EDITOR'S NOTE: We asked readers to respond whether we should change the comics following one letter writer's humorous but pointed opinion about the lineup of classic and contemporary offerings.
The response was overwhelming. Roughly 100 ... and counting. Here is a selection.
According to this person’s opinion, the letter writer complaining about all the “tired” punchlines of the comics such as: Dagwood, Dennis the Menace, and Beetle Bailey – he doesn’t have to read them. He could take his printed cartoons and use them for his garbage can if he thinks that way about them. Also, if it’s digital – he could just skip over them. There are some comics, such as “Family Circus” which I dislike because of the bratty kids that Bil Keane thinks is so “cute.” So all I do is skip over them and go on to the ones I do like, such as “Funky Winkerbean” or “Crankshaft.” No one is holding a gun to his head. At least not yet in this present presidential administration.
This is in regards to the letter to the editor that suggested possibly changing the comics. In general I think they are fine. There are a few strips that aren’t always funny to me, but I’m sure someone finds them amusing. And definitely don’t replace them with “colorful short stories and artwork”! I wouldn’t look forward to those every Sunday. The comic section is one of my favorite parts of the daily News. And unlike some cities’ papers, I’m glad they’re still two pages.
As a long time comic strip enthusiast, I enjoy the daily adventure strip over the bounty of daily gag style. Most of the classics are no longer available, but some still remain. I would enjoy reading The Phantom, Tarzan, and Dick Tracy on a daily basis once again.
I find myself skipping entirely the current selection of Get Fuzzy, Prickly City, Dog Eat Doug, Curtis and Spectickles.
Adventure strips once helped sell the daily papers as customers picked up the next issue to read the next installment. A few funny strips do have continuity like this even today.
I would recommend returning a few of the classics to change things up and review the results. I realize that each strip is someone’s favorite, but change is inevitable, and perhaps adventure strips may enhance sales once again.
I would like to say that the comics are one of the highlights in my daily reading of the News. But – there are two comic strips – Get Fuzzy and Pearls Before Swine that are unreadable. Surely you could find two other comics that would be more entertaining.
No one reads the funnies to experience knee-slapping humor. The funnies are read for relief from the frequently unpleasant weight of the news. I’ve been reading The Buffalo News comics for most of my life. That’s not to say I read them all, nor, probably, does anyone else. But, on a Sunday, I like Blondie, Pickles, Charlie Brown (especially Snoopy), and Doonesbury, and during the week Spidey, Blondie, and Bliss. I never miss them. Other readers likely have their own favorites. It doesn’t bother me that Blondie and Dag have been on the planet longer than I have, or that Charles Schulz’s product is a little stale. Dagwood’s Elmo always makes me smile. Charlie Brown is still Everyman, Lucy his eternal nemesis, and Snoopy a pleasant embellishment. I’d be disappointed if it were all dropped in the name of economizing or modernizing, or to please a letter writer who’s trying to talk the rest of us into some common sense.
Funny, but after reading the letter criticizing the comics page, I was struck by how different people’s opinions are from my own.
On Sunday, I commented to my husband how I enjoyed reading the innocent humor displayed in “Dennis the Menace.” We both enjoy the truthful humor of “Pickles.”
We enjoy sharing the humor that is creative in showing human foibles in Bliss and For Better or Worse.
Don’t allow the “funnies” to disappear into esoteric short stories. The comics provide short shots of comic relief. This was how I was introduced to the newspaper by my father who read it religiously, morning and evening, when Buffalo had two major newspapers, providing different cartoonists in each publication, giving comic relief to hard-working families with no leisure time to indulge in longer printed matter.
The comics have kept up with the times in seeing humor in frustration with technology.
It is a talent to use one to four illustrated panels to point out how life can be “so delirious, we can’t always take it serious.”
A good laugh in the morning, can set the tone for the rest of the day.
Keep the comics. The hard News has always required counterbalance, now more than ever.
I have been enjoying the comics pages since I learned to read. The Sunday comics in The Buffalo Evening News and the Courier-Express were the highlight of the weekend when I was a kid.
Comic strips, however, are not always meant to be funny. Some, like Memorial Day’s “Hi and Lois,” called attention to the veterans we honor. “Beetle Bailey” honors veterans and active duty troops every day. Others, like “Mutts,” tug at the heartstrings and promote pet-friendly causes. Still others, like “Bliss,” “Pearls Before Swine,” “Close to Home” and “Rhymes With Orange” induce chortles.
Hank Ketchum, Mort Walker, and Charles Schulz may be gone, but their collective gentle humor is timeless.
For some time I have felt that it should be called the cartoon page since many of the strips are not comical. I disagree with the writer who complained about some of them. The ones he named are not as bad as some of the others. I find that Amazing Spider-Man and Get Fuzzy are not worth looking at. Bliss and Spectickles are frequently not funny. Many of the strips repeat the same old jokes but I continue to read because I do enjoy many of them. You will never be able to please everyone. Of the newer ones I like Pearls Before Swine and sometimes Prickly City.
I concur 100 percent with the letter writer. It is way overdue for the News to dump all the passe comic strips from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. There seems to be much less “clever writing and creativity” than the days of The Far Side, Calvin & Hobbes and Bloom County, which were three all-time great strips. The only ones close to their caliber – and sometimes the only two strips I read – are Doonesbury (Gary Trudeau) and Funky Winkerbean (Tom Batiuk). A few others worth keeping are Crankshaft, Get Fuzzy, Zits, and Sally Forth. PLEASE get rid of Moose Miller in the Sunday comics. People who still read newspapers are too intelligent to find this brand of “humor” even remotely amusing. It’s on a level with the long gone Nancy. Does anyone under 80 still read Prince Valiant? Doubtful.
