March 01, 2007
How I feel about the state of the comics page today
Lio speaks for me.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 01, 2007 to Society and cultcha
That parade should also include Snuffy Smith, Beetle Bailey, the Wizard of Id, and B.C.
As I've bloviated about before, we are current in the second Golden Age of comic strips--it's just that the comic strips in question are webcomics, where the low entry point to distribution and the lack of restrictions on style and format mean that anybody can do a strip in any format in any style about any subject they care about.
Tack on (or, probably, as a consequence of) that we're seeing a lot of high-quality reprint strips from the first Golden Age, and it's a great time to be a comic strip reader.
Even if it means that the newspapers are almost irrelevant.
The dead strips are all strips that the creator chose to end. In each case, the creator decided that he or she had taken it as far as it would go, and decided to shut down rather than potentially lose quality.
Most (if not all) of the strips that are "whistling past the graveyard" are strips owned by the syndicate, that have been strung along for years past their peak points, and indeed long after the artist who created these strips had died. They carry on in lesser hands.
It's too bad that The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes etc. have ended--but better that they ended than they enter the empty, hacked out half-life that typifies strips like Blondie and Nancy.
They should have a headstone ready for the daily version of "For Better or For Worse".
Meanwhile, while comic strips are in serious decline, sports cartooning is almost completely lost. After Bill Gallo (NY Daily News, also a member of the Boxing Hall of Fame for his writing) leaves (or more likely, dies), who else is left?