Last week I wrote about the festering pile of dead and unfunny strips that comprise the current comics page. So is there any hope out there?
At one point I would have pointed to The Boondocks, Get Fuzzy and Cul De Sac. Unfortunately, Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder shifted his focus to an animated series that he eventually quit and many papers have dropped Get Fuzzy due to a lack of new strips.
Cul De Sac’s demise is especially sad: creator Richard Thompson discontinued the strip to focus on his health after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
But if Star Wars can survive a 32 (or maybe 35) year stretch without a good movie, the comics page can survive some dry stretches. Let’s look at some possible new hopes out there.
Before the Register ran Get Fuzzy, we had it running in Juice for awhile. Maybe they should look to another strip from Juice: F Minus. Not every strip is a winner, but it has a better gag to laugh ratio than pretty much anything above the fold on the Register’s comic page. “Oh no, Dagwood is going to ask his boss for a raise! That dude sure does love sandwiches!” Seriously, F Minus that guy.
Agnes used to run in the Register, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it return. It’s like Daria Jr. The world needs more of that. I understand that a comic about a little goth kid and her ambiguously gendered friend living in a trailer park might not be for everyone. But you know what also isn’t for everyone? Freaking reruns of For Better or For Worse.
Sherman’s Lagoon isn’t perfect, but a lot of the jokes land and the illustration style is enjoyable. Plus, points for being an animal comic that isn’t about a dog or a cat.
Square, single panel comics can be difficult for layout, but I think Speed Bump might be worth working around that challenge.
So maybe replacing the dead weight on the comics page wouldn’t be easy. But think of it like a forest fire. The occasional blaze is good for the woods, clearing out the kindling and giving bigger trees more room to grow.
What I’m saying is someone needs to get careless with their campfire.