There have been some huge changes in the comics pages around here.
To all the readers who have been contacting me regarding the cancellation of Between Friends in their Southern Ontario local papers over the past few days, I want to thank you for your concern and kind words.
Unfortunately, there was a major reduction in the comics line-up of this newspaper chain and twelve strips have now been cut back to four. Newspaper clients come and newspaper clients go in this business. That's the nature of comic strip syndication...but these cuts are drastic.
What is especially sad for me in this particular instance, is that this reduction has affected my hometown newspaper and the local papers in the region where I live. "Between Friends" has been published in the St. Catharines Standard for 23 years...even before I was syndicated internationally by King Features. I was mentored by the wonderful Mr. Murray Thomson, the managing editor of the Standard many years ago. I wrote about my path to becoming a syndicated cartoonist and the meetings I had with Mr. Thomson a few years back in this blog.
My strip is published all over the world...India, South Africa, Australia and Jamaica for example. It is pretty darn cool to be published in those countries. Actually, it's pretty darn cool to have my comic strip published anywhere! Hearing from readers all over the world is quite an experience. I really enjoy hearing from readers who tell me the lives of my women characters mirror their own. Knowing that women in Melbourne, Australia, and Cape Town, South Africa are empathizing and chuckling about the same cartoons as women from St. John's, Newfoundland and Seattle, Washington tells me there's a little something in the female gender that connects us all. (And to my male readers, I love it that they 'get' and enjoy my strip too!)
But...as I mentioned above...losing my local papers hurts.
I really appreciate all the nice things people have been telling me about how they enjoyed Between Friends. Thank you. ...and let your editor know too.