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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 03/20/2009

In Name at Least, Chuckles Come to UClick

By Michael Cavna

Let's hope the comic lives up to the name.

The online comics portal UClick announces that it's adding the strip "Chuckle Bros.," by Brian and Ron Boychuk -- who, yes, are indeed brothers -- to its lineup.

The single-panel feature is carried by Creators Syndicate.

Brian Boychuk says that the strip offers "multileveled humor" and "captions that deliver an unexpected punch in the solar plexus, just when your guard is down."

You can go to UClick to see more samples and judge for yourself. What's your early verdict, fellow Riffians?


Our sincere hope is that Mark Trail, at last, is not reacting to this little camera caper, but rather -- in a sudden flash of self-awareness -- has begun commenting aloud upon ALL the "strange" proceedings that occur in his titular strip.

Why look -- Mark will finally make empirical proclamations about Rusty's polka-dotted 'kerchief ("that's strange"); about the fact that folks in this diner just love to sit with their arms eerily crossed ("that's strange!"); and that, especially, most of the men in this strip (himself included) seem to favor the same button-down khaki shirt ("okay, that IS strange!").


Today we begin the official Daily Vigil for the print "Judge Parker." Until Sam Driver and company breathe their last on The Post funnypages -- or until there's a glorious 11th-hour stay-of-execution for the "Judge" -- Comic Riffs will run a "JP" strip every weekday in tribute -- especially to the artist Eduardo Barreto.

Ten days to go. Let's hope "Judge Parker" won't go.

By Michael Cavna  | March 20, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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I have yet to see an actual announcement in the Post itself about the impending dropping of these 5 comics. Did I miss it, or is the plan to wait until March 30 and then have a blurb on the comics page that says, "Oh, by the way..."

And if the Post does in fact drop Judge Parker, will the actual strip then be made available on the Post's Web site? Currently, clicking the "Judge Parker" link on the "Web comics" page takes you to the King Features Web site that shows the Feb 1 Sunday strip. Hardly a suitable replacement for the daily strip! (On a similar note, why does the online comics page at the Post bring up only the Sunday edition of "Cul De Sac"? Isn't that supposed to be the Post's "own" local comic?)

Finally, consider that someone made the decision to drop Judge Parker and keep Mark Trail, a strip that last month decided to dismiss spousal abuse as an understandable result of the current economic downturn, but one that can easily be overcome if the battered wife will ask her abusive husband for forgiveness and then adopt a baby. Now that disgusting story is being followed by one which completely throws out the window all ties to logical reasoning about a plot. Who is the person at the Post who said, "We need to drop that 'Judge Parker' junk and keep this great 'Mark Trail' strip!"?

Is there anyone on the Post's staff who pays the least bit of attention to what is published on the comics page? Is there anyone there who cares enough about the readers' opinions even to let them know that they have decided to drop these strips until they've actually done it? And is there anyone there who thinks they should solicit opinions about which strips to drop? No, no, and no, apparently.

Posted by: seismic-2 | March 20, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey if you're going to run some old JP's, go find the Brownies story arc from Jan 08.

C'mon Post, keep JP!

Posted by: JkR- | March 20, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Chuckle Bros is not it about 2/3 times a week.

Read Legend of Bill by David Rddick, another new one...not all that good.

I am trying to get myself to read Cul de Sac only because y'all keep[ raving about it.

Posted by: ZeldaJane | March 20, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Seismic, up to date Online JP can be found at the online only newspaper of the Great Northwest, the Seattle Post-Intelligencier.


Posted by: JkR- | March 20, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

To Seismic's point. Michael, please tell Did Ms. Carswell to see her proctologist yet?

Sorry, had to.

I know you will get more with sugar, than salt. But, c'mon, what the heck was she thinking? Even if it is on the Trail vs Parker question?

Don't do it, Ms. Carswell. Change your mind. Please. Keep the Judge.

Posted by: RobM1013 | March 20, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Michael ... thanks for your help in this cause.

I also want to thank all the people that I personally reached out to, most not even WaPost readers, much less living in the metro area, who came to this site and let the Post know that Judge Parker fans are everywhere.

Posted by: iranewbeuer | March 20, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I am guessing that each comic strip has a different cost to run; is that true? If so, I can only guess that they didn't cut the obvious ones because they come cheap (Classic Peanuts must cost peanuts).

