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Posted at 4:50 PM ET, 03/13/2009

This Just In: The Post Will Drop 5 Print Comics

By Michael Cavna

On The Washington Post's comic pages, a couple of little dogs will soon be lost.

The Post has decided to drop five comics from the print funnies, including "Little Dog Lost" and "Pooch Cafe." The other three features that will be dropped: "Piranha Club," Zippy the Pinhead" and "Judge Parker."

The changes will take effect March 30. All five features will be available online at (As many Comic Riffs readers know, we'll still need our "Judge Parker" fix, especially, for the artwork of Eduardo Barreto.)

In addition, "Dilbert" will commute from The Post's Biz pages (which will fold into the
A-section) to Style, Monday through Saturday.

Have a reaction? Feel free to post it in the Comments field below.

By Michael Cavna  | March 13, 2009; 4:50 PM ET
Categories:  General  
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Next: 'Parker' to 'Pooch': Which Dropped Comic Stirs Your Fanhood?


YOu're taking off "Pirahna Club"? NO! Ditch "Beetle Bailey" or "Prickly City" first. SERIOUSLY.

Posted by: zonkerscm | March 13, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Zippy and Piranha Club being removed? That is not right! These are two of the edgier comics in the Post. Surely you can remove some other cartoons and keep these. The more the Post downsizes, the less reason there becomes to keep up my subscription. Book World is now history, soon the business pages will be reduced, and now these missing comics.

I am not happy!

Posted by: BoscoBear | March 13, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Good selections. Piranha Club might be edgy, but it's also repetitive. [I have hopefully seen my last octopus surprise.] Little dog never connected for me. Was worried that Lio, Prickly City, or Brewster Rockit may have been up for the cut. All three are welcome additions to the Post.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | March 13, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Yay! Those cartoons are horrible and a waste of space anyway. Good job, people. Plus I like that barn cartoon in your other blog - very cute.

Posted by: AdventurerVA | March 13, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Agree, zonkerscm - Beetle Bailey especially is long overdue for being dropped.

Glad that Agnes, Cul de Sac and Brewster Rockit are safe... for now.

Posted by: mat00 | March 13, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Let's not start this again.

Keep your hands off Zippy!

It's one of the most intelligent and well drawn strips out there. And no, it is not an acceptable excuse that "you can just get it on line." Any number of other strips deserve the ax. Sorry Charles Schulz - I've loved your work all my life but roll over and make room. Sherman's Lagoon should be speargunned. And please, somebody put cyanide in Garfield's lasagne.

Posted by: Ansvan | March 13, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

DEATH TO MARK TRAIL! Mark Trail is the worst comic strip in the cosmos! You're DROPPING Zippy, and KEEPING Mark Trail?

Posted by: mdean3 | March 13, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I strenuously object to dropping "Pooch Cafe". Both my wife and I start our day by reading about Poncho, et al on the way to work! I understand cuts need to be made, but why not run a poll to see what your readers (and subscribers)would rather see dropped?

Posted by: twodays | March 13, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I am quite upset to learn that Pooch Cafe is being dropped. How about Lio, Red and Rover, Check Your Head, Baldo, Mutts, or Family Circus instead? They are never funny. Also, it was just reported on 92.7 that all comics were being dropped! I certainly hope this is not the case.

Posted by: robhenderson210 | March 13, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I plan on rallying and complaining being one of the last Post subscribers in the world apparently. I really like Judge Parker and Pooch Cafe, Zippy and Piranha Club (Bo Grace is local by the way) both have their appeal. Little Dog Lost didn't catch on with me. I assume another Soduku-type game will be added in the space freed up by 4 strips? So people can continue to test their wits against a computer-designed puzzle?

Posted by: Mrhode | March 13, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Newspaper exec 1: We're losing readers, how can we get them back?

Newspaper exec 2: Make the product worse.

Newspaper exec 1: Great idea. Let's celebrate with a cash bonus!

Posted by: horacio2 | March 13, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that no one so far has called for Garfield to be put to sleep!

Posted by: jkuchen | March 13, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Zippy the Pinhead is pretty much the reason I get the paper at all (along with Tom the Dancing Bug). Why drop a comic strip with a living creator who works on the comic instead of Blondie or Peanuts? In fact, drop several dead comics instead and you can make the rest of them bigger while still keeping Zippy. Of course, Zippy does suffer a lot for being crushed that much so maybe that's the reason it was dropped.

Posted by: hesaid | March 13, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"I can't believe that no one so far has called for Garfield to be put to sleep!"
Posted by: jkuchen

How about we drop Garfield into the lagoon and feed it to Sherman - who can then choke on the hairball for all I care.

