We're introducing two new weekday comic strips to the print editions on Monday.
"Thatababy" is a relatively new comic that tries to tell the story of child rearing from a baby's perspective. Created by Paul Trap, an editorial cartoonist for Baseball America magazine (and an acknowledged Cubs fan). the comic won recognition as a finalist in the Amazon Comic Strip Superstar content in 2009 prior to its initial publication near the end of 2010.
Trap described the strip to GoComics.com as "our family's story of parenthood, but told through the eyes of our son, the boy born too busy to sleep. It's a celebration of those early years when everything is new, you're the center of attention and you haven't been told the rules."
"Soup to Nutz" has been around a bit longer and attracts fans through its art work as well as its humor. It tells the story of the rambunctious and sometimes battling Nutz family -- hardworking Roy, loving Pat, their kids Roy-boy, Andrew and Babs and their dog Rosco.
The artist behind the strip is Rick Stromoski, the product of a large family himself. His illustrations have appeared in a variety of places around the country. He's won four Louis Awards for greeting card design, been nominated for National Cartoonists Society recognition 12 times and won the Reuben division award for best greeting cards in 1995 and 1998 and for magazine gag cartoons in 1999.
Much of the credit for ferreting out these two strips for us goes to Tim Broderick, our presentation editor and a comic book artist and writer himself. He recommended them after reviewing a wide assortment of possibilities to freshen up the Comics page.
Much of the credit for finding the space for the two strips goes to you. More than 2,500 subscribers responded to our request for help in identifying the comics that these two strips would replace.
We had narrowed the field of possibilities to five comic strips -- "The Dinette Set," "Judge Parker," "the Other Coast," "Pickles" and "Stone Soup." At the time, we also had planned to add "Alley Oop" and asked what three strips should go to make room.
The response from subscribers showed overwhelming support for "Pickles" and "Stone Soup" so they're staying. The allegiance to "Judge Parker" wasn't as strong but that strip still demonstrated a significant following, although also a sizable number of critics. We've decided to keep it too rather than adding "Alley Oop."
That means we'll be replacing "The Dinette Set" and the "Other Coast." The support for both was very small, and, in fact, "The Dinette Set" produced a large number of complaints.
We think you're going to like "Thatababy" and "Soup to Nutz." Please check them out beginning Monday and then let us know.
Thank you, as always, for reading.
(We encourage you to talk with the editor by joining the Facebook conversation on 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.)