Archive for Sunday, April 18, 2010

The survey is in: What you think of the J-W comics

April 18, 2010


In an online and mail-in survey, 1,083 Journal-World readers told us just how much they love their comics.

That's the most popular survey in recent memory, besting even our Oscars contest by a wide margin.

Many of the mailed-in responses were accompanied by a scribbled note in the margin. And some wrote letters.

"When we go on vacation, you save a vacation pack for us," wrote Ruby Dalrymple, 65, of Eudora. "When we get back I skim all the papers. But I will take all the funny papers out and put them in order and then read them, a day or two at a time until I'm caught up.

"The funny papers are important, and you can learn a good amount about what goes on in the world today."

Dalrymple enjoys the old favorites, such as "Family Circus" and "Blondie" as well as the newer comics, including "Zits" and "Home & Away."

So, which is the No. 1 comic, according to Journal-World readers?

There are two ways to determine that. The first is the number of survey respondents who answered either "I have to read this comic every day" or "I read this comic almost every day." Of those, "Blondie" comes out on top, with 64.4 percent of respondents saying they are regular readers. "Blondie" is followed by "Family Circus," "Hagar the Horrible," "Garfield" and "Beetle Bailey," rounding out the top five.

Then there is the other question we asked, whether we should keep or eliminate the comic.

In that poll, "Zits" is No. 1, with 79 percent of readers saying that we should keep it.

In this top five, "Zits" is followed by "Baby Blues," "Pickles," "Blondie" and "Pluggers."

And who is at the bottom of the list?

Of those rated "I never read this comic" or "I don't read this comic very often," "Get Fuzzy" got the infamous No. 1 ranking with 64.7 percent of respondents not reading it.

"Get Fuzzy" is followed by the iconic "Doonesbury," "Pearls Before Swine," "Dilbert" and "Zits."

Of those saying the comic should be eliminated, "Get Fuzzy" tops that list, too, with 52.9 percent of respondents saying it should be dropped.

"Get Fuzzy" is followed by "Pearls Before Swine," "Mutts," "Home & Away" and "Doonesbury."

But before you start writing letters in support of "Get Fuzzy" or "Doonesbury," know that we don't plan to replace any comic, at least for now.

There was no clear edict from readers that a comic absolutely has to go. However, we will be evaluating our comics page again later this year. The survey results will help us make decisions. Thanks for participating.

Top 10 "keep" comics

  1. "Zits" 79
  2. "Baby Blues" 78.4
  3. "Pickles" 75.3
  4. "Blondie" 68.3
  5. "Pluggers" 67.1
  6. "Garfield" 65.5
  7. "Hagar the Horrible" 62.9
  8. "Shoe" 62.4
  9. "Beetle Bailey" 61.2
  10. "Family Circus" 58

Top 10 "eliminate" comics

  1. "Get Fuzzy" 52.9
  2. "Pearls Before Swine" 42.2
  3. "Mutts" 39.2
  4. "Home & Away" 38.5
  5. "Doonesbury" 35.8
  6. "Herman" 31.6
  7. "Non-Sequitur" 29.2
  8. "Off the Mark" 25.8
  9. "Dilbert" 24.5
  10. "Born Loser" 21.6

Comic (Read daily/most days) Read sometimes [Read sometimes/never]

  1. "Blondie" (64.4) 19.2 [16.4]
  2. "Family Circus" (61.1) 17.9 [21.0]

  3. "Hagar the Horrible" (59.1) 20.0 [20.9]
  4. "Garfield" (57.1) 20.9 [22.0]
  5. "Beetle Bailey" (56.7) 22.8 [20.5]

  6. "Shoe" (56.1) 19.2 [24.7]
  7. "Hi & Lois" (54.6) 19.3 [26.1]

