Tuesday, November 09, 2021

 

Jeffrey Lindenblatt's Paper Trends: The 300 for 1986 -- Biggest Gainers and Losers

 The biggest gainer in 1985 was a panel feature, which gained 35 papers and moved into 3rd place in panel category --  The Far Side.  The feature had moved from Chronicle Features to Universal Press Syndicate, and perhaps their more active sales force was responsible for that big gain.

Coming in as the third biggest gainer is That’s Jake, another panel strip which gained an impressive 13 papers.

On the comic strip front, Bloom County gained the most papers with 21, then Cathy with 11, then Garfield and Shoe both with 10. Here is the list of top gainers.

Far Side - 35
Bloom County – 21
That’s Jake - 13
Cathy - 11
Garfield – 10
Shoe – 10
For Better or For Worse – 9
Mother Goose and Grimm – 8
Hagar The Horrible – 7
Doonesbury – 6
Family Circus – 5
B.C. – 5
Berry’s World - 5

The biggest losers this year were a group of long-running veterans.

Nancy – 7
Tiger – 6
Archie – 6
Andy Capp – 5
Dunagin’s People – 5

Adventure strips continued their long slow demise.

Alley Oop – 40 (-1)
Amazing Spider-Man – 32 (-3)
Dick Tracy – 32 (-4)
Phantom – 24 (+1)
Buz Sawyer – 22 (-4)
Steve Canyon – 21 (-1)
Mark Trail – 20 (0)
Captain Easy – 18 (-1)
Steve Roper and Mike Nomad – 14 (-1)
Brenda Starr – 10 (0)
Little Orphan Annie – 9 (-2)
Rip Kirby – 9 (-2)
Flash Gordon – 3 (-1)
Popeye – 2 (0)
Brick Bradford – 1 (0)
Modesty Blaise – 1 (0)
Secret Agent Corrigan – 1 (0)
Mandrake The Magician – 0 (-2) – Mandrake does still appear in one paper in the survey but the information is missing from 1985-1999)
Tim Tyler’s Luck – 0 (0)

Strips that have ended and their last counts from the previous year:
Can You Solve The Mystery – 14
World’s Greatest Super-Heroes – 0

The total slots taken by adventure strips  for 1985 was 259, down from 294. That is a 12 percent drop this year.

On the soap opera strip front:

Mary Worth – 68 (-4)
Rex Morgan – 53 (-2)
Judge Parker – 30 (-2)
Apartment 3-G – 22 (-1)
Gil Thorp – 12 (1)
Heart of Juliet Jones – 6 (-2)
Dondi – 5 (-3)    
Winnie Winkle – 4 (0)

The total soap opera strip slots for 1985 was 200 down from 213. That is a 6.1 percent drop. Not as bad as adventure strips but like I’ve said before, the adventure strips are first to go then the soaps will follow.


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