Posted by: Ansvan | March 13, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I would have complained about Zippy going before, but after he went to "Dingburg" it's been dullsville. Please save Judge P and kill off Prickly City or the ever-pandering Baldo.

Posted by: blankspace | March 13, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

You all have to do what you need to do. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is going away in the paper edition, so I am grateful to still have the Post. I admit that the Business section does not need to be its own, since there is no real reason to get the stock quotes the next day when they are available immediately.

As for the comics- Little Dog Lost just doesn't cut it (nor does Agnes). I am happy to see Zippy go, although I would have gladly had Beetle Bailey, Hagar, Garfield, Family Circus or Blondie dropped instead as BC and Wizard of Id have gone before. There has never been a good excuse to keep running Peanuts reruns.

All in all, your choices were smart. Pooch Cafe is never funny. Judge Parker is irrelevant (as is Mark Trail). Piranha Club was funny once, but has run out of ideas.

As long as you keep Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine, and Brewster Rockit, all will be good. So many others (Brevity, Prickly City, Non Sequitur, eg) are great. Keep newer blood for the most part.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 13, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I rarely look at comics because I have important things to do, but when I do, I look at Zippy. Now I will not look at all.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | March 13, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

A lonely voice here for keeping Judge Parker. The art is great and this is the last decent story comic being printed. Get rid of the boring old standbys instead.

Posted by: bsteinbach | March 13, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

First Tom the Dancing Bug disappears from the Weekend section, and now you're going to axe Zippy?

If you must cut some of the comics, I could suggest a list of alternatives, topped by Garfield.

Posted by: holy_cow | March 13, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Pooch Cafe and Judge Parker??? Unbelievable. While keeping Beetle Baily, Peanuts and Garfield? And Mutts?

I'll be sitting Shiva all summer...

Posted by: JkR- | March 13, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Are newspapers still in print? huh! ...

Posted by: opita1 | March 13, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Why Pooch Cafe in stead of the tripe that is Prickly City? Pooch Cafe is

1. Funny
2. Well drawn

Humor is indeed in the eye of the beholder, but art in this case certainly isn't. Pickly City is awful. Please put that coyote down, not the dogs.

Posted by: EricS2 | March 13, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks horacio2!

Newspaper exec 1: We're losing readers, how can we get them back?

Newspaper exec 2: Make the product worse. Stop hiring journalists capable of writing coherent stories. Or who might know how to investigate and check facts. Be sure the Extras offer no local news except pr releases or public data searchable in 37 seconds or less. Promote the use of story templates so the same story idea can be recycled numerous times with new names and titles. Don't leverage the use of WaPo assets (Gazette, SoMdNews) in many of the localities served by the Post. Don't mention a possible conflict of interest in stories on a local pol when his spouse wrote for the paper. Don't include sales flyers for stores in the reader's area; but provide those for businesses an hour or two away. And, oh yah, raise the price.

Newspaper exec 1: Great idea. Let's celebrate with a cash bonus!

Posted by: AStMarysConstituient | March 13, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Judge Parker, no problem. How about taking his brother, Mark Trail? That lame Spiderman needs to go too. Mutts, Prickly City, Beetle Bailey, Peanuts, Hagar, Family Circus, Blondie, Garfield can all go too. There are so many choices before taking away Zippy and Pooch Cafe. What are you thinking?

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | March 13, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

DEATH TO FAMILY CIRCUS!!!!! How much do you pay for that steaming pile of doo doo?

Posted by: xlnegro | March 13, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm very disappointed that you are axing Judge Parker. I don't think we can read the online edition the same day as it's published in newspapers, at least when I looked up a strip, I couldn't find it. The online one was months old. That was one compelling reason to get the print edition of the paper.

I was planning on canceling our subscription to the Post on March 5, when our rates went up and I'm embarrassed to say that Judge Parker is what I read first every day, so I didn't make the call. I guess I can go ahead and cancel now.

Posted by: elizestrada | March 13, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm....let's see...surveys routinely show that the comics are the most read section of the newspaper. What to do to increase readership?

Why, cut back on the most read section of the newspaper, of course.


Posted by: gormley14412 | March 13, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I've been watching the Post shrink over the past few months...Book World, Sunday Source, now the daily Business section...while the subscription price has continued to go up.

These comics cuts may be the final straw. I can't believe such excellent strips as Zippy, Pooch Cafe and--yes, I'm a fan--Judge Parker, are being dropped rather than horrible deadwood like Peanuts, Garfield, Curtis, On the Fastrack, Family Circus, Dennis the Menace and Beetle Bailey.