Posted by: mat00 | March 20, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

>> mat00:

Right you are. That is absolutely true about individual strip-by-strip rates. Also, there are print rates and, separately, online rates (which speaks partly to why a comic that appears in a particular print newspaper isn't necessarily carried by the online newspaper, or vice versa).


Posted by: cavnam | March 20, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse


But, aren't the rates higher for print than online?

And, is it a cost of the comics in print issue, a space issue or both? Plus, how did your Comics Editor come to the conclusion to pick Judge Parker over say Mark Trail, Spiderman or some other comic?

My guess, and it is only a guess, is the Post tried to drop Mark Trail several years back and it was met with much vitriol. So, perhaps this was a path of least resistance. If that was the case, I would argue there will be more angst over Judge Parker going away than Mark Trail, if it eventually comes to that.

Posted by: catman2530 | March 20, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Catman, I don't believe the last Mark Trail debacle is the root of this round's cuts. Zippy went through a similar cycle and it's not spared this time around.

Posted by: tws1372 | March 20, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Michael ... while I'm at it.

A big thanks to The Judge Parker group in Utah who helped with such a great turnout here at this poll! They're reporting more than 50 votes and comments! The newspapers cannot cancel Judge Parker without hearing from us .. no matter where we live!

Posted by: iranewbeuer | March 20, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

...and the plot thickens.

Whatever the deal, the Judge needs to stay in the WaPo print version.

Posted by: catman2530 | March 20, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I live in Bethesda. I get the paper. My vote counts more (and should). IMHO.

Posted by: catman2530 | March 20, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

>> catman2530:
speaking from personal experience: Yes. the print syndication rates for my comic strip were set considerably higher than web rates. i hear from various cartoonists that that's still the case.

>> iranewbeuer:
and yes -- a shout-out to all who are helping fight the good fight to save the strip in The Post. and a reminder: you can follow "Save Judge Parker" updates at:


Posted by: cavnam | March 20, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mike!

Another big props to my many friends in England and Scotland who I asked to vote in the poll. They hadn't even heard of Judge Parker ... that's the sign of true friends.

Posted by: iranewbeuer | March 20, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse


So, what's the real deal? I emailed your comics editor (Shirley Carswell). I received a bounceback saying she is out of the office until March 30th.

I have to believe, if she is the one deciding the fate(s) of the comics, that the decision has already been "fait accompli". So, what's the verdict? Does the Judge get a stay of execution or what?

Posted by: catman2530 | March 20, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

If it's a matter of cost, there are plenty of legacy strips that in total must cost a lot more than Judge Parker, but that even collectively are worth a lot less than JP. Dump them all, and save the Judge. You could even use the freed-up space to run something innovative. Of course, when compared to Beetle Bailey or Family Circus, that's practically anything.

Posted by: seismic-2 | March 20, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

>> catman2530:

A readers' note is scheduled to run in The Post print edition early next week to announce, in part, the comics changes. My hope is that this will only draw more attention to the fate of "Judge Parker," as well as the other dropped Post comics.

Watch this space for updates, including for any potential responses from management.


Posted by: cavnam | March 21, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

We've saved Judge Parker in more than 15 cities across the country ...we can do it here!

Posted by: iranewbeuer | March 21, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse


Did they Editors of the Post even recognize any of the sentiment from this blog or comments sent to them? And, not one peep out of them explaining why they picked what. Maybe the selections will be different next week, as to the comics they chose for dismissal, but somehow I think it won't. It's a rather arrogant way to run a business, when you don't listen to your customers.

Posted by: RobM1013 | March 21, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse


I've just heard from two people in Portugal ho said they told all their amigos to vote for Judge Parker in thie Post poll. And they don't even speak english!

You cannot silence us WaPost! We will haunt you from every corner of the globe. Judge Parker stays!

Posted by: iranewbeuer | March 21, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Judge Parker has no relation to "comics" or "funnies". If there was a section of the paper for soap opera artwork, maybe. There's not, so it needs to go.

Posted by: capsfan77 | March 21, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Could not disagree more with you capsfan77.

The soap/serial comics have had a long tradition of being on the "comics" or "funny" pages in newspapers.

And, where is the section for the "non-funny, worn out, re-cycled artwork?"

There is not a section for that in the paper is there?


Posted by: brainiac1077 | March 22, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I already have to follow Rex Morgan & Mary Worth on-line (isn't it miraculous how she keeps looking younger & younger without - apparently - plastic surgery?), please WaPo, don't make me follow the Judge on-line as well.

Posted by: mat00 | March 23, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

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