One question frequently asked by readers who participated in the recent Deseret News comics survey was, "Where did such-and-such a comic strip go?" Or readers wrote, "Please bring such-and-such a comic strip back."
For the record, the following comics have been discontinued by their syndicates and they are NOT available for print ANYWHERE:"Betty Boop," "Ground Zero," "Charlie," "Kerry Drake" and "Downstown."
"Arnold" recently joined that list, too (see the "Arnold" story on the facing page).
Also, the man who wrote "Kerry Drake" died in the early 1980s.
- Regarding the numerous requests to publish many of the comic strips that the Deseret News runs on Sunday only on weekdays, too:
Most of these Sunday-only comics are the property of The Salt Lake Tribune, and our agreement states that we can run them ONLY on Sunday. Thus, we can't run such strips as "Peanuts," "Hagar the Horrible," "Beetle Bailey," "Cathy" and "Garfield" on any day other than Sunday.
A few other comics are published ONLY on Sunday.
- On the possibility of bringing back some canceled Deseret News comic strips such as: "Broom Hilda," "Funky Winkerbean," "Bizarro," "Francie," "Doonesbury," "Guindon, " "Robotman," "Bears in Love" and "Catfish."
All of these former comics were canceled for specific reasons.
Some were thought to be offensive with little humorous value. Others had deteriorated in quality of drawing and/or story line. Sometimes new artists try to take over an old strip, and they just can't equal the old quality. And sometimes something new comes along that we want to take a chance on and have to make room on the comics page.
In fact, ultimately we canceled "Catfish" to make room for "Calvin & Hobbes," today's favorite comic strip, according to our readers. If we still had "Catfish," we might not have "Calvin."
The Deseret News comics hopes to cater to the many different tastes of its readers but feels the quality and readership of a comic are the main deciding factors in its survival.
- On requests to publish other new, specific comic strips:
For any new comics to be printed, an old comic must go, either by way of a syndicate death or by the paper's own cancellation.
We have space for only 28 daily comics, even though almost 500 different U.S. comic strips and panels are available to be purchased for publication from more than 200 different syndicates and news services.
So, between the Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune, there is space to run only about 12 percent of all the comics available.