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Posted at 8:32 AM ET, 03/19/2009

'Save Judge Parker' Sentiment Unfurled in Force

By Michael Cavna

After more than 125 comments and 600 votes on this blog, two things are abundantly clear about The Post's decision to drop five print comics at month's end:

1. A fair number of readers are more than a little miffed.
2. Many of those want to save their beloved "Judge Parker."

To get a flavor of the heated passion of some of the e-mails and comments to The Post, here's a sampling of the wonderfully spirited rhetoric. Strung all together, these dozens of excerpts become especially compelling, in a cumulative-force kind of way:

"HAVE YOU PEOPLE COMPLETELY LOST YOUR FREAKING MINDS?????"... "I have faithfully followed Judge Parker in the paper for 20+ years and now that you have decided to take it out, I think it is an injustice. Please don't do this" ... "Please tell whomever made this decision that it is pathetic and inane. ... "

"DEATH TO MARK TRAIL!" ... "Keep your hands off Zippy!" ... "I plan on rallying and complaining being one of the last Post subscribers in the world apparently. ...
Why Pooch Cafe in stead of the tripe that is Prickly City? ..."

"DEATH TO FAMILY CIRCUS!!!!!" ... "This is a big mistake. ... Piranha Club?? NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!" ... "This is STUPID. Please say it ain't so. ... "

"KEEP JUDGE PARKER IN THE POST!!!!" ... "I hope you come to your senses." ... "And the editors wonder by subscriptions to the printed paper is way down!!!!!"

"If you're just reducing the comic page you will be losing this subscriber, because I am tired of watching a once great paper become a second rate bird cage liner." ... "When you have Congress, Marion Berry[sic], the DC Government, PG police and anything on TV who needs the comics? You need where to get cheap booze! ... "

"Please. Somebody needs to put the Family Circus out of its misery. I hate it so much... SO MUCH!!! Every morning, when I see that single dismal little frame staring at me from the corner of the page, I die a little." ... "Enough is enough -- bye bye subscription to the 'Leaflet.' "

"Dear Post Comics Editor: Your proctologist called. They found your head. Along with Classic peanuts... Sherman's Lagoon, Hagar the Horrible, and Garfield." ... "Good luck Washington Post. You're gonna need all the luck you can get to survive not only the terrible business environment, but also your own incompetent management."

"What the *&@# is your comics editor thinking? I'm not going to address the ones chosen for the axe, but for crying out loud, why would ANY of them be cut while keeping reruns - RERUNS- of fracking Peanuts?" ... "Of all the stupid ideas (to drop "little dog lost,") this one should be enshrined in the stupid museum."

"And as for dropping 'Judge Parker' - HAVE YOU PEOPLE COMPLETELY LOST YOUR FREAKING MINDS?????"

Taken as a whole, the admirable power of all this passion, in fact, could begin to faintly resemble one of my favorite cinematic speeches. Ah yes -- HERE's the kind of gung-ho language that 'Riffs lauds and applauds so heartily -- be it about AIG or a little healthy funnypage demi-rage. (And more seriously: Is this still an uncannily relevant patch of writing by Paddy Chayefsky or what?)

By Michael Cavna  | March 19, 2009; 8:32 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Exactly!!! We are all yelling out our window(s).

We are "mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Now the real question, Michael. Is anyone at the Post listening??

I hope Judge Parker can be saved.

Posted by: RobM1013 | March 19, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone who edits the Post actually **read** the funnies? I must conclude that Post management feels they have to publish comics as some sort of thankless legacy task, without ever bothering to see what the strips actually are. If the Post editorship has spent any time at all reading Mark Trail and Judge Parker in the past couple of months and has then nevertheless decided to keep the former and drop the latter, then by far the biggest joke in the Post's comics page will not be one written by the cartoonists but the one that the Post inexplicably has decided to play on its own (soon to be former) readers.

Posted by: seismic-2 | March 19, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

As RobM1013 asked, is anyone listening and do you have a quote from The Post's comics editor in response to these complaints? Including that here or in a subsequent blog item seems like Reporting 101.

Posted by: greggwiggins | March 19, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

>> greggwiggins:

Be assured: If and when The Post management has comment in response to this pending question -- when there is new news to report -- it will appear here. At present, I know that a range of reader responses is still coming in.