This is a big mistake. I've been a subscriber--daily and Sunday--for nearly 20 years, and I think I'm going to stop.

Posted by: stickler | March 13, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree that "Little Dog" should stay lost, but if you have to dispose of a second canine strip, surely "Red and Rover" would be a better choice than "Pooch Cafe", which is well drawn and often quite funny. And as for dropping "Judge Parker" - HAVE YOU PEOPLE COMPLETELY LOST YOUR FREAKING MINDS?????

Posted by: seismic-2 | March 13, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I knew that something in my life had changed when I started to understand Zippy. Don't do this.

Posted by: bob31 | March 13, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Piranha Club?? NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Posted by: abcd51 | March 13, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

So here's an interesting question--what will happen with the space created? A similar situation occurred when the bridge column was dropped from the Saturday and Sunday editions. The only benefit I saw from that was larger blocks of self-advertising from the Post....

Posted by: jkuchen | March 13, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Ridiculous to drop Zippy. I mostly read the Post online, but what makes me buy the paper occasionally are the few pleasures that I can get more easily in the hard copy version: I haven't time to follow the cumbersome comic links and so only look at Toles and Doonesbury online. When I get the hard copy, I go to Zippy first. No more, I guess.

Posted by: Grammarian1 | March 13, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

So, the Post is going to keep Spiderman, but NOT, Judge Parker????!!!!!!!!!

This is STUPID. Please say it ain't so.


Do, I have to email Shirley Carswell and tell her this is a dumb decision? Shirley, if you are reading this, keep Judge Parker, it is one of the reason I read the Post. Please.

Posted by: RobM1013 | March 13, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Zippy should have been dropped 15 years ago. Too bad I haven't had time to read the comics pages in years. I would have enjoyed noticing his disappearance.

Posted by: Blackcloud1 | March 13, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Of the comics the Post is dropping, Judge Parker is the one I would miss the most. I have to say, concurrent with another poster, that I will now drop the Post in print. Congratulations to the genius Editor(s) that made this decision. If you goal is to make me stop reading the print edition, you have succeeded. However, it's not too late, you could save Judge Parker before March 30th. I hope you come to your senses.

Posted by: alevine76 | March 13, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Mutts is awful. My 12 year old agrees. Who is the target audience, the barely literate and humor impaired?

I'd add Lulu 8-Ball.

Posted by: katmandu1 | March 13, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

So may popular comics strips have been cut from the printed paper that now I have to read the comics online if I still want to read them. So if I have to read my comics online why buy a physical paper?? No reason at all. And the editors wonder by subscriptions to the printed paper is way down!!!!!

Posted by: LindaMKia | March 13, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Mutts Awful!!!????!??! Bull!!! That is one of the best comics ever.

Posted by: Bill22042 | March 14, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm 100% good with four of the comics. The other, The Piranha Club, I thought was pretty good, but I'm about 80% ok with it going.
Can you bring back Pogo? :)

Posted by: giniajim | March 14, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

So you're dropping Zippy, but keeping Mark Trail? Always thought Mark was pretty edgy. This combined with some front page reporting that isn't good enough for the Gazette...I refer to the caboose reference for President Obama's railcar on his inauguration train. Maybe after 18 years it's time to drop the post.

Posted by: god3 | March 14, 2009 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Peanuts, Garfield, Family Circus, Dennis the Menace, Beetle Bailey, Blondie, Hagar, Sherman's Lagoon, Red & Rover, and Agnes should be the first to go, not the excellent Piranha Club. Spider-man is a great character in other media, but his comic strip is pretty lame. I only read the Post online, so I don't know if Hi & Lois, Broom Hilda and One Big Happy are still in the print version, but those are horrible too.

Posted by: julianoone | March 14, 2009 2:40 AM | Report abuse

While it would be nice if no reductions were needed, we can't blame the Post for having to become more efficent with costs of production. Please do whatever is needed to keep this great paper going with it's important role in our nation's capital.

Posted by: CliffClaven1 | March 14, 2009 4:59 AM | Report abuse

Why Zippy is being dropped why such hoary or dreadful strips as Garfield, Peanuts, Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, and Prickly City are maintained is beyond me. This is another example of the Post diluting the product it offers for paying subscribers while maintaining or enhancing its free offerings online. How this is a rational business plan is beyond me. While I maintain the subscription to the print edition I have had for 29 years, at one point I will wonder how cost-effective this is when I spend increasingly more time reading the online edition.

Posted by: OTBerbur | March 14, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm not thrilled to hear this, although the fact that I'll be still be able to get Piranha Club and Pooch Cafe online softens the blow. What I'm curious about is whether cutting five strips means they're introducing replacements or whether the Post is shrinking the comics section yet again. In my opinion, that would be far worse than the loss of any individual strips. Mike, can you shed any light on this?

