On the latest CineGeek Webcast, we discussed Fox’s new effort for a Peanuts film. Peanuts, the comic strip by Charles Schulz, has inspired several memorable holiday specials, endless amounts of merchandise, insurance mascots, references in countless works, and so on. It’s also been running in newspapers every day since Schulz’s retirement and death, without a new strip being produced.
I’m not against Peanuts still running, but it’s an example of this post’s issue at hand: the staleness of Newspaper comics. This may very well only be a localized issue to me, but for the past 2 1/2 years I’ve been reading my city’s principal daily paper, and the daily comics page has the same comics today as it did 2 1/2 days ago.
Reruns or legacy titles, but for my newspaper, that’s all the comics page is. I’m a superhero comic fan, so I’m no stranger to legacy titles (no matter how often Marvel or DC restart issue numbers). But even I still pick up new titles. I even drop books I loose interest in. I try to expand my comic palate outside of just Avengers titles, and even those undergo creative changes. Most comic readers I know are the same in this, so why don’t newspaper comics cycle content out?
Here’s the questions for YOU, reader: Are newspaper comic strip readers so rigid that they don’t want change? Do syndication contracts papers use force such consistency? Is this lack of effort from newspapers dying out and worrying about other concerns? Or is this just my local newspaper? Is your paper different?