As good as a thing might be, it can always be better.
And as The Gazette print edition has done in the past year, we're taking stock of one of our most beloved commodities, the comic strips. It's been more than five years since we last asked our subscribers what they liked, what they didn't and what they might want to add. We thought it was time to ask you again.
Granted, we have a great lineup now: 30 cartoons and seven puzzles, all in living color and telling stories that appeal to just about every taste in comics. But some comics are in reruns (for instance, Peanuts since 2000) and others are no longer drawn by the creators (Blondie, for example). (See the list on Page D2 of Sunday's paper to find out which fall into those categories.) More important, we want you to see what you're missing: There's a lot of talented cartoonists out there. Maybe it's time for a change.
So, starting today, you have a chance to weigh in. On Page D3, you'll find our ballot, which shows you 16 strips and one puzzle that we run but we think might be due for goodbye. On each, you can tell us if you like it, hate it or simply don't care. At the bottom of the ballot, you'll find eight new cartoons to consider, with the same voting structure. And you don't have to base your opinions on one example of a new strip: In features sections and GO! through March 16, you'll be able to see the daily progression of the new comics so that you get a better sense of the strip.
You won't find this form online. The Gazette wants the changes to represent what our local readership wants to see on our comics pages. Online ballots can draw opinions from far beyond the city as well as tempt supporters to robo-stuff the ballot box. That's also why we won't accept copies or faxes. It must be a ballot taken from the newspaper.
And every week, we'll have random drawings for a variety of comics-related prizes. This week includes T-shirts, books, action figures and one $100 Visa gift card. In future weeks, we'll also see appropriate-for-framing printed strips signed by the artist. Look for the first group of winners in this section on March 9.
So, fill in the form, which includes personal information that will allow us to contact you if you win one of our drawings, and either put it in the mail or drop it at The Gazette, 30 E. Pikes Peak Ave. At least four of the new comics will replace the same number of older ones. Ballots will be accepted through March 31.
The bottom line: We know you care about comics. So, it's all up to you. Check out your choices when we roll out the new pages on May 4.
For questions or comments, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is a list of comic strips currently running in The Gazette that are either in rerun or no longer drawn by its creator.
- B.C.: Creator died in 2007, now drawn by grandsons
- Beetle Bailey: Creator and two sons
- Blondie: Son of creator, after creator's death in 1973
- Family Circus: By team chosen by creator, who died in 2011
- Get Fuzzy: In rerun for 40-plus weeks
- Hagar the Horrible: Drawn by two sons of creator, after death in retirement in 1988; died in 1989
- Marmaduke: Son of creator
- Peanuts: In rerun sincecreator's death in 2000
- Sally Forth: Drawn by team chosen by creator
We give you everything you need to know about the eight new comic strips offered in the comic survey: the story lines, the background of the strip and the skinny on the creators.