The space for one new daily comic strip in The News-Review remains up for grabs.
Today, we debut another sample strip, “Flo & Friends,” for readers to consider over the next month.
“Flo & Friends” is subtitled “Aging with Attitude.” It follows Flo, a radio show host who is a senior citizen but keeps her youthful attitude and wit. It also features several of her friends, who range in age from 69 to 80-plus, as well as her 40-year-old son and trendy 15-year-old granddaughter.
As the strip begins today, we see the granddaughter, Treggie. Readers will meet Flo for the first time in Tuesday’s strip. As the month goes on, readers will meet her son, Jack, who’s single and unemployed and has decided to move back in with Flo to help her out. Characters Ruthie, Winnie and Larry, all active seniors who tell it like it is, are also part of the strip.
The comic strip could potentially fill the space left open at the end of September when the comic strip “Cul de Sac” was discontinued. Its creator, Richard Thompson, retired due to Parkinson’s disease and is no longer drawing the strip. That sent us searching for a new comic to take its place.
We published samples of “Baby Blues,” drawn by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott, for a month and asked for reader feedback. The reviews were mixed. While some readers were enchanted with the strip and had followed it in other newspapers, a nearly equal number were not amused.
We also asked readers to let us know if they would like to see “Baby Blues” (assuming it had a better reception) replace “For Better or For Worse,” since that strip has been in repeats for about four years. The response to that question was abundantly clear. Readers favored keeping “For Better or For Worse” by nearly an 8-to-1 margin. Most said they hadn’t read the strip in its early years so the story line remains fresh to them.
Now, we’ll see if “Flo & Friends” garners more fans than “Baby Blues” did. Readers can once again email us with their views at firstname.lastname@example.org or call and leave a message at 541-957-4230.
When we ask for a response to comics, we always get those who tell us which comics they don’t enjoy. “Non Sequitur” and “Get Fuzzy” were two of the comics that many readers told us they could live without. We recently added “Get Fuzzy” to our Sunday lineup, so we’re inclined to give readers more time to warm up to it.
We agree that “Non Sequitur” has small type that can be difficult to read. We’d like to hear from more readers on the desirability of “Non Sequitur,” especially from those who enjoyed “Baby Blues” and had hoped to continue seeing it in the paper.
Conceivably, we could add “Flo & Friends” in place of “Cul de Sac” and replace “Non Sequitur” with “Baby Blues” following this one-month trial. That would give the comics page two new strips.
“Flo & Friends” has been drawn by Jenny Campbell since 2002. A former newspaper journalist, she runs her cartooning business out of an 1880s Ohio farmhouse. She’s illustrated 12 children’s books and draws for “Highlights for Children” magazine.
News-Review Editor Vicki Menard can be reached at 541-957-4203 or by email at email@example.com.