Should old newspaper comics make way for new ones?

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The Columbus Dispatch (love that name Dispatch, for a newspaper), dropped the daily reruns of Peanuts, they say they have been paying thousands of dollars a year for the rights to print the reruns. While it’s true that Peanuts is a money machine, should new features be run in the newspapers, leaving the legacy strips to online locations?

I’ve always felt that when a cartoonist retires or dies, the feature should go with them. I sort of was hesitant after reading the Cartoonist Round Table article awhile back, I wrote about it here. But should the comics pages make way for new features when a cartoonist is done?

I do enjoy Dick Tracy and Nancy, which have new cartoonists and writers but I also read them online, like I read most of the comics now. I rarely read them in the newspapers, for one thing, the newspaper editors have terrible taste and they don’t run the comics I like, for another thing, they are too small to read in the newspapers. I also posted an image once of one Sunday page where the panels were smaller than postage stamps!

I think most readers these days read the comics online, simply because most readers are younger and that’s where they get their news and entertainment and the newspapers are dropping many comics and features as they tighten up the printed paper.

There is an interesting column in Tedium, called, “Rethinking the Funny Pages,” where writer Ernie Smith says the newspapers comics are starting to “age out.” The column was written in February after Mort Walker’s death and the change over of Nancy. He also claims that the future of comics is online. It’s an interesting read.

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Hanging out on Sullivan Street

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Here’s a great photo from the 1930s – a bunch of boys hanging out on Sullivan Street in Brooklyn. I like that the boy at top reading the newspapers looks as if he’s reading the comics. It sort of looks like the Daily News Sunday comics section. Doesn’t it?

Charles Addams; mysterious and spooky

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Charles Addams posing with a mural he painted that once hung in a Hamptons hotel. (Look magazine Library of Congress)

The Long Island Press has a nice feature on cartoonist Charles Addams. I didn’t realize there was a Long Island Press. When I was a kid I delivered the Long Island Press newspaper. I like seeing Long Island Press stretched across the monitor, sort of like the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, which has also been reborn as a website. You can read the original Brooklyn Daily Eagle online, the digitally scanned pages are here. The Long Island Press is also printed monthly. I’m in Long Island often, I’ll have to look for it.

I love the names of newspapers. Some I don’t get, like the Hartford Courant and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

An outtake from the article on Charles Addams says, “When he was 12, a New York Herald newspaper cartoonist said he was untalented and should forget his dream of an art career.” I had a similar experience from one of the syndicate heads, I’m way more than 12 years old now, but it’s interesting how great artists (Addams, not me) are usually turned down until their time comes. How many times was Charles Schulz turned down? 80?

Being told I can’t, makes me work harder to prove that I can, which seems to be the case with Addams and Schulz.

I always liked tv shows based on comics and comic strips, it wasn’t a deliberate thing, but I realize that I love The Addams Family, Hazel and Dennis the Menace, to name a few. Whenever I see them on tv, I stop to watch.

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I’m having an issue with some comics

I’m not sure if its the times we live in or what but the filth that people have been posting on comic sites on Facebook has been getting really disgusting.

I belong to a few sites where single panel cartoons are posted, most are older and they are not posted by the cartoonist themselves, they are posted by random people, so that could be a copyright issue right there, but anyway, the filth on these sites is getting worse and worse.  I’m assuming they are family-friendly sites, since all of Facebook is supposedly family-friendly.

It started with sexual cartoons, probably from old Playboys or something and now it’s turned to filthy bigoted stuff. One guy posted a really nasty comic and when I called him out on it, he said, “Oh, I thought we could post old Hustler comics on here.” He was so racist that he didn’t realize what the issue was.

Another moron posts a comic of a plane crashing, the day after the Lion Air plane crash in Indonesia with 189 people aboard. His comic, showing the plane crashing into the ocean says, “RIP.” When people were offended, the excuse was that it was his way of showing respect.

