Friday, August 14, 2009


Strip Spotters STILL Wanted!

You guys are doing great on verifying these 'newish' strips! Here's what we have left to find, along with some more titles I added. Still the same rules -- I need your verification that these are appearing or have appeared in real U.S. newspapers -- online doesn't count, news stories don't count. Please tell me the newspaper where you found them, and if you can provide a scan or pic that would be double great.

Back 2 Basics - Matt Zalen (local feature in Schenectady Gazette)
The Barn - Ralph Hagen found!
Biff and Riley - Jeff Payden (local strip in Toledo Free Press)
Cafe con Leche - Charlos Gary
Castronomy - creator unknown
Diss 'n That - Charlos Gary
Flare - Mark Beachum
Frogtown - Kirk Walters (local strip in Toledo Blade)
Ollie and Quentin - Piers Baker found!
Pressed - Ryan Pagelow (local in Lake County News-Sun?) found!
Rip Haywire - Dan Thompson found!
Thin Lines - Randy Glasbergen (weekly)
W.T. Duck - Aaron Johnson
Your Square Life - Lee Post (local in Anchorage Daily News)

Rip Haywire was running in the Denver Post when the Rocky Mountain News folded in February.
I've got some "Ollie and Quentin" Sundays from Minneapolis Star-Tribune, printed in summer 2008.
Thanks Hankster and Charles!
Hi - I was just thinking with all the strips I see getting dropped in papers are there any that are now only running online that had appeared in actual newspapers in the past.

Mandrake The Magician perhaps? I'm on a fan message board where no one reads it in newsprint.
Tom: I don't know if these are the kinds of examples you're looking for, but "Clear Blue Water" by Karen Montague-Reyes left print syndication last year to become a webcomic instead.

Also, "Diesel Sweeties" by R. Stevens started as a webcomic, went into print syndication, and then reverted to being a webcomic only.
"Pibgorn" is an unusual case. It started as NEA's Christmas strip as "A Fairy Merry Christmas." After that run Brooke McEldowney continued it as a webcomic. It was intially available on United Media's site (UFS is the syndicator for McEldowney's "9 Chickweed Lane") and then switched to Universal Press Syndicate's
Speaking of the NEA Christmas strips...
did last year's The Search for Santa
(reprinting an edited edition of 1999's A Puddles Christmas) appear in any newspaper?
Hi DD -
Wouldn't surprise me if one of those faithful Alaskan papers did, but no, I haven't seen one. Since it's a reprint it's sort of a moot point Stripper's Guide-wise.

Best, Allan
Don't know if Dave Strickler's Los Angeles Times index is good enough for your Guide, but he lists Cafe con Leche running (test run?) for a month in the Spring of 2008.
Castronomy is (was?) by Eric Orner, the gay cartoonist/creator of The Unfabulous Life of Ethan Green.
Castronomy was part of a contest held by the San Francisco Chronicle in July 2008 to see which comics would be added to the paper.
As far as I know only the sample panels were run and the panel never earned a regular spot in the paper.
But that was around the time the paper raised its price to a dollar and I stopped buying it regularly,
defaulting down to only my local paper on a regular basis.
Hi DD -
You bring up an important question, one I've been wrestling with for quite some time -- do test runs count?

Over the past few decades test runs have become quite popular with newspapers. In their faltering attempts to make readers happy with the comics page, they are abdicating their editorial position and telling readers to pick the new strips.

If strip X appears in test-runs of a few papers, or hundreds for that matter, but is otherwise never picked up (that we know of), does it belong in Stripper's Guide?

My thinking generally has been that if some papers gave them test runs, then SURELY someone must have REALLY picked them up. But sometimes I really wonder. A few strips that I've seen under these circumstances came and went so fast from syndication that you really have to wonder if there were any actual takers. Not to mention any names, but some were so awful IMHO that I found it hard to believe that any paper (or their readership) would have picked them. On the other hand, there are some new strips that we KNOW are running that I just cannot believe anyone in their right mind picked up.

So I'm conflicted. I'd be very happy to hear your reasoned opinions on the subject folks.

Regarding Cafe con Leche and Castronomy, I'm tempted to give the nod to the former but not the latter. I do know of a Canadian paper running Cafe, so combined with a test run in LA I'm starting to get that ol' feeling that surely someone somewhere (in the US) is running it regularly. Castronomy, on the other hand, based on Google searches is practically a phantom feature. Maybe it was done purely for that test run in the Chronicle. If so then I think it really doesn't qualify. Think I'll try to contact Orner and see what he has to say on the matter.

Thanks DD!

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