The Sunday comics - those brightly colored funnies that entertain you every
Sunday morning are a slightly different breed of animal than the
black-and-white ones you read in the daily Deseret News.
For one thing, they're printed in Buena Park, Calif., by a plant that specializes in just such printing - Cal Graphics.Although the color comics section is pretty much customed tailored to each newspaper's specifications, there are also some unique problems in this territory. Such as the time frame. My colleague, Lynn Arave, who's in charge of the weekday comics, can make last-minute changes as late as the day before.
I don't have that luxury. There's about a five-week deadline for the color comics, although I can make "last minute" changes a week later, if I'm lucky.
Also, the Sunday comics section is frequently used for national advertising. I'm notified a day or two before my deadline if there are any ads, then I send Cal Graphics a suggested layout, showing where each comic is and where the ad should go.
Some Sunday comics, such as "Prince Valiant," will fit in only one space. Others can be run slightly smaller or in a different configuration.
One question we frequently get is why can't we run some of the Salt Lake Tribune comics on weekdays, when they're in the Sunday comics. When we began publishing on Sundays a few years ago, it was agreed that we could run a few of the Sunday commics that, on weekdays are the sole property of the Tribune. There were some that our readers, who had been subscribing to the Sunday Tribune, were accustomed to getting, and we attempted to give them a good crosssection of both.
Not all weekday comics are available on Sundays. Of those that are, we try to provide the ones we feel are your favorites.
We had an interesting problem a few weeks ago - and this is probably as good a place as any to mention it.
In "Mother Goose and Grimm," the entire Sunday strip was about Grimm, the mongrel pooch, trying out his new anti-tick collar. He walked past a clock and suddenly the clock changed from going "tick tock tick tock" to simply "tock, tock, tock, tock."
For some unforseen reason, the punchline in the word balloon over Grimm in the last panel was missing. I happened to be in Southern California that weekend and if I hadn't picked up one of the Sunday papers at the Las Vegas airport during a stopover, I wouldn't have had anything to compare the comic strip to when I returned to Salt Lake City that evening.
As i was going through the Deseret News upon my return, I noticed that Grimm was "speechless" -but in the Las Vegas Review-Journal comics, the words were there.
So here's the missing punchline. When Grimm notices the change, the thoughts in his word balloon say: "Gee, this new collar really does get rid of ticks."
Apparently our readers took the time to figure it out for themselves,
because I didn't get any irate phone calls the next day.
And usually, when something's wrong on the comics page, one thing we invariably do get is get phone calls.