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Searching for Printed Comics

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Nov. 24, 2014

Sometime after the events of 9/11, my family signed up for our first printed newspaper subscription to keep up with the world headlines. I was a high school sophomore at the time and in order to take my mind off of the United State's imminent involvement in an unpopular overseas war, I turned to the daily comic section. It was a relatively young local newspaper that was started in 1995, but it did not reduce the quality of its comic selection.

Print comics like Get Fuzzy (Darby Conley), Luann (Greg Evans), and Zits (Jerry Scott & Jim Borgman) impacted my life at a time when being a teenager was overshadowed by tumultuous times. I looked forward to each continuous Monday through Friday storyline with a fully colored two-paneled strip on Sunday. The relationship between Get Fuzzy's Bucky and Satchel taught me that arguments are a part of any friendship; Luann was a relatable female figure as well as a more inspired and updated version of Cathy; Jeremy of Zits helped me navigate through high school life and taught me that I was a “normal teenager” by having to juggle school with my social life.

I am thankful for the humor section in printed newspapers. Comics have the potential to influence and inspire younger readers. In this instance, reading newspaper comics whet my appetite for reading webcomics. Regrettably, the local newspaper in my hometown lost momentum around 2008, laid off its staff, and shut down in early 2013. I'll take a shot in the dark that my local newspaper was not the only one of its kind to close down in the last decade in a favored move toward digital media.

Out of curiosity, I did a quick search for my favorite print comics of yesteryear and found them currently updating as syndicated online comics. This is when I fell into a bit of a conundrum about the difference between syndicated print comics, syndicated online comics, and non-syndicated online comics. Technically, the only reason I knew about most of these titles was because they were created during a time that online comics were less common. There is a trend for webcomics to move from the digital format to printed materials while comic titles originally in a print format have been transitioning to a digital format for years. I used to think that webcomics and print comics were in a heated rivalry without realizing that times have been changing all along.

It is kind of a shame, though, I am still partial to printed newspapers and peeling back the comics page to pore over the two-page spread of the funnies while eating cereal for breakfast.

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bravo1102 at 6:09AM, Nov. 25, 2014

Living in the NE USA you have a selection of good newspapers still to choose from. The Newark Star Ledger still has two full pages of daily comics and an additional page of puzzles. Their online paper has all the comics too.

shastab24 at 3:53PM, Nov. 24, 2014

Two pages? My hometown paper has only ever had one (discounting Sundays--that's four pages). You were lucky in that regard. I know the most interesting page in the newspaper is consistently the comics. You can be guaranteed at least a chuckle and little political leanings. Still, it was hard to really glom onto good comics after Peanuts ended (still being run, of course, but I mean with new content). Calvin and Hobbes and the Far Side were always thoroughly entertaining, and I'll always be sad they ended. Sure, I'm one of those people that actually likes Garfield, but it's the only one I consistently liked when I was little that's still running new strips (not that I didn't like Blondie, DC, Frank and Earnest, and Beetle Bailey, but they were not at the top there and I might not miss them if they ended). Maybe I just haven't given the others enough of a chance (or my paper didn't run the good ones--Non Sequitur seems good but the paper has never had it).

tupapayon at 11:23AM, Nov. 24, 2014

I've always thought that the day when there's no comic section in the newspaper will be a sad day... That'd mean the end of the world had come... Repent!!!

Ozoneocean at 7:34AM, Nov. 24, 2014

I was addicted to newspaper comics for years; I HAD to have my morning comic section while I ate breakfast, long after the content of the rest of the paper had gone to hell... It got to the stage where the only thing of value WAS the comics section because the writing in the rest of the paper was so bad: full of press releases reprinted as news, poorly researched articles, biased political news, boring columnist opinion pieces, far too much sport, xenophobia, and ads. I was adicted to news at the time too and listed to the BBC world service, DW radio, radio Canada, NPR, News radio australia etc so I knew for a fact that most of the stuff printed in the paper was a joke and well out of date anyway... But then they shrunk the comic section right down to make way for more ads and THAT was the time to ditch the paper. I STILL start my days off with comics, but webcomics ONLY, and I've been doing that maybe 12 or 13 years now.

KimLuster at 7:18AM, Nov. 24, 2014

I love the Farside and Calvin and Hobbes - got several of book collections - great 'bathroom books' lol... And apparently I'm just one of the crowd - these two seem to be at the top of lots of popular syndicated lists!

bravo1102 at 5:45AM, Nov. 24, 2014

My local newspapers still have them and there are sites dedicated to the daily syndicated strips for those without newspapers. Doonesbury and Dilbert are probably the easiest to find.

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