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New comics lineup debuts in print edition of The Gazette

By: Stephanie Earls comics@gazette.com
May 12, 2014 Updated: May 12, 2014 at 11:49 am
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In early March, we asked readers to weigh in and let us know which among a selection of eight fresh syndicated comics they'd like to see regularly in the pages of The Gazette.

For two weeks, we ran samples of the new comics along with a ballot and a promise to replace four current comics with four new ones. We asked readers to let us know how they felt about each option - like, dislike or indifference.

The Gazette received more than 6,000 surveys. Based on responses, readers tended to really enjoy three of the new comics - The Argyle Sweater, Bizarro and Mr. Boffo. All are narrative-free.

The Argyle Sweater, by Scott Hilburn and syndicated in 2008, presents a humorous view of the mundane, with talking animals and truth-telling politicians. Dan Piraro's Bizarro, syndicated in 1985, works a similar nerve, blending the topical and the surreal. Both are single panel comics. Joe Martin's strip, Mr Boffo, tells the story of Earl, his wife, Nadine, and their "wonderdog" Weederman. The strip, inspired in part by the laughs in Martin's own domestic life, was syndicated in 1986.

We promised at least four new comics, but as it turned out readers only liked three. So, along with the lineup of readers' picks you'll find an editor's choice, Rhymes With Orange. Hilary Price's strip-style comic also mines the everyday for its quirky humor and - as the creator is an animal lover - often features talking creatures. Both Price and Piraro have received the Reuben Award, the top honor from the National Cartoonists Society.

Based on the survey results, the four comics that were eliminated by readers are Rip Haywire, Lio, Get Fuzzy and Stone Soup.

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