A clean, well-lit place to vent
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I was quite surprised by today's strip. GT has always seemed to embrace modern technology and changes quite well, and this sudden plea to stick with print just seems, well, odd. Things are changing, and online comics are actually a very vibrant and rapidly growing area right now. It's just another thing that GT should embrace whole-heartedly, or else the new crowd will just scorn him and lump him in with all the other tired old print fogeys -- which would be a crying shame since GT is most certainly not like the rest.
My parents used to criticize my generation for reading comic books instead of the classics. Guess what? We grew up and became a generation that learned how to read (and as well or better than our parents, thank you) with comic books. I am 61 years old, so this all took place in the middle of the last century. For those of you who mourn the loss of newspapers, make sure that you don't make the same mistake our parents did. And let me point out that Bill Moyers is doing just as well as Fox -- both the news and entertainment departments.
I am bemused and amused by today's Blowback. First, that the conversation about print media is taking place on my computer screen. I haven't actually seen Doonesbury on paper for such a long time that I can't remember. And as one commentor said, I would be willing to pay to subscribe to Doonesbury online. Second, I'm in some agreement with the comments about the movement to the right among publishers of print media. The post about the ascendancy of the Wall Street Journal and FOX News seems to be suggesting that most Americans are turning to the right. I am very worried if that is the trend. I just watched a documentary about the Texas school Board rulings on curriculum, and I shudder.
My local newspaper is printed three times a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and only includes Doonesbury in the Sunday Comics. I get my Doonesbury fix on Slate (like must others who contribute to Blowback). The Grand Rapids Press is part of a statewide, right-leaning newspaper conglomerate, and I subscribe mainly for local news and the Sunday advertisements and coupons.
I love Doonesbury, but "stick with print!" is a fail. You can't seriously expect people to stop unsubscribing to newspapers for the simple reason that the comics might fade away. I don't even read this strip in my local paper, but get it online! This is exactly what the music and movie industry has been failing at; attempting to halt the progress of consumers, rather than changing the industry. What's next? Digital artists should stop using Photopaint and go back to traditional media? People should stop buying DVDs because the theaters are hurting? This isn't how the world works, nor has it ever worked like this. You need to change the comic strip. (Hell, I'd pay a subscription fee for it online. I love it that much!) Don't publish it online and then tell me to subscribe to my crappy local paper.
I subscribe to and read my local newspaper for news, reviews and just something to read, but not for Doonesbury. My paper, in the hometown of Andrews McMeel Publishing, runs the daily strip at the bottom of the page, in black and white, in type that gets smaller as I get older, and only runs six panels of the Sunday strip. There is no comparison to the feature-rich online edition, which I think is great by the way. I appreciate that you are honoring your roots, but I see no reciprocal support -- if anything just the opposite.
Print? I only read the print version when I visit my elderly parents. Doonesbury is usually the fifth webcomic that I read every day.
Um. I read this strip online.
Mike tells us to stick to print, but my local newspaper has moved farther and farther to the right in recent years. I'm not willing to pay for the paper simply to read Doonesbury in print (very small print on the editorial page) and the grocery ads. I subscribe to the online version of the New York Times instead, and I'd subscribe to Doonesbury too if it came down to it.
Actually, you already are. Little-known but fun fact: Doonesbury has been on the New York Times web site for years. You can find it under "cartoons" or click here.
Power to the press. I loved today's strip. People just don't get it. I hope they wake up before there are no more ink smudges with morning coffee.
Today's strip raises the ancient question of the glass -- is it half full or half empty? -- and of life itself. We have to keep our priorities; laughter mixed with wisdom first, everything else second or third.
What happens to comics if newspapers go away is that the successful ones become less like Doonesbury and more like The Oatmeal, XKCD, and all the other thriving web comics whose creators are earning a living from new media, rather than the archaic, tree-destroying newspaper model.
Your strip was interesting today, exhorting your readers to "stick with print." There is a reason that print is dying. It's the same reason that the Wall Street Journal is, and will be, the top print news for as long as print news stays around, and it's the same reason that Fox is the top broadcast station.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. Why shouldn't life happen to Toggle and Alex? Sure, GB could have given them a magical, obstacle-free storyline, but doesn't the recent development make them more real? While I love Zonker talking to plants, and Jeff's Red Rascal persona, what grounds the strip is the real things, the actual complicated daily-life things, big and small.
I hate to use such strong language, but... AAACCKKK!! You can't tell your audience you're taking feedback via Tweet and not give them real accounts! Ravenous Twits are highly self-trained to snap to and respond when they see one of those things. You must be wreaking havoc on poor @Zipper (a defunct game designer) and @Redrascal (a parked account?).
Ah, it was ever thus. Culturally destabilising characters are best played by British actors -- Charles van Doren, Nixon, Sgt. Brody... Zipper.
Interactions via Twitter? Does this mean Doonesbury is getting a new account? Oh man. Last time, when Roland Hedley was tweeting like crazy, was the best! (So sad that it's all gone now.)* Today's strip even lists an actual Twitter name! Let me try it: @zipper is... a defunct video game company? *sigh* I knew it was too good to be true.
* Editor's note: Roland's prodigious output of 140-character reportage has been preserved in old-media format. Click here to order "MY SHORTS R BUNCHING. THOUGHTS?" : The Tweets of Roland Hedley.
4 GBT frames beats 140 chr twitter snark.
Today's mailbox-week interruption of Drew's big news? Not cool GBT, not cool. (But well played, kind sir.)
What a shame the mailbag interrupted today's strip. I've been wondering where the Drew character was going. She is the only recurring character in the Doonesbury world who has no story or social commentary associated with her and her actions. She has been used solely to articulate Alex's insecurities and give an insight to her relationship to Toggle. My guess is that her big news is related to the lack of guys in her life. Maybe a coming out, or a hookup with another character.