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I’ve written before that when I was a kid, I used to love reading comics in the newspaper every day. I liked Charlie Brown. I mean, I wanted him to kick that ball so badly! (That darn Lucy). I loved Marmaduke, the big dog that wreaked unintentional havoc on his owners. Perhaps my favorite was Drabble. I had a lot in common with that lovable loser, Norman. Later, Calvin and Hobbes became a must read for me. That one is still my favorite all-time comic strip. I curse Bill Watterson for stopping it. Lately, until the past year or so, I’ve really enjoyed the strip called Pearls before Swine. That one is really funny, laugh out loud funny. Never heard of it? That’s because we don’t carry it here at the Advocate.

One thing I’ve learned as a newspaperman is that you just don’t mess with the comics. You can run a photo of a dead man on the front page and get a few nasty and angry calls. You mess with comics? You’re likely to receive hundreds of calls, and that’s just in the first 15 minutes of the morning. Phone operators actually want us to alert them when we mess with the comics so they can call in sick. So, what recent assignment did I receive (thanks Chris!)? That’s right, take an in-depth look at our comics.

So, the first thing I’m doing is a comics survey. It ran first in the Sunday paper. It will also be in the next two Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Take a look at it. Rank your favorite comics. Let us know your opinion.

We also want to know what comics you like that we don’t run in the Advocate. Who knows, maybe there’s a strong desire to run a comic we don’t carry. If we find there’s a great demand for a new comic, or that we carry a comic strip that just isn’t popular, then we may consider making some changes. Maybe we can have a Survivor-like contest and vote out the least favorite comic strip. That may be fun.

Or, maybe we won’t make any changes at all. I wouldn’t want to shut down our phone system.

As always, thanks for reading and your comments.

Thomas