Comic Strips Seek New Life Lines
As 2008 winds down, the future looms large and one of the murkiest predictions regards the future of newspapers. With people increasingly getting their news from the Internet, newspapers seem to serve readers with advertising circulars, classifieds and the comics. As various papers struggle with declining advertising revenue, they have shrunk newsrooms, dropped pages, reduced their size and trimmed features. Newspapers that carried two or three pages of comic strips are half that size and it gets harder for new cartoonists to gain a toehold.
Today’s New York Times takes a look at the future of the comic strip as it reaches beyond newsprint to reach audiences. The article quotes Pearls Before Swine’s Stephan Pastis as saying, “Newspapers are declining. For a syndicated cartoonist, that’s like finally making it to the major leagues and being told the stadiums are all closing, so there’s no place to play.”
The article went on to cover United Feature Syndicate’s increased emphasis on free archives of their strips at Comics.com and Universal Press Syndicate’s Uclick mobile phone option. As for the cartoonists themselves, the Times says they’re searching for survival by posting their works on the web at sites such as Comic Genesis and Webcomics Nation.