Posted by: DCArtist71 | March 14, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I like Piranha Club. The rest GOOD RIDDENCE! As for Zippy! FINALLY! HIP HIP HOORAY. He's ugly and so obscure it ridiculous! I never saw why people like Zippy so much. I guess to each its own. However whenever the Post had a pool for removal of comics, Zippy was my FIRST PICK.

Posted by: CALSGR8 | March 14, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

The comics keep shrinking and disappearing and so are your subscribers.

The Piranha Club doesn't always succeed, but it's a bizarre little world that is great fun to visit.

Are you going to replace these strips with others or just reduce the comic page again? 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. I'm glad Katherine Graham is not here to see what her paper has become.

Posted by: Dolz | March 14, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

First Mary Worth, then Apt 3G and Rex Morgan. Keep Judge Parker the last of the adult comics. I hate to say it, I grew up with Beetle Bailey but all it seems to be lately is Sarge beating up Beetle. So I say get dump Beetle.

Posted by: markhagner1 | March 14, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

New Zippy strips go but old reruns of Peanuts stay??

That'd be like the Post dumping yesterday's stock listings and printing stock numbers from 1974.

Makes lots of sense. Kind of like charging $.75 for a product you give away in a faster form.

Farewell newspaper industry. Your time has past.

Posted by: UrbanShocker | March 14, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

>> DCArtist71:

My understanding at this time is that there'll be no replacements for the five dropped strips, other than the relocation of "Dilbert."

And speaking personally: Those who've read my rants here know I'd sooner throw over a lifeless legacy strip than an engaging *living* strip. Also interesting to note where the Dropped Five run.


Posted by: cavnam | March 14, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

At least Dilbert is finally where it belongs!

Posted by: subwayguy | March 14, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I may be the lone voice, but I like "Little Dog Lost"... it just took awhile. Its commentary on the "crisis" (pick one) at hand is good.

Posted by: redheaded | March 14, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

When you have Congress, Marion Berry, the DC Government, PG police and anything on TV who needs the comics? You need where to get cheap booze!~

Posted by: KBlit | March 14, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed by this, because the Post has held strong as one of the last papers really committed to the comics pages (as evidenced by this blog). The Post will probably still be running more comics than any other paper in the country, and these are fairly reasonable picks to drop (although I like both Pooch Cafe and Little Dog Lost), but it's still sad to see any strips go.

Posted by: oceanchild | March 14, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I only read 5 daily comics: Dilbert, Zits, Doonesbury, Piranha Club, and Zippy. (I quit reading For Better or Worse when it recycled.) So you're eliminating 40 percent of my read!

Posted by: southerngs | March 14, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Here's the part that I love the most--it turns out that one of the crosswords, as well as the chess and poker columns, are being dropped. Guess how I learned this? From the article on Reuters!

Posted by: jkuchen | March 14, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Thank you! I hate Zippy so much, now I will not have to avert my eyes when I'm reading the comic section anymore. Thank you.

Reading the other posts I am astonished that there were people that actually liked it. I thought Zippy was so bad and so humorless, that no one could like it. I think you guys are faking it, and pretending to like it.

Posted by: anyone1 | March 14, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Zippy can go, and glad of it. Oh, I dont read the print versions....but, when the Anchorage folk sreamed alot over looseing Pooch Cafe, I decided to see what the fuss was about...I love that strip now.
Mutts is truly a keeper while Litte Dog Lost is boring, I did try it, but got lost trying to read it. Ditch Peanuts, Please.

Posted by: ZeldaJane | March 14, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Dropping Piranha Club?



Okay, seriously, that's awful.

Posted by: munchie2 | March 14, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Dropping Judge Parker, while keeping Mark Trail or Spiderman is incredibly stupid. Who is the genius who made this decision? Reverse field before the 30th. The Judge is better than either of those other story strips and I could find a few "funny" comics that b-o-r-i-n-g and could go. Keep Judge Parker.

Posted by: azzaracharlie605 | March 14, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

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.

Posted by: jl_milton | March 14, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

It seems that with the exception of Zippy, the others are all syndicated by someone other than the the Wash Post. Straight economics decision, it seems.

Except, it appears Family Circus, Big Nate, & Mother Goose and Grimm are also syndicated elsewhere, and excellent candidates to jettison rather than Judge Parker and Pooch Cafe.

Posted by: JkR- | March 14, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Why is the Post taking this action without the usual poll? What are they basing the cuts on?

