Comic results are in

In November, we asked readers to take a survey about the comics pages to help us determine which comic strips to continue to publish.

Nearly 1,900 readers responded to the survey, which is part of an effort to go from two-plus pages of comics to one page in the Monday through Saturday editions of The Herald-Mail. Respondents were fairly evenly split along the gender line, and a majority of them were older than 55.

The survey responses along with attached notes and emails were helpful in winnowing the comics.

The 10 most popular comics were longtime mainstays on the pages. Those comics are listed in descending order by the percentage of respondents who read the at least once a week:

  •  "Family Circus" — 87 percent
  •  "Lockhorns" — 86 percent
  •  "Dennis the Menace" — 84 percent
  •  "Beetle Bailey" — 82 percent
  •  "Blondie" — 81 percent
  •  "Peanuts" — 80 percent
  •  "Garfield" — 78 percent
  •  "Marmaduke" — 78 percent
  •  "For Better or for Worse" — 73 percent
  •  "Fred Basset" — 73 percent

The five least popular comics, listed in descending order by the percentage of respondents who never read them, are:

  •  "Apartment 3-G" — 71 percent
  •  "Get Fuzzy" — 66 percent
  •  "Mary Worth" — 65.5 percent
  •  "Rex Morgan" — 63 percent
  •  "Pearls Before Swine" — 61 percent

To determine which comics from the middle of the pack would be cut, we parsed the data to look at which comics appealed to older readers and which comics appealed to younger readers, as well as those that appealed to women and those that appealed to men.

After much discussion, it became clear that we could not cut enough comic strips to  reduce our comics offerings to only one page Monday through Saturday.

So the Daily Break page will be used to run more comics than those that will fit on the primary comics page.

The changes will go into effect in the Jan. 2 edition.

The following comics will be removed from the comics pages published Monday through Saturday:

  •  "Apartment 3-G"
  •  "Close to Home"
  •  "Get Fuzzy"
  •  "Grand Avenue"
  •  "Grin and Bear It"
  •  "Hagar"
  •  "Luann"
  •  "Mary Worth"
  •  "Non Sequitur"
  •  "Pearls Before Swine"
  •  "Rex Morgan"
  •  "Rose Is Rose"
  •  "Sally Forth"
  •  "Wizard of Id"



Five of those comics will be removed from the Sunday comics section as well. They are:

  •  "Apartment 3-G"
  •  "Hagar"
  •  "Mary Worth"
  •  "Rex Morgan"
  •  "Sally Forth"

All survey participants were eligible for a random drawing to win a $50 gift card from AC&T. Wanda Kline of Hagerstown won the drawing.

Congratulations to her, and I thank all of you loyal comics readers who took the survey and submitted the results.



Jake Womer is executive editor of The Herald-Mail. He can be reached by calling 301-733-5131, ext. 7594, or by sending an email to jakew@herald-mail.com.
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