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November 30, 2012

Newspaper Comics - is Online Saving Them?

The awesome Speed Bump from Nov 27, 2012.
One of my favourite childhood memories is eagerly getting the newspaper each day, ripping open the "non-news" section (that's what I always thought of the stuff like "Lifestyle" and other sections that weren't hard news stories), and finding the comics. Sunday tradition was to dig through the mountain of flyers, catalogs, and other sales items to find the self-contained Sunday comics pages.

I had many favourites at the time, like Hi & Lois, Beetle Bailey, Hagar the Horrible, and the Wizard of Id.

That's mostly gone by the wayside now. I stopped getting newspapers that had comics a while back, and now I don't get the newspaper at all. I get all of my news online, either from news web sites or blogs or whatever. That has had the unfortunate side effect of eliminating comics from my reading.

Except that it hasn't. Because they're all available online.

Newspaper subscriptions have been trending downward for years, so comics artists and syndicates have had to make some changes in how they do things. One of those changes has been to make their work available online, including huge archives of previous strips if you want to pay for the access.

The great In the Bleachers from Nov 30
Scott Adams has his own Dilbert site, for example. Others are included in various umbrella sites such as GoComics and ArcaMax (the direct link to the comics page doesn't appear to be working right now, but you can find it through this link). These sites allow you to subscribe for free and have them delivered to your inbox every day, which really saves a lot of time and effort.

GoComics allows you to set up your own comics page you can go to each day, with one of them being sent to you in the mail if you're not a paid subscriber. If you are paid, the entire thing gets sent to you.

There are some great ones out there that I follow, such as Luann, Strange Brew, Dilbert (of course), In the Bleachers. I was really sad when the Far Side went away, but I believe Dave Coverly's Speed Bump is a nice replacement for it. A couple examples of it are on this post, and I just find Coverly's sense of humour to be wonderful.

Speed Bump from 11-19
So my newspaper comics reading is saved, even as newspapers go the way of the dodo.

What comics did you like to read? How about currently? And do you get a newspaper every day? How much of it do you read?

*Note* With this post, I have now posted at least once every day in the month of November. Also have had something post every day since I re-started the blog at the end of October.

A milestone I'm really happy with. And it shall continue as long as I'm able!


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