  8. "Peanuts" (51.7) 24.0 [24.3]
  9. "Pluggers" (50.0) 15.8 [34.2]
  10. "Pickles" (48.5) 10.4 [41.1]
  11. "Born Loser" (47.3) 24.0 [28.7]
  12. "Baby Blues" (47.2) 10.0 [42.8]
  13. "Herman" (43.4) 24.3 [32.3]
  14. "Zits" (43.3) 8.8 [47.9]
  15. "Off the Mark" (42.9) 22.2 [34.9]
  16. "Sherman's Lagoon" (42.4) 17.6 [40.0]
  17. "Mutts" (39.5) 19.2 [41.3]
  18. "Home & Away" (37.6) 26.9 [35.5]
  19. "Dilbert" (36.9) 13.5 [49.6]
  20. "Non-Sequitur" (33.1) 20.3 [46.6]
  21. "Pearls Before Swine" (30.0) 15.5 [54.5]
  22. "Doonesbury" (29.2) 14.3 [56.5]
  23. "Get Fuzzy" (19.4) 15.9 [64.7]


beatrice 7 years ago

I think Tom Shewmon is hysterical.

DennisAnderson 7 years ago

Of the 296 people who submitted a paper ballot, the average age was 69.4. More than 73 percent were age 51 or older. The oldest was 95; the youngest was 8.

The online survey (787 respondents) asked age by range. • 77.8 percent of respondents said they were age 41 or older. • 63.3 percent said they were age 51 or older. • 38.5 percent (nearly 40 percent of all respondents) said they were 61 or older.

The online respondents had nearly the same taste in comics as the paper ballot voters.

Tim Quest 7 years ago

This is unsurprising. People under the age of 65 generally get their comics from places other than newsprint, which leaves you - Dennis Anderson - with a bit of a quandary. Do you cater to the whims of the people who actually still find Family Circus or FBOFW entertaining/enlightening, despite the fact that most of those people will be dead soon?

Or do you try to bring a better demographic to the comics page, one that has education, income, and isn't decrepit and dying, at the risk of alienating the bitter old people?

overthemoon 7 years ago

More than tea parties or birthers or militia crazies, this survey tells me we are doomed. Family Circus?? Brain dead at birth. Isn't funny. Never has been funny. Never will be funny. Almost as bad as Nancy. Maybe worse than Nancy.

parrothead8 7 years ago

I didn't even know the LJW had comics, and I didn't know there was a poll going on.

I agree with Starlight. The ones on the "Get Rid Of" list are some of the better comics out there, and Get Fuzzy and Pearls Before Swine are two of the best comics in American newspapers right now.

Blondie? Yawn. Unless you're talking about Debbie Harry.

barlowtl 7 years ago

According to many of the comments here It is quite evident that my vote is not welcome as I have lived too long & would be considered too old & decrepit to have a valid opinion.

50YearResident 7 years ago

My over 61 vote, Best to worst: 1-Get Fuzzy 2-Hagar the horrible 3-Pearls before swine 4-Shermans Lagoon 5-Garfield 6-Dilbert 7-Shoe 8-Baby blues 9-Pickels 10-Herman 11-Girls & Sports 12-Pluggers 13-Off the Mark

Get rid of these first, 1=worst: 1- Prickley City (a waste of space) 2-Doonsbury (political waste) 3-Betle Bailey (hasn't changed in 30 years) 4-Penuts (hasn't changed in 20 years) 5-Non Secquiter 6-Hi & Lois 7-Home & away 8-Blondie (hasn't changed in 100 years)

Steve Jacob 7 years ago

Just seeing the list of favorites tells me the older crowd filled out the form. But then again, older people buy papers. Pearls Before Swine is the funniest, but probably for the youngest.

I think it was "Carbondale" (in KC Star) that joked about how newspapers are cutting staff, less pages, less comics and charging more and still hope to sell more copies.