I'm with those who want to keep Judge Parker; it's one of the best-drawn strips around. And I'm also with those who can't understand what Beetle Bailey, Hagar, Garfield, and Family Circus are still doing on the comics page. Here's a hint to appease fans of those "legacy" comics: Print a book of collected strips, with a few strips representing each typical joke that shows up in the strip (it will be a SMALL book). Then sell that book to the legacy fans, and they can just read it over and over--and then you won't need to waste space with "new" strips that keep using the same old jokes.

Posted by: ltwd | March 14, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Noooo, not Pooch Cafe! I love Poncho and friends. As others have suggested, there should have been a poll as to which comics should be dropped.

I question, though, the thinking behind dropping any at all (not that there aren't several I could live without). Yes, times are tough, but does someone at the Post honestly believe this will increase readership? "I would read the Post, but not as along as they carry Judge Parker. Oh, they dropped it? In that case, I'm going to subscribe!" Give me a break.

Posted by: WesternShore | March 14, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Why not just drop _ALL_ sections BUT the comics? That would increase circulation and make all of us happy at the same time.

Posted by: rmorss | March 14, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

As a faithful Post comics reader of nearly 20 years, I'm really disappointed that the editors decided to slash five strips without a reader's poll. As anybody can see from the comments, there's differences of opinions as to what should be dropped, but we'd all like to be heard. Personally, I'd drop Beetle Bailey, Hagar, Frank and Ernest, Mother Goose & Grimm, and Spider-Man before any of the five currently slated.

The Peanuts reruns could be dropped as well. I was rather disappointed when the readers' poll chose Schulz's weaker, later period strips (just because they fit the page format better) over the superior content of his earlier work.

Kudos to the post for at least bringing Dilbert back into the comic pages. I never understood the reasoning for moving it to the business page. I like Dilbert, but it was never enough to drive me to look at the business section everyday.

And that letter to the editor published today - the one suggesting that the Post should scatter the comics across all sections of the paper because "kids love Easter egg hunts." Well, I'm an adult and I read the comics during my all-too-brief lunch break. Please do not - I repeat do not - turn the comics into an "egg hunt." Ironically, the same guy who suggests this complains about the book reviews being dispersed throughout the paper.

Posted by: snallygaster | March 14, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm really glad the Post is at least keeping a lot of comics available online. Its better than nothing. Honestly, I pay for a print edition just to help support my desire for online content. It wouldn't bother me all that much to have the paper go completely online IF the content was good, and part of that means keeping a big library of comics.

Posted by: ReaderKat | March 14, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Based on the number of comments in this blog, I would think that the person responsible for cutting comics should re-think the decision. I, too, concur that getting rid of Judge Parker is very lame, as it has gotten much, much better with the new artist. There seems to be a new found vigor with the writer also

I would hate to see any of the proposed comics go, but in particular, Judge Parker.

And, to the person who commented "I would read the Post, but not as along as they carry Judge Parker. Oh, they dropped it? In that case, I'm going to subscribe!" Who knows if that person exists, but, what I do know, as a long-timer reader of the Post, taking out one of the last serial comics left in the paper will cause me and others to drop the print edition altogether.

I hope they figure out a way to keep at least Judge Parker in print.

Posted by: erinaustindj | March 14, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

erinaustindj, I wasn't saying *I* would start reading the Post if they dropped Judge Parker. I'm a 7-day subscriber. I was saying, sarcastically, that must be what someone at the Post imagines people will say.

The Post needs more (dead tree) readers, and that's what they should be focusing on. The only way they could think dropping these comics would bring them more readers is if they actually believe there are people out there who don't read the paper now because of Judge Parker, or Zippy, or Pooch Cafe, or Little Dog Lost, which of course is ludicrous. Dropping comics is NOT going to sell more papers. If it has any effect, it will be that fewer papers are sold. Penny wise and pound foolish. (And don't get me started on the online discussions that have been dropped.)

Posted by: WesternShore | March 14, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Enough is enough - bye bye subscription to the "Leaflet"

Posted by: DhabaBase | March 14, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Dear Post Comics Editor: Your proctologist called. They found your head. Along with Classic peanuts, Prick C(Sh)ity, Sherman's Lagoon, Hagar the Horrible, and Garfield.

Thanks to Michael Cavna's blog, I've come to appreciate the artwork in Judge Parker. And I agree with those who note that the few remaining serial strips run in the Post should be saved.

The worst decision of all is to drop Zippy. Those of limited intellect who do not understand Zippy can be content with tripe like Prick City and Family Circus. Even better, why not subscribe to the Washington Times and read low grade manuere like Mallard Fillmore?