I am a long time seven day Buffalo News subscriber. I know how passionate people can be about the comics. I am one of them. Everyone has their favorites. Mine are Pickles, Luann, and Zits. I also like Blondie (not called Dagwood as the May 28 letter writer stated).
The ones I don’t like are Get Fuzzy, Spectickles, Bliss, Close to Home, and lately Spider Man. I wish we had Hagar back. I could do without Peanuts, Beetle Bailey and Dennis The Menace. In the Sunday comics, Moose could easily go away.
These are just my opinions and I’m sure you will get many more opinions.
I’ve been a everyday reader of The Buffalo News for over 60 years, not that that qualifies me for anything, but would like to way in on the comic/funnies question. Here goes:
Dennis the Menace - old
Wizard of Id - dumb
Beetle Bailey - hasn’t changed since the 50’s
Close to Home - just plain stupid
These are from the daily strips.
The worst comics in the paper are Spectickles and Close to Home. The ugly and disgusting characters in these comics look like they should be found in horror movies. Not images I wish to see as I’m reading my morning paper. Why has this world turned into touting ugly looking freaks as though they are the norm? Whether it be cartoons on television or in the pages of the newspaper? There should be at least a couple pages where a reader can get something refreshing after reading about shootings and drugs on our streets! Get rid of these disgusting, freaky, comics. Thanks for allowing me to offer my opinion.
So, if you don’t like the comics anymore, don’t read them. But DO NOT take them out of the newspaper.
I never read the sports pages, but many do. I would never tell you to take out sports just because it is not interesting to me. If you stop the comics, I will stop getting the paper that I have been reading for 70 years, and that will be terrible for me because I love reading the newspaper every day and it is the only true source of news nowadays. TV news is a partisan joke. I get my news from the newspaper. Let the man watch cartoons on TV if he doesn’t like the comics but keep the comics for those of us who sincerely love newspapers and true news as it has been for decades.
Please count me in hearty agreement with the letter writer about the pitiful state of the comics page. I would only add the wretched “Family Circle” to the growing list of Funny 50 years ago.
My argument is slightly different than the letter writer’s. By guaranteeing limited comics page real estate in perpetuity to an increasing number of deceased creators, you suppress the emergence of new talent, new sensibilities, new stories, new characters and new ideas.
You would never tolerate this state of affairs on the editorial page. I loved Molly Ivins to pieces but I would have no patience with her kid being tapped to write her column forever after, with permanent, guaranteed syndication.
A refresh is ridiculously overdue.
Cynthia Van Ness
The comics pages do need a bit of freshening up but not by removing Blondie or Dennis the Menace. Yes they are long-running strips that on occasion rely on well used jokes but that is the beauty of them. They provide a feeling of nostalgia and comfort whilst still being currently created. What could be retired are Peanuts and For Better or Worse both fine strips neither of which are producing new material. I believe that Get Fuzzy also falls under that category, at least as a weekly strip. That is my two cents.
The only change to the comics I would like to see would be to add to them. More is better!
Dennis, Dagwood, Snoopy and Beetle are still amusing to me! They’re old friends and I don’t want them to leave!
The reader who doesn’t like them can just skip over them! I skip over some and don’t think twice about it!
The comics should not be replaced with “colorful short stories and artwork,” but some could go. Family Circus, Peanuts, Dennis the Menace and that STUPID Prickly City. PLEASE DO NOT ELIMINATE BLONDIE!!! It’s like hot dogs, mom, and apple pie!! Everyone has their own taste. I suggest the letter writer do as I do – when I get to a comic I don’t care for – I skip it.
Prickly City should be ditched. Peanuts could easily be dropped without anyone really noticing, as could Spiderman, Dennis the Menace and Beetle Bailey.
The Buffalo News should pick up Breaking Cat News by Georgia Dunn for a sweet, smart, family-friendly comic that appeals to all ages.
Thanks for letting readers weigh in.
I am writing in response to your request “Should we change the comics?” which was at the end of a letter to the editor titled “Time to hit refresh on the comics page.”
I fully agree with everything the letter writer said. Yes, please do revise the comics – there is very little to no humor in them anymore.
OMG! Not Peanuts! It is hilarious over and over for my whole life!
I guess Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, Blondie and some others are predictable but I feel like it’s tradition. I would tell that reader not to be so cynical. We need a laugh now and again, laughing can never be bad.
They have a Stooge Fest two times a year, which we love, and they’ve been dead for decades. Laughter and silliness live on!
Some of our favorites are Pickles, Dog Eat Doug, Zits, Family Circus, For Better or for Worse,Garfield, Rhymes with Orange, Pearls before Swine, Mutts, Jump Start and again Peanuts.
A cartoon doesn’t have to be philosophical, or deep in any way, just a chuckle will do.
We are tired of Wizard of ID and Sally Forth. Seems like they are trying too hard.
I don’t read Prince Valiant.
I look forward to the comics each day, especially Sunday.
Keep the laughs coming, Buffalo News! Even if they are classics!
Ruthann and Joe Szychowski