50YearResident 7 years ago

Mutts fron the weekday comics this one is written by a 5 year old and 90% of the time they are dropping nuts on heads of anything walking by. Get rid of "Mutts" an insult to people that can actually read.

jumpin_catfish 7 years ago

Please don't take Dilbert down, please!

irvan moore 7 years ago

I'm old and the only ones I like are Dilbert and zits, the last go around you lost most of the good stuff. I have to wonder if the comic section is able to run certain comics for less cost than others so that is the only vote that really counts.

Thinking_Out_Loud 7 years ago

Zits, Get Fuzzy, Doonesbury, Peanuts, Dilbert...each an exceptional comic!


townie79 7 years ago

OMG...all of the ones i read are on the "eliminate" list. i guess that's another reason to read the Star.

Bill Lee 7 years ago

I remember when I used to read every comic in the J-W, but now I read about half of them. Some are gone because their creators stopped doing them, but others are gone because of poor decsions by the World Company. I predict that if you switch the poitions in the paper of Peanuts and Zits, popularity will also trade places on the next poll.

hawklet21 7 years ago

I am surprised that "Get Fuzzy" ranks so low. However, the last time I read the column I was pasting up pages for a small community newspaper. It may have lost its relevance since then.

cozy 7 years ago

I only read the comics for Get Fuzzy. It is the funniest one to me. I dont live in some dream world like the readers of Family Circus that think everything is peaches and cream in the world and put the same crap out each week.

bkreed1960 7 years ago

OMG, I read them all. Some days some of them are funny and the next day they are not. The cartoonist can't be funny 365 days out of the year. If they are half of the time, then their percentage is better than our weather forecasters : )

chasmo 7 years ago

The worst strips ever are Marmaduke and Kathy. I think they got cut a couple of years ago.

Steve Jacob 7 years ago

Your not going to see the Marmaduke movie in May chasmo?

jonas_opines 7 years ago

""Blondie" is followed by "Family Circus," "Hagar the Horrible," "Garfield" and "Beetle Bailey," rounding out the top five."

Holy god, these are the worst comics out there, just about. With the mild exceptions of Cathy and the Wizard of Id. Let's be honest, they've been on for decades now, all of them, and they don't have anything new to say, when they aren't straight-up reruns.

Dagwood hits the mailman. Garfield's upset with John and Odie, the General hits on the blonde secretary, Hagar's wife frightens him in some way before battle, the little kid says something pukingly adorably fake and cheesy.

There, now all you have to do is come here and read this, day after day after day, and just envision it. You won't miss anything, I swear to you on that.

"According to many of the comments here It is quite evident that my vote is not welcome as I have lived too long & would be considered too old & decrepit to have a valid opinion."

You've had your comics for years. Now we kindly ask you to will your comic page to the younger generation before you go to Jesus.

Thinking_Out_Loud 7 years ago

"...these are the worst comics out there, just about. With the mild exceptions of Cathy and the Wizard of Id. Let's be honest, they've been on for decades now, all of them...."

Another perspective is that these are the comics that are tried and true, having consistently proven their appeal over the years.

"You've had your comics for years. Now we kindly ask you to will your comic page to the younger generation before you go to Jesus."

What a hideous sentiment to direct toward another person. That ageist and mean-spirited statement was entirely beneath you.

anon1958 7 years ago

I do not understand why people here are surprised that moronic and "safe" comic strips like family circus, beetle bailey and blondie are popular in Kansas. These results are about what I would expect even if they were not just a repeat of earlier surveys.

puddleglum 7 years ago

dilbert is good. so is peanuts.

Chrissy Neibarger 7 years ago

Pearls before Swine is one of the best comics that I have read in years! I get it delivered to my in-box daily. Dilbert still ranks very high with me as well..

Blondie?? you've got to be kidding. Most of the "keepers" are so drab, nothing funny about them. I want my comic to be funny.. we USED to call it the funny papers growing up.

jonas_opines 7 years ago

On the other hand, blue, would have rather ended still sharp or lingered for years and decades even, its funniness long since departed and forgotten.

tWas the best, though, by a good amount.

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