I have subscribed to the print edition of the Post for most of the past 35 years. Thanks to the comics editors and the internet, I no longer have any reason to do so. My last day as a Daily+Sunday subscriber will be March 29.

Why should I pay $17.50 a month to get a fishwrap edition that is worth increasingly less than $17.50 when I can get all the that content plus more on the net for free?

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.

Posted by: angelos_peter | March 14, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Hear hear to the post by angelos_peter!!! Unless there is a reversal of this decision, especially if Judge Parker cannot be spared, I will not continue to get the Post in print.

I want you to know that I have gotten a newspaper for over 20 years and you continue to make the paper not enjoyable by taking out comics I enjoy. Judge Parker is one of the last story comics left, it should stay.

Perhaps the Washington Times could pick it up and the others that are being dropped?

Posted by: ellehcim224 | March 14, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Pooch Cafe is one of my favorites. Zippy, too, but I understand its limited appeal. Judge Parker? Come one, you got to keep one soap opera. Can we please, please, please drop Hagar. Blondie, Frank and Ernest and other strips that can go months or years without eliciting even a chuckle?

Posted by: steinmonroe | March 14, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Save Zippy! Pinheads unite! Peanuts and Schulz were great in their day, but they're just reruns now. Time to make way.

Posted by: bertbkatz | March 14, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Thank God you had the sense to keep Sally Forth. Dropping Zippy is just an act of cowardice. While I love all the comics, Little Dog Lost never quite lived up to its potential. I would have axed Big Nate before Pooch Cafe although its a tough call. Hagar, Dennis the Menace, Peanuts and the other zombie strips should have gone long ago.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 14, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I would also have dropped Mother Goose and Grimmy before Piranha Club. So it goes.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 14, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I will be so sad if the Post follows through and drops Judge Parker. It is the first comic I read each morning. And I agree, why were readers not given a say in what could go or stay?

For the simple sake of balance, can't something else be cut before Judge Parker? Spiderman, Hagar, Dennis the Menace, Sally Forth or even Mark Trail could go before Judge Parker. Please, please, pretty please, change this decision Post Comics Editor before you do it. Thank you very much.

Posted by: Lesliemartens1960 | March 15, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

The WaPo has apparently dropped the pretense of reader polls and gone with the Night of the Long Knives scenario instead.

One would think that reader preference might make a difference in the most-read area of the paper. That's OK, I'll just go read Zip online -- but not at!

Now why don't you drop the whor... excuse me, the massage parlor ads, while you've got the meat cleaver out?

Posted by: laboo | March 15, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

The WaPo cannot cut itself to success. Even if they need to downsize comics, I agree with many posters that YOU PICKED THE WRONG COMICS TO DROP.

To keep Spidey and/or Mark Trail over Judge Parker is not smart, it's just stupid. Do you even read the comics, Comics Editor? The Judge has only gotten better. Pooch Cafe over Big Nate, Baldo or even Candorville/Curtis, dumb. Zippy is in his own league and deserves a spot. Little Dog Lost and Piranha Club could be argued deserve a spot of retread comics like Peanuts and tired old Dennis, Hagar, Beetle.

At the very least, put it to a poll/vote, even if you think they are marginally valid. It would be better than your subjectivity. You had to have a "short list" of comics you were looking to drop before you pulled these five seemingly outta the hat.

Posted by: Jbauerradio | March 15, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Those of you who threaten to drop your subscriptions: Don't let the rolled-up classifieds section hit you in the ass on your way out. What are you going to read, the Times? Great. Enjoy Mallard Fillmore and Marmaduke. HAHAHAHA LOOK THAT DOG IS SO BIG.

Posted by: munchie2 | March 15, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I've been a daily reader of the Post since moving to the area 42 years ago, but since the Post's business plan seems to be to transition from being a newspaper to being a Web site, I suppose I might as well go with the flow, so I won't renew when my current subscription runs out. Actually, I would have done that some time ago, but my main reason for paying for a daily paper copy was that I enjoy reading the funnies at the breakfast table. Since I shall have to go online now for Judge Parker and Pooch Cafe, it's harder to justify that decades-long habit. So henceforth I shall continue to "See you in the funny papers," but only behind the computer console rather than at the breakfast table. Bye-bye, dead-tree edition.

Posted by: seismic-2 | March 15, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Great choices! Zippy should have been deleted years ago. I liked Piranha Club at first, but it became repetetive. Little Dog Lost lost me from the beginning. Instead of Judge Parker, how about Agnes? She is already repetetive and boring!

Posted by: dfarmer93 | March 15, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

We dropped our subscription to the Baltimore Sun because they dropped Zippy. And now we will stop buying the Post as our replacement. This is an absurd move by the Post. You are suffering from lower sales and you eliminate one of the most intelligent comics ever written. See ya in the funny papers.

