Hey! Where’s the funnies?






I cancelled our local paper. A couple of Saturdays ago I opened up the morning edition and headed straight to the third section, where the funnies always are. Except they weren’t. In fact, they weren’t in any section and I know because I spent a good couple of minutes frantically searching for them. Instead, I found a whole page of puzzles. Word games. Sudoku, even.

I don’t want to preserve my brain. It’s not worth the effort. Never was much to begin with. Sure, I aced English in high school but flunked History, Science, and Math. Had to go to summer school for math, if the truth be known, so why revere the organ that gives me the most problems? It’s my imagination that I value, that I want to exercise and cherish. And you know what else I want? Senselessness. For five minutes a week, the length of time it takes me to read the funny pages, I don’t want to think about how screwed up is the world outside my yard. I want bright coloured paper with funny cats and silly dogs. I want someone to at least make an effort to make me smile.  The rest of the news certainly doesn’t.



Thing is, our paper is not that big. It’s not like the editor-in-charge had to cut the cartoons out because they were taking up space needed for much more vital news. Not a lot happens in our town. So, the only other conclusion I can come up with is, it must be money. Coloured cartoons are expensive to publish? Sad.

When the paper called to ask why I wasn’t renewing my subscription, I told them; no funnies, no monies. I don’t think the girl who called realized I was serious, at first, but it must have dawned on her during my two minute tirade on how hard it must be for a cartoonist to make a living at what they love to do, and how it may be the only thing they are good at, and newspapers may already be a dying media but part of their problem could be they’re taking out the only interesting part of reading the Saturday edition and keeping the crap that makes us grumpy. What will the kids, the young ones and the old, have to look forward to, if there are no Saturday funnies in the paper and the television cartoons are replaced with reality shows? Blah. Don’t even want to think about it.

Cartoonists are a dying breed and the world will be a dull place without them. Berk Breathed, Bill Watterson, where are they now? What are they doing? I sure hope they haven’t got desk jobs. I miss them.

I must go and Google. Meanwhile, support your local cartoonist. Give him, or her, a hug.


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6 Responses to Hey! Where’s the funnies?

  1. Barb Taub says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your local paper. But it’s not a surprise. When I was working as a journalist (from my dinosaur, of course), our editor once told me he could put my column anywhere in the paper, he could rearrange almost any section — but let him shift one single comic and all hell would break loose. Only problem is, newspapers have a pretty narrow profit margin and inches of print are tied directly to inches of advertising. And I read recently that print advertising has fallen to its lowest point since the 1950s. [http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/business/2012/09/newspaper-ad-revenue-falls-below-what-it-was-mad-men-era] I’m sure that it was an agonizing decision, but I’m equally sure that the editor felt s/he had a choice between cutting the funnies or making staff cuts. The sad reality is that like you, others are dropping their subscriptions and those tough decisions are only postponed, not avoided.

    • ajcap says:

      Always, always, two sides to a story. I’ve already renewed my subscription because the thought of losing our local paper all together struck me as a horrible maybe. I told them my concerns, got it off my chest, now I needed to be reasonable. But, I’m still worried about the future of our cartoonists. Every Christmas I send my sister something funny…Calvin and Hobbes was a favourite. The Far Side, was another. Lately it has been Zits, but the picking is getting slim.

      I understand they can’t cut advertising, but what’s with the page of puzzles? Five Sudokus. Who needs five? You’re spending too much time on the puzzle page if you’re doing five Sudokus. Ignoring your family, your dog, your cartoonist. Think I’ll write a letter to the editor.

  2. S. J. Crown says:

    I, too, miss the GOOD funnies, but, IMHO, many today don’t qualify. In fact, they haven’t been the same since Gary Larson ended his run with The Far Side. My favorites were: 1) A character is running away from a pile of junk labeled with a sign stamped with the words Blueberry Hill and hollers “Hey Bill! Guess what! I did find my drill!” and 2) Behind closed doors, Mary had two helpings of potatoes, three ears of corn, peas, carrots, and a little lamb.

    • ajcap says:

      The Far Side! How could I possibly forget The Far Side? I’ve seen those ones, Stan, I think I have every gallery of The Far Side. Love Gary Larson. Love how he could be so funny with just one picture. Not a strip, just one picture. Like when Colonel Sanders gets to the pearly gates and there are statues of chickens beside them. Uh oh. That’s all it says under the picture. Simple but oh so funny.

  3. Linda MS says:

    Boy, I will so back you on this!!! First they start shrinking the number of comics…my favorite paper went from 3 pages of daily comics to 2 pages, and then to 1 1/2 pages of comics. I thought I’d still get my fix on Sundays (our day of color comics). Then the Sunday comics started shrinking as, one by one, my favorite comics were eliminated.

    What are newspapers thinking? I chose my newspaper based on the quality of their comics. If I just want all the dreary news, I can sit in front of the television and have Barbie and Ken force feed it into my brain while I make a futile effort to relax from my long day.

    I’m not buying the paper any more either. I did buy Watterson’s collection of comics before all of Calvin and Hobbes disappeared. That man quit his fame in comics to do “serious” art? Really?! Making people laugh wasn’t just the absolute coolest thing?

    Oh, and you can get comics sent to you on a daily basis on the internet. http://www.gocomics.com will send you daily comics of your choice to your email address for free – just so you don’t go into remission or anything from lack of comics.

    • ajcap says:

      I will most certainly check out that link, Linda. Like the idea of getting a free funny every morning. And what’s this about “serious art”? I didn’t know that. Will have to check that out as well. Busy, busy, on the internet today. It’s snowing again, so that’s a fine idea.
      And, for what it’s worth, I also think making people laugh is just the absolute coolest thing. Hands down.

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