Idaho Statesman reader: Someone has to explain these modern comics to me

They’re upset about other comics strips being pulled too. “We especially regret replacement of Mallard Fillmore,” Phil and Nancy King tell the Statesman editors in Boise, Idaho. “He tells it like it is. Maybe that is why he isn’t as popular.”

Pearl S. Simon writes the paper: “Obviously, the ‘comic editor’ is much younger than I am. Some of the comic strips need an explanation under them for me. It is sort of like the ads on TV.”

I asked Statesman editor Vicki Gowler if reader reaction to the changes was what she expected, or more vocal. She replied:

Interestingly, it’s not as vocal. I’m used to being swamped by calls the first few days and that didn’t happen.

The changes were based on a survey that we did earlier in the year. There were some new comics being suggested to me and, of course, like many papers we were heading into another year of re-runs on For Better For Worse. I had a half page available in my Sunday comics section and decided to do a comics survey after running an extra page of comics for folks to see and choose from.

Don't mess with his comics!

Don’t mess with his comics!

The poll was done with an intensity scale — not just what do you like/dislike, but how much. Then the numbers were crunched to give each comic a ranking. It was a bit surprising to me to see what the least favorites were among current comics: Rose, Dennis, Tiger, Family Circus, Blondie, For Better For Worse and Mallard. Blondie had never dropped there before. Nor Family Circus. Nor FBFW. So I made the changes based on that.

I am still tallying reaction and considering whether to bring anything back. Many of the callers said they didn’t participate in the survey, despite the fact that we promoted it heavily in print to reach our comics fans and ensure they had a chance to weigh in on the choices. We had a really good response, so I’m a little reluctant to make changes, but we’ll see how it all stacks up. What I might do is conduct another survey after the first of the year and see if those results are compatible.

* Note to readers from Vicki Gowler about comics changes (idahostatesman.com)
* “I used to so look forward to Family Circus and Dennis the Menace every day” | More letters (idahostatesman.com)
* Editor: Take away favorite comics and you’ve got a fight on your hands (brainerddispatch.com)

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