Posted by: charpaints | March 15, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that newspapers haven't figured out the best way to monetize their websites. Certainly not how replace the lost revenue from classifieds ads, declining circulation and advertisers using print.

The reduction of the content in the print edition is beyond idiotic. As someone noted "you can't cut your way to success." You can't.

But, because the WaPo is trying to reduce newsprint costs, they cutting the business section and the five comics to make room. I really don't thinkit is the cost of the comics, just a "space issue".

Do I have it right, Editors of the Post?

Of all the comics you want to cut, Judge Parker is the one that makes no sense. It clearly is better than others like it in the paper. One could say there really nothing like it left in the print edition if you go through with this plan.

Come to your senses, save the comics, or at the very least, Judge Parker.

Posted by: Jam893 | March 15, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't always enjoy, or even get, Zippy, but it provides a unique perspective -- a strong argument for keeping it. And besides, without Zippy memorializing the crumbling icons of 20th-century America, who will memorialize the paper newspaper as it fades all too quickly into the twilight (I knew it would go someday, but I didn't think it would be in my lifetime, let alone when I was just arriving at middle age)?

I never got Little Dog Lost, but it might grow on me if it stayed. They frequently do. Would like to see Pooch Cafe stay (and am very glad that Red and Rover is staying -- the jokes aren't always great, but the art captures dog movement perfectly), and enjoy the Piranha Club more often than not, and certainly more than many strips slated to remain. Judge Parker also seems more worthwhile than many that remain. Of the comics newer to the Post, I also enjoy Candorville, Prickly City (a bit less so), and, especially, Lio -- another somewhat offbeat strip that I do almost always get, and enjoy. Cul de Sac is also great (and, I hope, safe, since it's home-grown).

I agree with others: get rid of the strips that have been doing the same joke for decades, or are actually recycling strips, or have jumped back a decade because they apparently couldn't figure out what to do next with their current scenario: Family Circus, Peanuts, Hagar, Garfield, Spider Man, Dennis the Menace, Beetle Bailey (though, given the fact that it's wartime, but civilians can easily forget that, a strip that captured current military life would be welcome). As someone else pointed out, for those who want to see these strips daily, a pile of compilations by the breakfast table (or any random comics page from the last several decades) would do the trick.

Keep the ones that do something new, fresh, even a bit weird a good percentage of the time, that comment, directly or obliquely, on current events and family life as it's lived today (or acknowledge that it was complicated even in the past), and/or that offer visual as well as intellectual stimulation.

And yes, as another very longtime Post reader, and subscriber, who turns to Style before anything else, I'm disappointed that we weren't asked before a decision was made. I haven't canceled my subscription yet, and have no plans to do so, since I don't *want* to read the paper on the computer; I spend enough time here already (but I do often turn to this blog, and/or check out 9 Chickweed Lane, which I learned about from this blog, when I need a break). As someone loyal to the paper, I'd really like to have been included in the process.

Posted by: nvanative | March 15, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I am sorry to see you drop Piranha Club and Judge Parker. When are you going to delete the terribly boring Doonesbury? The artist of record does not even draw the strip! And he is not even amusing anymore.

BTW: thanks for dropping Zippy: what a poor excuse for mental therapy through art!

Posted by: dcfre | March 15, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

No!!! Not the Pirahna Club!!

Posted by: traverjane | March 15, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

So, Mr. Cavna, did you have anything to say in what got picked to go from the comics pages (or stayed)? Just curious?

Or did Ms. Carswell do it by herself? Seems like there is a bit of groundswell of disdain and you haven't even announced it the print edition yet.

Posted by: RobM1013 | March 15, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I started reading Zippy in National Lampoon in the early 70's and never did figure out how it migrated to the Post. Anyway so long Dingburg MD. Little Dog Lost is no loss nor Judge Parker (should have been remanded into cartoon purgatory with Mary Worth) but Pooch Cafe should stay and send Mark Trail to the woodshed instead.

Posted by: sscbeck | March 16, 2009 6:17 AM | Report abuse

>> RobM1013:

No, I enjoy the distinct privilege of not being involved in such wrenching comics decisions. Meantime, please watch this space for follow-ups about the changes. As for the question "Who decides?": My understanding is that reader surveys factor most heavily into these decisions--as the total comics/puzzle space is reduced by four comics and at least one crossword puzzle.

Side note: I wish all five dropped strips well. "Judge Parker" artist Eduardo Barreto topped this blog's (unscientific) Cartoonist of the Year poll on Feb. 26, it's worth noting, and I sincerely hope the in-development "Pooch Cafe" movie gets made. (I'll literally put my money on Poncho over Marmaduke any day!)


