Does anyone actually *read* newspaper comics anymore...?
by Doc Nickel
I haven't bothered getting a physical newspaper in several years now, except on occasion to have on hand for packing material.
I read the local paper today (Sunday) for the first time in a long while, and I guess I'd entirely forgotten they're still wasting space in the comics section with Prince Valiant.
Who the hell still reads Prince Valiant?!? Even back when I read newspaper comics on a regular basis, I never really bothered trying to keep up on PV- it was like trying to start watching one of the old Soap Operas, like "Days of Our Lives" or something. If you haven't been reading the strip since sometime prior to the Korean War, you have no idea who these people are, how they're related, where they are, what the hell they're doing, and how the hell Valiant managed to get a bowl cut about half a century before they invented bowls.
And the rest of the comics aren't any better. Longtime Guild readers will know I'm something of a comics fan, and I used to enjoy many regular newspaper offerings. But I don't know if it's the disconnect since I haven't read most of them in years, the fact I've gotten used to superior online offerings, of if they have, in fact, simply gotten more lame and banal than they were before.
Sunday strips are just a normal three-panel joke stretched out to nine panels. Bill Watterson could fill those panels with something interesting. Most of today's comics waste it on what might as well be dead air.
Be interesting to see what happens in the future... (It's worth noting that Alaska's one and only major newspaper is currently in bankruptcy proceedings, and the general consensus I get from locals I've spoken to about it is anything from "good riddance" to "they're still bothering to publish that thing?" )