Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Obscurity of the Day: What a View
Andrew Prendimano, an illustrator with a fun underground comix influenced style, began working for the Asbury Park (NJ) Press in the 1980s. In between his other art duties he penned a weekly strip titled What a View that began appearing on the Sunday op-ed page on October 19 1986. Prendimano showed a real gift for contemporary and personal comedy in a strip that really should have had syndicates sniffing around, but probably didn't.
Around April 1987 the Press started an experiment in which they added a Sunday-style comics section to their Wednesday editions. What a View was moved over to this venue, where it rubbed shoulders with an eclectic mix of comics, from Heathcliff to Zippy the Pinhead. The strip maintained its four-to-six panel stacked format after the transition.
Whatever the point was of the experimental Wednesday comics section (presumably to boost sales on Wednesdays), apparently it didn't succeed. The section was dumped at the end of 1988. Readers were polled about which of the Wednesday comics should be moved into the regular Sunday comics section, and What a View put up some respectable numbers. However, it was passed over in favor of a strip that had through-the-roof polling (I am not making this up) -- Marmaduke.
I really like What a View and hoped to get exact information on it, so I was delighted when the Asbury Park Press was added to newspapers.com. Delight soon turned to disappointment when I discovered the the Wednesday comics were never microfilmed. Aargh. The microfilmer hated all comics equally, too -- the Sunday comics were also considered too unimportant on which to waste a few inches of film.