Popular cartoons are those which get the most notoriety in the world of comic strip syndication. As is evidenced by this article from an issue of Editor & Publisher magazine‘s ‘Syndicates /News Services‘ section from August 1991, even the most popular of comic strip sometimes will run out of steam with readers.
Newspaper feature editors in the day were very reader conscious about the comic strips and I know many would put out surveys in order to gauge the popularity of comic strips and cartoon panels that they offered.
Comic strip popularity based on reader surveys
It is interesting to see here that Dick Tracy was dropped from the funny pages of the Detroit Free Press based on a recent reader poll of that time. And the survey generated a whopping 17,595 responses! In that same set of results, it prompted the newspaper to let go of Brenda Starr by Ramona Fradon, In The Bleachers by Steve Moore and Alex’s by Peter Sinclair. As you can see here, Bill Amend’s Fox Trot strip was one of the replacement features.
It goes without saying that a strip’s popularity is ultimately decided by the readers of newspapers. With more and more digital infringement on the newspaper business, I often wonder how many devoted readers of comic strips and cartoon panels are left. I am one of the many die-hard comic strip fans and read them in my daily paper every day, as a form of inspiration and diversion from what’s on the other side of the paper.
Popular syndicated cartoons need diversified platforms
It is my hope that papers can somehow find a way to diversify and get a payment module or devoted platform for syndicated cartoon features can continually earn their creators a decent and steady income. There are some dull, boring cartoon strips which I won’t mention, but I feel they exist because people don’t read them enough to complain. I hope to share more of these reader polls in future blog posts. Thanks for visiting the carTOON Blog!