Posted by: cavnam | March 16, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Until such time as The Washington Post becomes online-only, it is a mistake to put some cartoons online and others in print. I don't have time to read in both places. Since the Post separated the Sunday poetry column from the book reviews, I haven't gone to the effort to look up the weekly poem online.

My two favorite cartoons are Zippy and Lio and I want both of them to remain in the printed paper so long as the paper is printed!

Posted by: Linda_S_Keenan | March 16, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Mike... I hope whomever made this decision flips the script on at least Judge Parker. It should be in black and white and in the WaPo. Others can be relegated to the website, IMHO.

Posted by: Jam893 | March 16, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

This is turning into another unscientific readers' poll about the contents of the comics pages. So here's my vote: Save Zippy and Piranha Club, lose Big Nate and Classic Peanuts.

P.S.: Isn't Judge Parker a strip that only shows the first week of each month's story online?

Posted by: greggwiggins | March 16, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Another note: Bud Grace, the author of Piranha Club, is a local artist who lives in Vienna, Va. Way to support the community, Post Comics Editor!

Posted by: greggwiggins | March 16, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Good choices to drop - all 5 boring and not relevant. Re the recommendation to drop Beetle Bailey, is that because it has military relevance? Keep Beetle, one of the best comics, and bring back Wizard of Id and BC. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Posted by: JCollins1 | March 16, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I never liked Little Dog Lost either. As a rabid comics fan I've happily discovered this blog recently. I can't understand why you're a fan of Sally Forth - whenever I'm asked, that's the one I want to go. And Peanuts and Beetle Bailey, too. They were talking about phonograph records on Sunday in Beetle Bailey, for pete's sake!

Posted by: mksfromvienna | March 16, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Top five worst comics in the newspaper:

1) Agnes (or should I say Angstness)
2) Spiderman. Yes I mean it. It is a shadow of its former self after Lee died.
3) Zippy the Pinhead. I guess I'm too dumb to get the jokes, but comics are designed to enjoy, not ponder deeply.
4) Lio. I know most of you like it, but my younger kids hate it and my littlest gets scared, no wonder when recreating the flippin' exorcist! I should not have to censor the comics!
5. Mutts. Heartwarming, yes. Cutsy, yes. But D-U-M-B!

Posted by: crazyha | March 16, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

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? Not to mention all those damned zombie strips. Keep Garfield, which is nothing more than a cynical marketing machine? Beetle Bailey? The FAMILY G--D--MN CIRCUS?!?!?!?

Dubya Tee Eff?

Posted by: drewdane | March 16, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Of all the stupid ideas (to drop "little dog lost,") this one should be enshrined in the stupid museum. Why? Zippy, yes. There are plenty of others before "dog." I love the sarcasm, the subtlety, the anthropomorphic wit. Ax Mark Trail if you must cut something. Leave little dog alone! Please.

Posted by: darcyrick | March 16, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Because I wanted this blog to get to 100 comments, here is a thought to the previous posters comment of "enshrined in the stupid museum".


Newspaper Editors and Publishers think very little of the comics. Although I will give credit to the Post for still running a lot of comics. But, to think you can cut comics, when you still run content in the paper that receives little attention, you would be better served keeping or ADDING more comics. I bet you would keep and ADD more readers.

Posted by: RobM1013 | March 16, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe you are dropping Little Dog Lost. It is one of my favorites. Give some of the "dead guy" strips a proper burial and continue with new material. LDL is very creative with several levels of humor and great insight into human nature.

Posted by: skllstrm | March 17, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey, if you drop the Piranha Club you'll sure enough lose my subscription. Not only that, you won't see the parody I drew of The President and his mother-in-law that begins April 13.

Yer pal,
Bud Grace

Posted by: bograce | March 18, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Unlike most here, my concern isn't that you're cutting two strips I like (Zippy and Pooch), one I don't read (LDL) and two I dislike (JP and Piranha Club). No, I'm simply puzzled how this can make the print edition more attractive than the online, especially since all the strips are there.

It's easier for me to read the paper while I eat my breakfast. Maybe you should survey which strips are favored by those who are hungry in the morning.

Posted by: Phred22 | March 19, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm a faithful subscriber and I won't give up subscribing till the end, but I agree with others who ask why the Post keeps taking actions that will draw your readers online. I reading the paper and love the your comics. I don't want to go to those comics online because then I may not spend that really precious half hour or so each day unwinding with the Style section.

P.S. Keep Judge Parker! Add me to your JP votes.

Posted by: alicezzon | March 20, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

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