Saturday, March 10, 2007

LA Times funny pages

The LA Times has, um, enhanced the Kid's Reading Room by cutting it from the Monday-Friday pages and making it Sunday only. But Sunday is expanded! It's enhanced!

Of course, this page used to be the third page with comics, ones that kids (and a few adults) can relate to. Now I didn't have a Kid's Reading Room when I was little, but it did have six of the comics that kids tend to cut their teeth on and it did have something more for when they felt ready to read something longer. The jokes were dreadful, of course. All the same ones that we told on the playground, but they were sent in by kids who had just learned of this glorious new pun and wanted to share it. Sometimes it is fun to remember when the joke wasn't quite so familiar.

Now, in reducing this once fabled comics section just a little bit more, a couple comics had to go. One choice wasn't well made so one has already returned, but the rest would seem to be gone and they weren't really the bottom of the barrel for the most part. Missing: Heathcliff, Mr. Boffo, Mallard Fillmore, Candorville, and the empty space resulting from not shrinking Doonesbury. Returned: La Cucaracha. I'll allow the empty space, but Candorville?

I do have to praise the removal of Mallard Fillmore, though. No longer will I be subjected to, "This bit of conventional wisdom you suspect is true has been shown to be true! (* USA Today article! [A rag of note!]) Now don't you feel stupid, liberal scum?" I'm not sure that I'm the one who should feel stupid for repeatedly trying to challenge liberal world views and failing. But the rest of them it is sad to see go. I often wondered what conservatives (well, Republicans, more like) had done to deserve being represented by this one. At least there was (and still is) the great Prickly City to redeem it a little. Both came on in an effort to balance of the comics page, so even this removal can be questioned.

The comics page should be returned to its former glory when one could spread it out on the table and see nothing but comics and still have more comics to read! It's still a long way to the NY Times' idea of a comics page. Slippery slope and all that. It's getting hard to be a print newspaper.

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