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Posted at 6:10 AM ET, 03/24/2010

Post comics changes: Of Barney, Clyde & Gene (Weingarten)

By Michael Cavna


barney.jpg


A coupla years back, I heard a rumor about my esteemed colleague Gene Weingarten -- whom I would refer to properly as The Post's Pulitzer Prize-Winning Humor Columnist, but I'm apparently legally bound to cut him a royalty check upon each such trademarked reference, and soon he won't need the extra moolah. Which brings me full circle to the rumor.

This whisper in the wind was that Gene and his son, Dan, were working on a comic strip for potential syndication. Something that would tickle our funny bones, bust our guts and otherwise wreak havoc upon our anatomy.

Some time later came confirmation that Gene & Son had indeed signed with Washington Post Writers Group to develop their strip. I pestered my former longtime United Media comics editor, Amy Lago -- now comics editor with Writers Group -- for a look-see. Politely, patiently and with great care, she explained: "Nothin' doing!"

(This exchange reminded me of yet another reason why I appreciated having Amy as an editor. She will not breach "patient"/editor confidentiality. And hoo-boy, can cartoonists be "patients.")

So last week, finally, I got my long-awaited look-see at the sales kit for the Weingarten duo's completed strip, "Barney & Clyde," which is scheduled to launch June 7, Gene says. And I am greatly encouraged.

The artist is David Clark, a Virginia-based cartoonist who's been honored by the National Cartoonists Society for his illustration -- and who came recommended by "Cul de Sac" creator and longtime Post contributor Richard Thompson.

Comic Riffs will take a closer look at "Barney & Clyde" -- which centers on the "accidental friendship" between "a billionaire and a bum" -- as the launch date nears. For today, though, we want to note that The Washington Post has bought "B&C," so Post readers will see this addition to the comics lineup in the near-future.

Till then, "B&C" -- as most all syndicated comics do -- is undergoing its big sales push to newspapers. Gene knows it's probably as difficult a climate as ever to launch a syndicated strip. But with strong writing and thoughtful characters at the heart of the strip, it's got a better shot than most to succeed.

For more details you can check out the strip's new Facebook fan page -- as well as read Gene's Post chat this week, in which he recounts the birth of the strip. In other words: From his child, the brainchild.

By Michael Cavna  | March 24, 2010; 6:10 AM ET
Categories:  The Comic Strip  | Tags:  Amy Lago, Barney & Clyde, Dan Weingarten, David Clark, Gene Weingarten, Washington Post Writers Group  
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Comments

Is this going to get us Cul-de-Sac in color?

I didn't think so.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Here ya go yellojkt: http://www.gocomics.com/culdesac/

But I bet you knew that already.

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | March 24, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

So, what's going to be dumped to make room for B&C?

Posted by: staxowax | March 24, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

>> staxowax:

No decision has been made yet, says Managing Editor Raju Narisetti.

--M.C.

Posted by: cavnam | March 24, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Whatever's dumped, I'm sure it'll be the most asinine choice humanly possible, while "Peanuts" will remain in cryogenic suspended animaton on the ever-shrinking comics page in perpetuity...

Posted by: drewdane | March 24, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Will we be able to view it online at WaPo, or will it be treated in the same manner as is the Post's other "offspring" strip CdS, which has not been updated herein in half a year now? Just as the cobbler's children go barefoot, the Post's "children" go, well, un-Posted.

Posted by: seismic-2 | March 24, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

OK, so Clark's doing the art, great. Now where's Weingarten going to find the humor?

Oh, well -- maybe his son's funny.

Posted by: pltrgyst | March 24, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, what is it with the CdS link anyway?

(not holding my breath for an answer)

Posted by: drewdane | March 24, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

>> drewdane:

Am working on getting you -- and all of us -- an updated answer.

--M.C.

Posted by: cavnam | March 24, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Based on the "Frazz" precedent, I suspect that in order to make room for this new strip, "Pearls before Swine" will be chosen to be moved to Kids' Post because it features, you know, those cute little animals.

Posted by: seismic-2 | March 24, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I am totally perplexed and disappointed as to why the WP would choose to give comics space to the least funny 'humorist' on earth. What is he going to do for laughs? Discuss blank verse poetry like in his discussion? The basic concept -- rich guy involved with a 'bum' -- sounds like something out of the 1930s. I guess they decided that Dagwood had gotten too modern, so they are trying for a new 'classic.'

Posted by: 1way | March 24, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I am totally perplexed and disappointed as to why the WP would choose to give comics space to the least funny 'humorist' on earth. What is he going to do for laughs? Discuss blank verse poetry like in his discussion? The basic concept -- rich guy involved with a 'bum' -- sounds like something out of the 1930s. I guess they decided that Dagwood had gotten too modern, so they are trying for a new 'classic.'

Posted by: 1way | March 24, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Did this 'humorist' even study the demographic. what works are cute animals, cute kids, women and their lives, and action figures. Note: not one millionaire and a bum. And the bloggers are right, a good, funny, popular strip will be dropped for this. Why does this sound like our govenment?

Posted by: 2old2readcomics | March 25, 2010 2:39 AM | Report abuse

Let's have a vote for the poorest drawn, least funny, most devisive comic...

Hand's down: Prickly City.

PLEASE KILL PRICKLY CITY or at least send it to the Washington "Loony Moony" Times

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | March 25, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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