Posted by: cavnam | March 19, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I would like to add to seismic-2's comment. Comparing Mark Trail or even Spiderman to Judge Parker for a spot on the page is not even close. JP wins. Do the comics peeps at the Post even read the comics? How did they come to these five comics?

I would "appeal" to your "judgement" and keep Judge Parker and bump something else to the web. Pun intended. :)

ps- Michael, based on your poll, it seems Judge Parker is the one that should be saved above any of the others.

Posted by: erinaustindj | March 19, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I want to echo the sentiments in the previous posters. Hopefully the Post's management realizes that we enjoy our comics and that some of their selections weren't the right ones. Ie: Judge Parker.

I am curious how they came to their decision as it relates to other "like" comics?

Ultimately, I hope they reverse their decision about the Judge.

Posted by: ellehcim224 | March 19, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Slow to the venting party, but let me add another AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Who the heck is responsible for deciding which strips to run and which to drop? Someone with the sense of humor of a 5 year old? A Puritan? Why must the strips with any hint of an edge, or an appeal to people older than 16 be axed?

Blondie, Hagar, PEANUTS!!!!, Prickly City, Family Circus, Red and Rover, Frank and Ernest - these are worthy candidates for dropping. (I don't like Little Dog Lost, so won't lament its passing...)

Pooch Cafe is one of the few strips that makes me laugh out loud. And Pirahna Club? I'm sorry, but any strip that features regular dropping of fish down the back of pants deserves to stay.

Posted by: trichobezoar | March 19, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Save Pooch Cafe now, or I give everybody rabies!

Posted by: rhompson | March 19, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I fear that our protestations herein will go unnoticed by The Powers That Be. Since apparently they don't bother to read the strips that they publish, they certainly wouldn't bother to read comments posted to blogs about the strips that they publish.

Posted by: seismic-2 | March 19, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

No doubt. How do we know they are even reading our comments? And, I did send an email to the Nothing, no response. Not even an auto reply.

I want to remain positive that they are going to not go through with this plan, most especially dropping Judge Parker, but the silence is deafening.

Posted by: Jam893 | March 19, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

In the vast scheme of things, Judge Parker isn't the most important part of the Post, but I sure hope the powers-that-be change their minds.

It's diappointing that they feel the need to reduce the number of comics at all -- they should be increasing the number. But by what convoluted logic did they make this decision?

Posted by: Winterstorm | March 19, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Get rid of the Family Circus. Get rid of For Better or For Worse. Get rid of Peanuts Classics. Get rid of Cathy (please oh please).

But Judge Parker? JUDGE PARKER?!? The greatest comic strip in the history of comic strips?!?

Them's fightin' words, Washington Post.

Posted by: Blurgle | March 19, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Blurgle, maybe your not around them here parts, but FOOB(For Better Or Worse) and Cathy have already been summarily dismissed from the WaPo. Thanks for keeping up.

And, do I detect just a small hint of sarcasm as it relates to the Judge? I would say it's "fightin' words" to keep Mark Trail or Spiderman in the paper over Judge Parker.

Greatest comic in the history of comic strips? Probably not. But one, that continues to engage and entertainment for all sorts of reasons.

Posted by: brainiac1077 | March 19, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I so don't understand why drawn soaps belong on the comics page. They're not comical. They're not funny. They're not even entertaining. Judge Parker should take Mary Worth and Mark Trial and just go away, make space for something worth reading.

Posted by: ABHFGTY | March 19, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

ABHFGTY, the soap comics aren't for everyone, but there IS a place for them on the comics page(s). Comical? No, but they could be, depending on how you read them (or their art). Entertaining? What's not entertaining about Eduardo Barreto's artwork on Judge Parker? I dunno, I find it quite (ahem) entertaining. So, when you say "make space for something that is worth reading", I would argue back and say they ARE worth reading. Certainly Judge Parker. Mark Trail or Mary Worth, not as much.

And, make space for something "funny"?? Some of the comics still in the Post aren't even funny. Worn out jokes, rec-cyled material and tired themes. How about moving some of those dead weights aside. At least a few spaces could be devoted to soap comic strip(s).

The problem is your view is seemingly the view of the comics people at the WaPo (except for maybe Cavna).

Posted by: catman2530 | March 19, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

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