by B.C.), and suggest one that’s both all-ages friendly and amazingly good. Get writin’.

Philosophical question, Gary —

I’m having a bit of trouble reconciling two threads that recur in my feedreader lately. On the one hand, I read the excitement here when a strip makes it into print syndication. On that other hand, I hear the tales of woe from all the print journalists who are getting canned, and watching the circ numbers as they are clearly circling the bowl.

Onstad has said in interviews, “Print, schmint”. Is a focus on print syndication short-sighted, like a musician being excited to release their stuff on vinyl (or being excited to hear it on terrestrial radio)? Is a short-term strategy that will build interest (and ideally some sort of loyalty) still a good thing for when the bottom falls out of the news biz as we know it?

(not trying to deduct from anyone who’s made that leap, just musing out loud…)

People can “print, schmint” all they want, but there’s a lot of newspaper readers who love comics and don’t know webcomics exist. These people can be taught!

I like Rich’s answer, but here’s my thoughts:

  1. If one is reduced to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, at least one can grab the chair with the fluffiest cushion instead of the one with the busted slats.
  2. If we don’t assume that print is dying/gone in three years/whatever, then it’s a case of making a faded medium less pathetic and more like what it used to be when vibrant and strong.
  3. If we adopt a pie-in-the-sky optimism model, there’s always the possibility that good comcis might actually teach a new generation to read the paper, and counteract the slide.

Plus, y’know, I think that people should read Sheldon, or Little Deesel Sweeties instead of B.C. or Cathy in the same way I think people should drink Duvel, Balvenie Doublewood, or Bruichladdich instead of Bud Light or Pucker.

If we don’t assume that print is dying/gone in three years/whatever, then it’s a case of making a faded medium less pathetic and more like what it used to be when vibrant and strong.

An interesting point, especially when one remembers that media don’t die as new media ‘replace’ them, but they change form to occupy the changing shapes left in the environment by the footprints of the new breed of beasts as they lumber in.

Your point about Bud Light is also well taken on a steamy Friday afternoon; if memory serves, there’s a delicious frosty bottle from Belgium waiting for me downstairs right now…

Is it quitting time yet?

[…] From the Department of Unconfirmed Rumors: According to Diesel Sweeties creator R. Stevens, Cathy creator Cathy Guisewite is allegedly handing her long-running strip over to a new cartoonist and retiring. (Link via Gary Tyrrell.) […]

Uh boy, it looks like this Cathy thing I bluted out wasn’t public knowledge yet. Might be a good time to confirm it.

[…] without realizing it, I may have scooped the world and lucked upon unreleased news concerning a superstar of the newspaper comics […]

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