Sunday, January 27, 2008


Honolulu Advertiser dumbs down its comics in overnight coup

by Larry Geller

Hey... they've messed with my comics page. It's the one thing that convinces me to renew my subscription when the bill comes every year [actually, see this before you pay your bill]. The one thing that makes me pay instead of just surfing the web for news is always the comics.

I know I can get the comics on-line also, but it's just not the same somehow. The comics section is my comfort food. It's my escape into a simpler, more fun world. I wish they wouldn't mess with it.

And the section is significantly "dumbed down" now. I don't blame the editors for not understanding the literary references in Frazz, maybe literature wasn't their best subject in school. I'm sure many readers love this comic. By eliminating Frazz, the Fog Index of the comic section has already dropped significantly.

And Cathy is back. Aaargh! She has not appeared since her marriage and banishment from the page in 2005. She was getting boring (though I'm sure there is an army of Cathy followers who would disagree with me and are happy to see her back).

B.C. is back too. Some papers have been pulled this strip from their comics pages due to its religious proselytizing. I haven't seen a Los Angeles Times recently but if I remember correctly, they put B.C. in their religious section. The Advertiser might do the same.

And Shortcuts, that educational panel at the bottom of the last page, is gone too, contributing to the dumbing down big time. I learned a thing or two from that feature, and I'm sure many kids' interests in science and the natural world were sparked by something they saw in Shortcuts.

I didn't see anything in the paper explaining the change. In the past they even sought public input. What's the story here, editors?

And while I'm on the subject, has anyone noticed that placing the flooring ad on the left side instead of the right has broken up the section and made it hard to hold together? Better for the ad, maybe, but worse for the reader. At least they're not printing the comic section sideways, we should be thankful for that. Grrr.



Don't you mean, "Cathy is back. Aaack!"

Yeah, that's what I meant, thanks!

Maybe THAT'S why your subscription went down to half price....

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