Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary











November 14, 2008


A Pair Of Newspaper Comics Notes

image* this article makes a call for action out of rumors apparently reported by RC Harvey -- and finding traction on a Yahoo group devoted to the character -- that Tribune Media Service may end Dick Tracy after current cartoonist Dick Locher retires at the end of this year. My first reaction was to call TMS; it looks like people are out of the office, but I'll try to get something official at some point or another. My second reaction is that no matter what we should know really, really soon if it's true. The standard delay between when a strip is due from the cartoonist and when it goes to the newspapers subscribing to it would indicate that last strips would have to be in pretty soon. My third reaction is that I kind of hope it's true. I don't have any hatred for legacy strips just because they're legacy strips, and as someone who worked with creator Chester Gould Locher had as great a claim to carrying on its traditions as anyone could. I just think the legacy model that works for strips requires a thriving newspaper industry with lots of room for lots of comics on the page. We just don't have that anymore.

Updated: Bob was flat wrong. My reaction now is that it's too bad. I'm happy to have Dick Locher comics as long as he wants to make them, but in a free-falling market I don't think I can be a fan of any legacy strip strategy.

* the Post's Michael Cavna talks about the blood seeping out from under the door where they make decisions about the future of staffed editorial cartoon positions, and fairly admits that things look quite dire. He discusses the Jimmy Marguiles gag involving Thomas Nast and uses an aggressive statement by Ted Rall as to where the blame lies. I don't think editorial cartooning will ever go away entirely, but I expect staffed positions to settle in the two to three dozen range at some point.
 
posted 7:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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