The cartooning beat

A panel drawn by Bill Watterson from the Friday installment of "Pearls Before Swine."
A panel drawn by Bill Watterson from the Friday installment of “Pearls Before Swine.”

Whenever I get together with extended family, inevitably someone will say “Oh, what do you do at the Post-Dispatch? Write stories?”

The answer, of course, is “no.” My job is to design newspaper pages and develop web projects.

But next time I can give a different answer. This week I had not one but two hard-hitting, investigative stories published in the Post-Dispatch.

So, what topic did I scrutinize with journalistic fervor?

The comics.

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Comics poll

Okay, it’s no secret. I really enjoy newspaper comics. But one thing that bugs me about the newspaper comics is the way so many papers cling to ancient strips, stale and moldy, drawn by their creators’ grandchildren.

The Post-Dispatch is apparently going to get rid of some strips and bring in fresh, new ones. This is potentially a very good thing. (Disclaimer: I work for the Post-Dispatch)

Want to help decide who they dump? Then vote by clicking here

Of course I have some strips I really would like to see go. I would highly encourage you to vote against Beetle Bailey, Hi & Lois, B.C., and Hagar the Horrible. If only they had included Lola (the bane of my existence) or Mallard Fillmore (I am a conservative, but I hate this unfunny strip) on this survey!

Not all the old strips are stale. In fact, I’ve become a fan of stuff like Mark Trail (whose stories are so bad they are funny), Prince Valiant (good art, decent stories), and Curtis (one of the best-drawn strips, hands-down, with some funny moments).

As far as strips I like… My favorite is Pearls Before Swine, followed by Get Fuzzy, Lucky Cow, The Duplex, and the now-Sunday-only Fox Trot.

So, please, vote. Let’s work together to revitalize the comics page!