Newspaper comics are nowhere near as big as they used to be.

Newspaper Comics

  • Newspaper Comics in general. Few are running as new strips written by the original artist; fewer were started after 1995 or so. (To quote South Park: "Only gay little dweebs read the funnies, Butters.") There are two major reasons for this decline, and both of them have to do with the Internet. The first is the rise of Web Comics, which have the Infinite Canvas instead of the papers' ever-shrinking panels, a simpler method of publication (updating your own web site vs. signing deals with newspapers), and less censorship. The second is the decline of newspapers themselves in the face of New Media, which means less people reading the funny pages and thus less money to be made in writing for them than there was as late as the 1940s, when successful comic artists like Chic Young, Al Capp, and Milt Caniff could make upwards of $100,000 a year. Most major newspaper comic artists make middle-class incomes through a syndicate now (the rewards of signing a contract far smaller than in other industries); for a new artist still working a day job, getting there from here through indie channels is less daunting.
    • The newspaper comics generally considered to be the greatest of all time are The Far Side, Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, and Bloom County. The fact that none of these are currently running (Peanuts does persist in reruns) is definitely a factor. Only four active North American newspaper comics are highly regard on the internet: Dilbert, Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine and FoxTrot.
    • Mexican print comic artist Trino still gets high regard for his mix of mordacious humor and sociopolitical commentary.
    • "Legacy" strips have especially suffered for this. The fact that The Katzenjammer Kids, the longest running narrative of ALL TIME (1896-present) doesn't yet have an article on this website just shows how far they have fallen.
    • In 2009, DC Comics did an experiment called "Wednesday Comics", in which they published a weekly "newspaper", consisting of nothing but comics done in the format of the 1930s. I.e., they were full color, 14"×20" (35cm×50cm), some of them fully painted. They were written and drawn by some of the biggest names in the industry (Gaiman, Kubert, Simonson), and starred both DC's greatest hits (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) and quirky fan-favorites (Kamandi, Adam Strange, Metamorpho). The experiment lasted three months. Alas, newspaper-style comics don't sell.
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