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

December 5, 2006

FoxTrot Goes To Sunday-Only 12/31


Bill Amend is ending the daily iteration of his popular FoxTrot comic strip in order to follow other creative pursuits, Universal Press Syndicate has announced. As Dave Astor at Editor & Publisher notes, Amend's strip is currently in the 1000-plus clients club, a club with fewer than 20 other members. Because comic strips are sold in Sunday and daily packages, and because a few may drop the Sundays in order to give the exposure to a strip on their daily page, one imagines that Amend may be taking a 50 percent or more pay cut from the move.

On the other hand, I would think he'd be freeing up perhaps as much as 80 percent of his time, given the general difficulty of writing daily sequences and the specific hassles that FoxTrot would seem to offer. One of Amend's underappreciated strengths, and I think a key to the enormous success of his strip, has been his ability to forecast geek trends and work them into the fabric of his dailies. That seems to me a bit easier to do on a once-weekly basis, or at least with a smaller number of exposures at stake if he picks the wrong object for Jason's obsession.

The bigger news, of course, is that this opens up a huge opportunity for other dailies to find slots, kind of like a store throwing a sale in advance of a sale everyone knows is coming (the sale everyone know is coming is For Better Or For Worse ending). I would imagine the biggest beneficiary will be some strips in the 200-400 range as opposed to anything new coming out. My hunch is that editors will want to replace an acknowledged hit with a growing hit if they can. I can't think of anything in the 80-150 range that really fits the bill in a way they'd get a same-type-of-strip boost.
posted 3:51 am PST | Permalink

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