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

January 10, 2007

CR Readers: NY Daily News, Tokyopop

* Readers of this site Randolph Hoppe, Gabe Carras, Gary Dunaier, and Gary Esposito all wrote in with partial or full confirmation of word from reader Murdoch Matthew that the New York Daily News has changed its comics section in a way that includes dropping a page of comics. Mr. Esposito wrote the most detailed account:
The gentleman named "Murdoch Matthew" is correct in that the NY Daily News has dropped Cathy, Agnes, Peanuts Classics, Pooch Cafe, and the puzzle strip Jumble X-Word. Girls and Sports is in the classified section along with F Minus and Tina's Groove was used in place of Doonesbury when they were on vacation last week. Tina's Groove looks to be dropped instead of Girls and Sports.

This started on Monday January 1st, but the gentleman did not notice that all the remaining strips were shrunk down even further to fit into 3 pages instead of 4. Their page layout used to go (horizontal strips) 7, 7, 6, and 6 with five one panel strips a Sudoku (which replaced
Herman over a year ago), a crossword, and an advice column along side on 3 of the 4 pages. Now there are three 7 horizontal strip pages with five one panel strips, Sodoku, a crossword and Boggle. Those 5 one panel strips are: Close to Home, The Flying McCoys, The Lockhorns, Marmaduke and Flight Deck.

NY Daily News dropped the daily FoxTrot over 2 years ago to make room for Pearls before Swine but kept the Sunday version of it all the time. They recently dropped the Sunday Marmaduke, Heathcliff, and Cathy strips to make room for a Sunday Sudoku and something called Biographic which is a one panel strip about musical acts over the past 40 years. It's nothing but photos traced of rock/pop stars with highlights of their career. Pretty boring in my opinion.

NY Daily News has been acting peculiar about their comics section over the past few years, acting very conservative and dropping strips based on storylines (Curtis, Doonesbury, Get Fuzzy and Boondocks), saying they were on vacation when they are not and I have to go to the web to see those strips for that week.

I am very dismayed by what the
NY Daily News has done with their comics section lately and have called to complain but keep getting the answering machine of the person in charge. I have left messages voicing my concern, but no reply is ever given.

Losing a page of New York newspaper cartoons is less of a big deal than in most industries, as New York is a pretty dead town for newspaper strips. But the Daily News is a big paper, and any paper making such a drastic move may be a sign of things to come. If newspapers can drop stock listings and TV Tabs with barely a public acknowledgment of this shift, it's not out of the question that they might make severe changes in their comics coverage in the months and years head.

* James Langdell wrote in with an important point on which I totally goofed -- the Tokyopop comic strip offerings have been mini-series sold under a larger Tokyopop Presents presentation vehicle: so Mail Order Ninja isn't the third Tokyopop-related strip out there being offered by Universal, but the third story to appear in the Tokyopop newspaper strip slot.
posted 2:24 am PST | Permalink

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