Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Diverse Views on "Doonesbury"

At least the Monterey Herald Editor is listening to comments made by dedicated "Doonesbury" fans. I e-mailed my local friends yesterday, urging them to write to Carolina Garcia, and a couple of people copied me on their own letters to the editor. I'm sharing comments from John Clark, linguist, and Walter E. Gourlay, historian.

I’m wondering if this decision was motivated to any degree by (1) political considerations on the part of the Herald staff and/or (2) the possibility that the Herald could economize a bit by substituting less expensive comic titles than may have been the case with Doonesbury.

In all events, we now have such bird-cage liner candidates as Boondocks (“Y’all can build all the snowmen you want in here. I ain’t turnin’ on the heat”) and Mutts (“Oh, ‘shniff,’ Earl, ‘sniff’ I think “coff’ I hab a cold. ‘Sniff’” “Do you ‘sniff’ think ‘coff’ it’s ‘sniffle’ catchy?” “I ‘shniffle’ ‘cough’ doubt it.” That’s “achoo’ good.”

Bottom line for me is that the Herald is, and will remain, in both the editorial and public service boondocks unless and until it reverses course and brings back Doonesbury. I should also mention that the vertical size of each strip has been shrunk considerably, which negatively affects both legibility and overall visual quality by comparison to the “pre-change” format.

I’m e-mailing a copy of the above to the Herald, and sincerely hope that many of your other recipients will take a moment to express their thoughts on this matter as well.

John Clark

I have just returned from a trip to Southern California and I am amazed, perplexed and dismayed that you have axed your most literate and adult-oriented comic strip, Doonesbury. If you have taken this step for economic reasons, shame on you. If because of its political messages, shame on you. If because of pressure from the redneck portion of your readers, doubly shame on you. Doonesbury was one of the major reasons I bought your paper and I will tend to pass by your vending machines in the future.
(Dr.) Walter E. Gourlay
I can only hope that these views will be shared with the Herald's readership.


At 4:37 PM, Blogger "The Fanatic" said...

I was pretty upset to see the recent changes made to the Herald's comics section. Doonesbury, who I've been reading for nearly 20 years, was axed while Family Circus and Beatle Bailey remained. Doonesbury has been a political comedic staple in households across the nation for decades. I didn't always agree with Garry Trudeau's political stance, but that's what made his cells so readable. Is the Herald becoming ultra-conservative?

Now that Ziggy and Foxtrot have been removed from the Want Ads, there's no reason for me to thumb through that section at all. Of couse it's nice to have all the comics on one page, but if you want to attract readers to other areas of your paper, having Ziggy and Foxtrot there was a nice way to achieve it.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Chris Kemp said...

You know, I'm sure Doonesbury is great and all, but I'll never forget the fact that Trudeau refused to take part in the syndicate-wide cartoonists' tribute to Charles Schultz that took place after he died. Trudeau is topical; Schultz was universal. No question who is the greater cartoonist.

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