Maybe I’m getting old and things are offending me. But I don’t think it’s that, I think it’s the times we live in today  -anything goes, offensive or not.

My Mouse Comic

There is a cute little comic that’s grown on me lately. It’s called, “My Mouse Comic,” by William White.

I read it on Facebook here, but you can also see it on it’s own website here.

It reminds me a bit of my Paws comic, where there are calm, cute animals going about daily life; simply drawn and enjoyable.

William has been trying to increase his audience. I keep meaning to tell him about my Instagram idea for comics. I think he’d find a big audience on Instagram. My Mouse Comic a cute little thing that would appear in people’s feeds daily.

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Why the new Instagram algorithm is a good thing

In my previous post I was talking about Instagram and comics. Many cartoonists were not fans of Instagram and they really should get into it.

They can still post on private websites and other platforms, but I do believe Instagram is the best at the moment. It is defiantly the most popular.

I mentioned the guy who didn’t like the idea of time consuming hash tags (all five seconds of that).

instagram2Another person didn’t like that they had to use their cell phone to upload to Instagram, rather than use the computer. Aren’t people on their phones all day, every day? What is the difference if you upload a comic strip via your phone? There are programs that let you set up the Instagram post ahead of time and have it post the day and time you prefer.

And there was another complained about, “LO-REZ SQUARE F*CKING JPEGS.” I guess he doesn’t realize that the whole internet works on lo-rez f*cking jpgs.

These people are their own worst enemies.

Another was concerned about the new algorithms where in the past when you posted something, it would appear at the top of the timeline and then work its way down as other people posted. But that was a negative. If you posted a comic at 8 am, it was gone and unseen by 9 am. The new algorithm, keeps it moving around, so it doesn’t disappear and that post and others always pop up somewhere.

So many popular comics use Instagram for posting their comics, along with so many other platforms, and at Instagram alone, they have hundreds of thousands of followers. This and the hashtags bring thousands of readers a day – thousands of fans.

Post your comics on Instagram!

Instagram hashtags are the key to new readers and fans

instagramThere was a discussion on Facebook about the best social media platforms for comics. But this applies to everyone who posts on social media platforms. While we were discussing this on Facebook, another platform is better for comics and most things – that’s Instagram.

I suggested Instagram because according to news reports, that is the most popular platform for teens and young adults now. I’m thinking that most people would like that demographic for an audience, along with older folks, of course.

I like the new formatting on Instagram for comics where it allows you to post one comic panel at a time and then the reader can scroll through, reading one panel at a time. It’s perfect for single panel comics, too, but of course, not great for long form comics.

But as usual, many cartoonists are their own worst enemies. They don’t agree with posting on Instagram for the silliest reasons. I guess they would rather continue to post their comics in a black hole where only they see the comics.

In our online discussion, one person claims, “The only gripe I have about it is that it takes a while to type all the individual hashtags for each post.”

Less than smart comment. The hashtags are the key to readers – readers that don’t follow you on a daily basis. People use hashtags to find things on Instagram. If you post a comic strip about bicycle riding, you can use the usual hashtags like #comics #comicstrip #art and so on, but you can also add #bicycles #cyclists #ride, etc. and in that way you are opening up the post to those people.

I live in a seaside community and on my personal Instagram page, I can’t tell you how many boating people follow me when I post pictures of the marina and boats and docks in my neighborhood. They see the hashtag #boats #bay #water and they find my posts. And they end up following me.

I think Instagram makes the best use of hashtags of all the social media platforms, Twitter is probably second, but I’m not sure if it’s good for posting daily comics. I think Twitter is better used for communicating with fans and readers, you know, keeping them up to date on what you are working on, maybe sharing some of your daily life and travels.

Another issue people had in our discussion group was the new algorithm used by Instgram where the posts are not appearing in the order they are posted. But this is a good thing. I’ll explain why in my next post.

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