Monday, March 05, 2007

What's going on with the LA Times?

Readers are writing in today to ask why they don't see Candorville in the LA Times. They also note that La Cucaracha and Mallard Fillmore have been dropped. Honestly, I don't know what's going on and neither does my syndicate. We weren't informed of any change in status, and usually when papers make such a change, they do us the courtesy of informing us beforehand. If you'd like an answer today, or want to talk them out of whatever madness is going on, you're going to have to contact The Times directly.


Paul said...

I wrote 'em. I told them I thought they seriously misread how many people buy newspapers to read the comics and that dropping these comics is a huge mistake (yes, all of them. I like a mix). Keep us posted, please.

Maribel said...

I just can't believe it. I've already written to them and cancelled my subscription in protest. Isn't the Times owned by the ultra-conservative Chicago Tribune? This can't be a coincidence.

It was only a matter of time before a comic strip so critical of the people the Tribune support would be cut.

And their excuse/explanation was complete and utter bullcrap, and I told them so.

Travis said...

2007's not shaping up to be a very good year, is it? Odd, since Candorville's better than ever. But then maybe that's the problem. As Maribel alluded to, a comic that effectively challenges the corporatocracy can't last long once it gains attention.

So much for the myth of the "liberal media."

Charles Brubaker said...

The Los Angeles Times is owned by Chicago Tribune, who ALSO cancelled "Candorville," along with other political comic strips you mentioned.

Apparently, the Tribune doesn't like political strips anymore...well, I can understand "Mallard Fillmore"...that comic is TERRIBLE, but wow, what's with political strips and Tribune?

Anonymous said...

I think it's wrong for people from all over, who don't even read The LA Times, to decide what their readers can read on their comics page. The strips originally selected for cancellation were picked for a reason. Now it's just a matter of who can scrape up enough buddies to "save" them.

The Pete said...

"Anonymous," Darrin's said that same thing many times right here. He's obviously talking to LA readers.

Paul said...

I look at it on a broader scale - I subscribe to papers for the comics. I've cancelled papers for dropping comics. This is part of a larger effort to let the publishing industry know the value many readers put on comics. Editors, publishers and others in the industry hold conventions and discuss topics. When the question is asked "did you guys get much response for cancelling a page of comics to save a few bucks" the answer is either "not much, maybe a few" or "we got inundated - I had no idea there was such a fan base out there."

I may not live in state N, but when I read of a plan to build 18 coal-fired electric generating plants I have a vested interest in making my views known, if I oppose such plants. These aren't just local issues anymore.

Anonymous said...

Well, progress is made, La Cucaracha is back in the Times, but not Candorville.

Yuli said...

Paul's right, it's not just a local issue anymore. Papers are watching other papers for ways to increase their profitability. If the LA Times cuts quality comics to save a LITTLE money and doesn't face a shit storm, papers all over the country are going to do the same thing.

Readers have to speak out, wherever they're from, when faced with an industry-wide trend like this one. ESPECIALLY when it's a national newspaper like the LA Times. I live in Maryland, and I read the Times. It's in libraries all across the country even where it isn't in newsracks.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the LA Times to protest and cancel my subscription. I find it fascinating that so many wrote the Times to protest cancelling "La Cucaracha" that it was restored, at the cost of "Heathcliff". Let's see if "Candorville" is restored. Wanna bet?

Antonio said...

What could they drop instead of Candorville? There are SO MANY choices. They could drop Marmaduke, Blondie, any one of their million comics whose creators have left, or they could drop the comic strip that's been in reruns since its creator DIED 7 years ago.

Peanuts is great, but its time has passed. Bring back Candorville!

Chuck said...

It's obvious that the editors of the TIMES doesn't understand satire. Of course, idiots are everywhere, and you can't beat them. Why? Because they are just too stupid to realize that they CAN be beaten. It gives them a cloak of invincibility, a S*** proof, bullet-proof style of armor.

If the TIMES is a public, shareholder owned company, buy their stock, and vote the editors out!!

Darrin--I say "Good Luck", and I don't mean it in a sarcastic way. If I lived in LA, I'd be pounding on the editor's door.

Anonymous said...

Send a message to the LA Times comic editor:

Sherry Stern
Deputy Editor, Features
Los Angeles Times , 202 W. First St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Prickly City came back to replace Mallard Fillmore. Pink Panther that really sucks replaced one of the good ones.

Anonymous said...

When I opened the LA Times and saw that both Candorville and La Cucaracha had disappeared, all I could think of was, "What's with this white wash?"

P.S. I say this as someone who's about as WASP as you can get!

First they broke the comics into two sections: the "family friendly" vanilla strips and the political/edgy/grown up strips. Now, they removed two of the most creative and edgy strips from the ADULT section to make room for "kids reading?" Something stinks!

Darrin Bell said...

Thanks, anonymous. If you'd like to see Candorville back in the Times (they already reinstated La Cucaracha), you might try writing to them (the link's at the top of the blog) or calling and letting them know. There's still a slim chance they'll change their minds.

There's also a growing chance the surrounding papers (the Daily News & the rest of the LA Newspaper Group) may add it, so if you'd like to see it there if the Times doesn't reconsider, a note would help.

I'm not sure what the Times is thinking. You don't alienate your young adult readership in order to make room for more kids' stuff. Young adults aren't going to buy the paper just for their kids, not when there are so many other sources of entertainment for children. They will buy it if there's a lot in there for them, too.

dB said...

I received the following response from Sherry Stern. I'd be interested in knowing if other people who wrote received the same response, or if it's a form letter.

"Thanks for writing. We made some changes to our pages and in the process had to drop about half a dozen comics. It's never easy to do that because every comic has its own following and the most loyal fans inevitably are disappointed when their favorite is pulled. (Believe it or not, in our recent comics surveys, Peanuts is tops among all demographics.)

I appreciate your thoughtful letter and hope you can enjoy the rest of the Los Angeles Times, including other comics on our pages.


Sherry Stern
Deputy Editor, Features
Los Angeles Times

By the way, is there another comic strip in the LA TIMES that is drawn by an African-American artist?

Leo said...

Yeah, that's word for word the same response I got back. I knew it was a form letter 'cause my e-mail wasn't "thoughtful" (all I said was "Where the heck is Candorville?").

Maybe it's a good sign. Maybe it means they're getting too many letters to respond personally, so this Sherry Stern has a text file sitting on her desktop she cuts and pastes. Keep writing, peeps, she'll get tired of cutting & pasting yet.

Man, this is the worst move I've seen by the Times yet, and I had to suffer through their "enhancements" to the opinion page (which really meant getting rid of their most provocative parts, Robert Scheer & Mike Ramirez).

The paper's gotten so lame now that with C-Ville gone, I have no real reason to subscribe anymore.

Oh, they do have another strip by an African-American cartoonist, that's "Jump Start." Not bad, it's harmless family humor. Just not my cup of tea.

dB said...

You're right, I should have thought of JUMP START, which is funny but "safe."

I thought it might have been personalized since I specifically mentioned PEANUTS, whose author has been dead for years and they're all reruns. But I guess enough other people made the comparison that it's part of the form letter.