Something I’ve been noticing the past few years. Maybe I’m wrong. Anything’s possible, after all. But I suspect there might be something to this.

Back in the day, Sunday strips seemed like the highlight of the week, and everybody brought their A-Game. Lately, it seems as if a lot of artists kind of phone in the Sunday gag.

Now, I’m not saying the overall quality of the strips have gone down, just that Sunday has been non-prioritized (along with Saturday, which has always been a dead zone).

And I’m thinking this might be because people are no longer reading Sunday comics in all their large, all-color glory: now almost all comics are in color seven days a week, and online comic readers might actually be less likely to read a Sunday comic than a weekday comic.

I wouldn’t submit this as hard evidence, of course, but I do know that Sunday traffic on CIDU is generally about half of Monday’s.

I don’t know… any thoughts?

One of these days I need to look up…

What percentage of comic strip reading is done online as opposed to in physical newspapers?

Because I’m thinking we might have reached the point where cartoonists should no longer be drawing comics that aren’t readable on computer screens (let alone phones or tablets): either because the text is just too small, or because the panel needs to be rotated 90 degrees to be read.

Hmm… apparently SOMEBODY doesn’t work with a three-week lead time…

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Is That is Priceless in newspapers at all? Maybe the three-week thing only applies to print comics, even if you’re working through GoComics  or another syndicate?

By all logic, I think, in 2019 comic strip artists should have the option of being as timely as editorial cartoonists: it’s not as if they have to put the physical drawing in an envelope and mail it in.

Comic Strips

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When I was this kid’s age, shortly after I came home from school (after walking barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways, even in the summer), the afternoon paper showed up containing about a dozen comics. All second- or third-tier comics, because I lived just outside of New York City and the City papers between them had exclusive regional rights to everything worth reading. Our top strip was, I think, Tiger. Once a week, in the Sunday News, I’d get to see comics the rest of the world had heard of.

Peanuts? B.C.? A few times a year when I went into the City with my father and we picked up the New York Post. And during the summer, when we stayed in an area where an out-of-town edition of the Post was delivered.

So even if the newspapers from his grandfather’s childhood contained more comics strips than they do now — which might or might not be the case (and assuming the kid actually reads newspapers) — this is the Golden Age for “number of comic strips”: 8-year-old me literally had no access to Dick Tracy during the week, while he can choose among hundreds if not thousands of comic strips on a daily basis.

EDITED TO ADD: Come to think of it, “And before we knew it, that was all” needs the CIDU tag.

 

Because Kit Walker is The Phantom’s civilian name (not a CIDU)

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I’m imagining a lot of newspaper comics readers, whose papers, don’t carry The Phantom, thinking “I wish there were a place where they explained these things.”

I wonder whether younger comics readers can even comprehend a time when, if your local paper didn’t carry a particular comic strip, you had no opportunity to read it and might not have even heard of it. Back in the day, newspapers bought exclusive regional rights to a comic: so if you lived just outside of New York City like I did, the News had dibs on almost all the good stuff and the Post had the rest. We got… what was left. I won’t mention the names, because that would sound disrespectful to the creators, but it wasn’t pretty.

Fortunately, we did buy the News on Sunday. The big color comics section was a particular treat for kids who never saw first- (or even second-) tier comics during the week.