If you ever wondered how important comics are in a newspaper, consider the response to my request last week for help in deciding what ones to keep and what ones to drop.
I wrote to say we are planning to introduce three popular strips -- Thatababy, Soup to Nutz, and Alley Oop. But that meant we would have to drop three of these -- The Dinette Set, Judge Parker, The Other Coast, Pickles and Stone Soup. I asked you to tell us which two of those five we should keep.
You didn't have to be asked twice.
At last count, we've received 157 comments on the Talk, 2,190 emails on the subject, more than 200 letters, several posts on my Facebook page and a good number of phone calls too. Ninty-four online readers recommended the column on the subject to their Facebook friends.
There's been so much correspondence, in fact, that we haven't been able to keep up with it all. We're still counting the votes, and we probably won't have a final tally for another week.
Some of those pieces of correspondence were straight and to the point: Keep this comic; get rid of that comic. But most went beyond that. Most provided the argument behind the vote, often passionately. Some asked us to add comics I hadn't mentioned; and some asked us to drop comics that didn't make our list. Some said, just leave things as they are.
All five strips have loyal supporters; most of them also have strong critics.
This isn't going to be easy, no matter what we do.
And at least one thing is certain: People take the funnies seriously.
Thanks so much for your interest in the Daily Herald. And 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.)