Sunday, April 12, 2009

Comics killed the newspaper!

Actually, make that a LACK of comics killed the newspaper. At least, that's one SF Chronicle reader's hypothesis for why there are so few newspaper readers being created these days that papers are dropping like flies:

I've been reading with amusement some of the more absurd ideas coming from readers to save The Chron (i.e., charge more for a product for which demand is falling - brilliant!) and theories for the paper's demise, but I was struck by the recent letter from Richard J. Roberts, linking readership decline to the comics. And I suddenly remembered: I started reading the colorful Sunday comics as a child in the late '70s, moved up to the daily comics, then added the Sporting (actually) Green, graduated to Herb Caen, etc., finally enjoying the entire paper.

But what kid in their right mind would want to read the comics today? Stale, repetitive Garfield, predictable left-wing Doonesbury, politically correct, boring and predictable options (Candorville, Non Sequitur, Luann and Sally Forth) and, worst of all, the simply unfunny Mutts or Get Fuzzy. Oh, and a comic designed for old people: The Elderberries - that'll bring in the young readers!

Of the comics that actually are funny, two are reruns (Peanuts and For Better or for Worse). Unfortunately, the hilarious Fusco Brothers, Pearls Before Swine and Baby Blues probably won't attract younger readers. Really, the only ones kids might like are Zits and Lio, and possibly Blondie and Dennis the Menace.

The decline of Chron readership is definitely linked to the decline of the comics page! Bring back Family Circle!

OK, so he doesn't completely know what he's talking about. It's Family CIRCUS. Duh.

EDIT: Here's a link to that letter he mentioned by Richard J. Roberts.

No comments: