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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 03/31/2009

Take the 'If I Were Comics Czar' Quiz

By Michael Cavna

Almost daily, as both artist and blogger, I relish the fact that so many people are passionate about comics.

Uber-casual readers are absolutely welcome under our big tentpole here. But the passionate fan is the lifeblood of the comics -- the reader who spreads the word about a new or re-energized comic; who closely tracks and comments upon favorite comics to keep the cartoonist creatively "honest"; and who lets newspaper editors know when they should reconsider a decision.

As a non-voting employee of The Post -- consider me the Eleanor Holmes Norton of our comics page -- I try to listen to and represent constituents' interests as openly, as vocally as possible. I've made it clear in this space before that I admire the recent art of "Judge Parker" (talk about re-energized; tip o' the quill to Eduardo Barreto) and enjoy the writing for the characters in "Pooch Cafe."

Calls and e-mails have poured in regarding changes, and I hope they continue to, so readers are fairly heard. And in that spirit, today -- after weeks of hearing from hundreds of comic fans who, like me, are coping with The Post's new print changes -- I offer the Official "If I Were Comics King/Queen" Quiz. You've got opinions? Then fire away!

By Michael Cavna  | March 31, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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As nasty as FC is, Close to Home has NEVER been funny ONCE in all the time I've seen it in the WaPo.

Do we really need to see Bridge and Horoscopes? Isn't that bridge built yet? And if you put the horrorscopes online, people who want to see it will go there, instead of into scope-withdrawal. Just have a note, like "Taurus: not safe to read on-line today" so they know in advance. Finally, Sudoku should be a controlled substance.

I get the impression that the Quote-acrostic, the most intelligent puzzle in the WaPo, is being axed. The fact that the answer to last weekend's puzzle were on the same page, instead of a week later, is the clue. I'll miss it, but I won't search for it online.

I seem to remember that all of the removed features, and my lost childhood, could be found in the Dingburg Gazette.

Posted by: filfeit | March 31, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse


Will any of these polls matter to management? Ms. Carswell and company seem like they don't care and won't change their decisions. Despite the polling here and the calls/emails.

Posted by: catman2530 | March 31, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

How could you put "Peanuts" in number 5, when it says "of recent decades"? And any of the other three would be worth adding.

Posted by: indolentcin1 | March 31, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

>> indolentcin1:

Meaning: "Peanuts" was still generating new strips as recently as 2000.


Posted by: cavnam | March 31, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Get Fuzzy and Pooch Cafe are the only 2 dog strips worth reading - and I'm an animal lover. But I'd keep Mutts just because of the work the creator does for animal shelters.

One great irony from the Post chat yesterday was the editors saying that the paper had to be "forward thinking". She left off the "... except in the comics" part.

Oh, and the official polling on which strips to keep - was that a phone poll? And if so, was there any consideration of the limits of phone polling nowadays?

Posted by: trichobezoar | March 31, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Having emailed comments and left phone messages, what else do I need to do to get the washington post to listen to their readers? I want Judge Parker in large enough print that the artwork shows and I can read it. There isn't any connection for Pooch cafe or the rest of the axed comics. Having been a print suscriber for decades, I am considering cancelling my subscription.

Posted by: intrepid4 | March 31, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Gene Weingarten's comments on the shrinking of the Post's comics pages are worth discussion herein:

If no editor is willing to be interviewed in this blog about the Post's use of a random poll conducted by an outside firm, rather than feedback from actual WaPo comics fans, as the basis for picking which strips to drop, then perhaps at least Mr. Weingarten might be willing to be interviewed here regarding his own views on the matter?

Posted by: seismic-2 | April 1, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't appear that ANY editor wants to have the cojones to come on and chat about the specific "research" they conducted.

Appararently, based on this current polling, Judge Parker deserves a spot over both Mark Trail and Spiderman and even
none of the above. Oh, but, I forgot, kids factored into this decision, so we have to keep Spiderman. And, Mark Trail talks to animals, "oh the kids like that one."

Great, you let me know when one of those kids grows up and BUYS or SUBSCRIBES to the paper version of the Post.

Posted by: RobM1013 | April 1, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I was a Post reader for almost 50 years and quitting the paper recently was one of the hardest things I have done lately. Everytime a paper drops a feature now-a-days they tell you its at our website. I am not going to keep switching from the paper to the web and back again to read everything.

The recent dropping of comics and mirco sizing what remained was the last straw. I always read the comics last to take some of the edge off the news of the day.

You've won Post and I'll get all my news and comics off the web ... just not at your site.

P.S. if you undo these changes and start treating the comics with a little respect ( instead of trying to be like the Grey Lady ), I'll happily resubscribe.

Posted by: Dolz | April 1, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree with your views on Judge Parker and wonder what sources the Post used to decide which comics to axe. The art has realy improved, although the dialog still has some catching up to do. There's no way that Mark Trail could survive a head-to-head competition with Judge Parker. I also think pair-wise comparisons of Pooch-cafe with Garfield would doom the cat to the Sunday pages. Lastly, where is Judge parker on this site? When I click on it, I get 'currently unavailable." I thought all the axed strips were supposed to be available on line.

Posted by: TRMalarkey | April 2, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

So, seeing that the results above show that Mark Trail and Spidey are getting smoked by Judge Parker, what is the likelihood that the Post puts it back in the paper? Comics fans know the better comic, but does the Post's management?

Posted by: RobM1013 | April 2, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

After almost 37 years of reading The Post, I'm ready to give it up. Not only has the Quote-acrostic been axed, but the print on the remaining puzzles needs a magnifying glass. It has hit me that The Post, like so much of the media, has jumped on the youth band wagon. Get rid of anything intelligent, shrink the print size, and revel in youth. I guess TPTB think that the younger set will choose the printed paper over a $5 latte. Aren't they in for a surprise. Ah well, the only reason I'll keep getting The Post is that I need something to put on the floor for the dogs.

Posted by: nitcrock | April 5, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

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