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Article updated: 1/7/2013 7:21 AM

Talk with the Editor: Help us decide what comics to replace

By John Lampinen

One of our goals at the beginning of the new year is to energize the Comics page in our print editions, a staple that's been part of the newspaper tradition for decades.

In actuality, the importance of the page extends beyond the mere enjoyment of it. It's the way a lot of readers are introduced to the newspaper.

In fact, that's how I started reading newspapers as a child. I wouldn't be surprised if that's how some of you did too. (Now, get your children and grandchildren reading them!)

So here's an announcement and a challenge.

First, we plan in the near future to introduce three popular comics -- Thatababy, described by its advocates as "a delightful romp through the tiny world of an adorable, destructive infant that never loses its sweetness;" Soup to Nutz, a quirky strip that features "the antics and fighting siblings of the Nutz family;" and Alley Oop, a classic cave man adventure strip that just celebrated its 80th birthday and is still going strong.

We're excited about the additions. The problem is, there is only so much space in print so in order to add a comic, you need to subtract a comic.

After decades in the newspaper business, I can tell you that's never an easy choice. Every comic has its followers.

So we're going to let our audience decide: Which three comics do we drop?

We've narrowed the list of possibilities to five:

The Dinette Set, Judge Parker, The Other Coast, Pickles and Stone Soup.

There are a variety of reasons each strip made the possible-cut list.

For example, we've heard complaints for years that The Dinette Set is offensive to seniors. And Judge Parker has received a lot of criticism recently with a change of artists that some say has made characters unrecognizable.

Whatever the case, tell us what comics to spare. Leave a comment with your vote for one or two of the five that we should keep. Just one or two that you would spare. No more than that or we won't be able to count your vote. Feel free to offer an explanation.

We'll tally the votes here and votes we've asked print readers to email or snail mail, and we'll go from there.

Thanks for your help.

(We encourage you to talk with the editor by clicking on the Comments widget and providing your response to today's column. We want a provocative discussion but one that also abides by general rules of civility. ... Please also consider friending John on Facebook by searching John Lampinen Daily Herald and following him on Twitter @DHJohnLampinen.)

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