Doonesbury: "What happens to comics if newspapers go away?"

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reading newspaper

doonesbury newspapers print version

Hi, I'm Laffy, and I'm a newspaperaholic.

Hi Laffy!

Scouring my L.A. Times first thing in the morning, all bleary-eyed, trying to read it as I down my mandatory mug of industrial strength jump-starter, er, coffee, is a daily ritual.

It's how I rev up, it's how I manage to process all the horrific, frustrating, (often inadvertently) comical, heart-wrenching, informative, sometimes idiotic political, business, local, and arts-and-entertainment news of the day. It's how I catch up on details I've missed from the day before and review what I haven't. I even take a pen to it and make notes and circle the parts I want to share with you.

I love how the paper smells and feels, I love that sometimes it's a little damp, even soggy if it's been out on the driveway too long on a rainy day. I love that it's tactile and real and something I can hold in my hands, fold, crumple up, use as a crinkly surface that my cats like to snooze on, and from which I can rip out articles. I love the way it sounds when the kitties trample and curl up on it.

I don't want paper news to go away. Just as I cherish turning and dog-earing the pages of a book instead of reading one on a Kindle, I prefer my L.A. Times the old fashioned way... despite that I also spend 10 hours a day on my Computer Machine scanning e-news, e-mails, e-comments, e-social media, e-videos, and e-verything else.

It's not like I'm not totally into high tech, but I'm also a huge fan of the sensory rewards that all those yummy, comforting, touchable old-fangled sources provide. And that includes paper ballots.

So thank you, Garry Trudeau, for bringing the subject of dying newspapers to America's attention. Let's hope they don't go away completely.

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  • Lurking_Grue

    People still read comics in Newspapers?  I moved on to webcomics almost a decade ago.   So little in newspaper comics worth reading.   

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    There are a couple of problems. I am in constant contact with the L.A. Times, in part because their print edition carries a lot of things the online version does not, mostly visuals like charts and graphs, but also the printed word. I need links to be able to share with our readers, links that don't exist. I can access some items in the newspaper, but not online. So it's possible comics will be put aside by some papers.

    Also, over the past several years, it's been tougher and tougher on comic strip creators. I used to be one. It's very difficult enough to get syndicated, and they are an expense, and what with budget cuts...

    So comic strips are not a priority, nor are they an easy sell.

    As for comparing them to horse-drawn carriages, that's not the best comparison. Many people can't afford computers, iPads, etc. but can borrow a paper or afford one. Plus newspapers have some advantages that electronic versions don't. As I said, I'm a huge fan of technology, but I still read both "real" newspapers and cyber ones. Both are valuable.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Subscribe to a different paper : )

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

     There are a couple of problems. I am in constant contact
    with the L.A. Times, in part because their print edition carries a lot
    of things the online version does not, mostly visuals like charts and
    graphs, but also the printed word. I need links to be able to share with
    our readers, links that don't exist. I can access some items in the
    newspaper, but not online. It's very possible comics will become extinct or reduced in numbers by
    some papers.

    Also, over the past several years, it's been tougher and
    tougher on comic strip creators. I used to be one. It's very difficult
    enough to get syndicated, and they are an expense, and what with budget
    cuts...

    So comic strips are not a priority, nor are they an easy sell.
    As
    for comparing them to horse-drawn carriages, that's not the best
    comparison. Many people can't afford computers, iPads, etc. but can
    borrow a paper or afford one. Plus newspapers have some advantages that
    electronic versions don't. As I said, I'm a huge fan of technology, but I
    still read both "real" newspapers and cyber ones. Both are valuable.

  • WoozyCanary

    I don't understand the hand wringing. Is there any reason comics cannot appear in online "newspapers"? One can even print them out and magnet them to the frig.

    Sure, there are nice things about reading printed papers. There were nice things about riding in a horse-drawn carriage. I loved the old tube radio we had when i was a kid. And flash cubes were kind of fun. Technology changes; we have to deal with it.

    As i heat with wood, the real downside for me is that i'm not often running short of fire starter, since that's what most of my old newspapers eventually get used for, and i've stopped subscribing to increasingly expensive print editions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.schroer.904 David Schroer

    The St.Louis Post-Dispatch is now well out of my price range, over $60/month if I remember correctly.   I can get by without it.

  • Jane Hawes

     Not to mention that REAL books and REAL newspapers are still available when the batteries fail and the power goes out!

  • rozlee

    Hagar the Horrible and the Wizard of Id in addition to Doonesbury. Spook in the dungeon, shackled to the wall, and the Turnkey having their philosophical discussions are hilarious. I used to go for the comics first thing when my Dad, then later my husband, would put the "funnies" aside for their serious reading. There's always something happening in the world to pore over and get you down as you spend the rest of the day reading the news on the net or the paper. But, starting with my favorite comic characters makes my day a little lighter. 

  • Gindy51

    I have not picked up a newspaper other than to toss it in the recycle bin for ages. I read my news online. Faster, cheaper, less ink all over the place. I find newspaper cartoons stupid and boring. Much better ones are available online, even Doonesbury, and they are sharper and more current.
    Add to that the waste of paper, ink, energy, etc used in producing something that will only be tossed away in a day... sorry but they they can't go away fast enough.

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Fouchey Dave Fouchey

    Can I hear an AMEN! The smell and feel of newsprint or a REAL book is something that cannot be substituted for  by electronics.