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Question: What comics to keep ... and the survey says?

November 19, 2011|Jake Womer

We asked for opinions and readers have responded well.

In the Nov. 13 Lifestyle section, we asked readers to tell us which comics they read and how often they read them.

Survey results will help determine which comics remain as The Herald-Mail prepares to cut its Monday through Saturday comics from the more than two pages currently down to one page.

Six days since the survey began, 914 readers had taken the time to tell us which comics they read most often and which ones they skip over.

While we have not started tallying results, I sifted through dozens of surveys to see if I could identify any early trends.

Here are a few that might or might not hold up once full results are tallied:

  • "Apartment 3-G" and "Brevity" seem to have relatively few fans among those who sent in a survey.
  • "The Family Circus" and "Marmaduke" appear to be popular with readers.
  • "Get Fuzzy" and "Dilbert" garnered polarizing results. Several of those I reviewed marked either "never read" or "read every day" for these two comics. There was not a middle ground. One reader suggested that "Get Fuzzy" would be improved by evicting Bucky, the sarcastic feline protagonist, from the strip.
Other reader comments range from requests to keep all of the comics to an admonishment for taking too long to cut "stale, repetitive" comics.

Of course, what one reader finds "stale" another finds delightful, and there's the rub.

We are trying to develop a smaller comics page that still appeals to a large and diverse readership. The best way to do that is to receive more surveys to give us a greater sample size from loyal and occasional comics readers.

Without reader feedback, we would be left to guess which comics resonate and which do not.

If you already have submitted a survey, thank you for taking the time.

If you read the comics pages and have not yet taken the survey, please consider doing so. The more honest responses that we receive, the better we will be able to determine which should stay a part of The Herald-Mail.

Please rate the comics from one to five, one being "never read" and five being "read every day."

Voters may be eligible for a random drawing for a $50 gift card to AC&T. Only those who have completely filled out the form are eligible for the drawing. Only one entry per person will be counted.

To enter, fill out the form on page C10 of today's Herald-Mail and mail it to the newspaper office, or go to www.herald-mail.com an click on "Comics Survey," which is listed as one of the Hot Topics near the upper left of the home page.

Include your full name; age; gender; city or town of residence; daytime phone number; frequency of reading the newspaper; and frequency of reading the comics.

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