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

November 4, 2018

Bundled Extra: Chicago Sun-Times Moves From Three Pages Of Comics To One Page Plus A Scattered Few


Here's their announcement. I'm looking around for someone in the Chicago media watching business that would know what's been dropped -- if anyone has caught such a blog post or article, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The regional media critic Robert Feder has a short list of casualties and some commentary here. DD Degg and a pair of readers of the resurgent Daily Cartoonist have a complete accounting here. What's left skews towards their older strips, it looks like.

I was a Midwestern kid and lived in Chicago for a couple of years. I was a devoted Tribune reader -- I don't remember being able to get the Sun-Times in northern Indiana -- and my take on its comics page vs. the Sun-Times is that 1) the Tribune offering was generally superior and 2) one mitigating circumstance is that the Sun-Times had a shitload of comics with three pages of them. I think -- and someone can correct me here, too -- that the Sun-Times also had multiple suburban-type papers with different strategies for different publications.

What does it mean for the future, immediate and otherwise? Well, a lot of strips just lost a sizable client. It's still an industry where a lot of strips are out there carrying a small number of clients. I'm interested in what the decision-makers were looking at to indicate this was their best move; the decision itself might not be as important as the reasons. When the newspaper industry cratered in the late 2000s the conventional wisdom was that comics would suffer for the general decline but would also be an important remaining and unique feature for a while yet. Is "a while yet" something that starts to end now? I doubt it, but we'll see. Acceleration seems likely at some point.
posted 3:35 pm PST | Permalink

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