Comics update: 'Frazz,' 'Tundra' join the lineup

Comics fans have noticed some changes this week to The News-Gazette’s daily and Sunday comics pages.
“Frazz” and “Tundra” have joined the daily lineup, replacing “Cul de Sac” and “Barney & Clyde.”
We have been running guest comic strips on the daily pages since April 2011. We asked readers all along to let us know what they thought of the guest strips, and we conducted a poll last spring in which we listed all the guest comics we’d run to that point and asked readers to vote.
Based on favorable reaction when we first started running “Cul de Sac” as a guest strip, we made it a permanent part of our lineup in August 2011. But the last year has been a struggle for cartoonist Richard Thompson. Parkinson's disease, first diagnosed in 2009, has so weakened him that he has decided he cannot keep up with the demands of a daily comic strip. The last “Cul de Sac” ran in the Sept. 23 Sunday comics.
While we did not get a great number of votes returned to us about the guest strips in last spring’s poll, “Frazz” was the clear choice of those who voted, so we’ve picked it as the replacement for “Cul de Sac.” “Frazz,” by Jef Mallett, follows the adventures of an unexpected role model: Edwin “Frazz” Frazier, an elementary school janitor who’s also a Renaissance man. “Frazz” won Wilbur Awards from the Religion Communicators Council in 2003 and 2005 for excellence in communicating values and ethics.
We’ve also had a number of readers tell us in the poll and otherwise that they did not like any of the guest comics we’ve run so far. We hope you’ll find “Tundra” more to your liking. Chad Carpenter’s strip about life in Alaska is one of the fastest-growing comic strips in the country, now running in more than 500 newspapers worldwide. It won a Reuben Award in 2008 for Best Newspaper Panel from the National Cartoonist Society. “Tundra” replaces “Barney & Clyde,” which has been on an extended trial but has not generated much reaction. “Tundra” will run Monday through Saturday.
Let us know what you think about “Frazz,” “Tundra” or any other comic strips we run. If enough readers like the offbeat humor in “Tundra,” we’ll make it a permanent part of our lineup. You can email us at And don’t forget to visit Comics Kingdom on our website to see a lot of your favorites.

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Lostinspace wrote on September 25, 2012 at 2:09 pm

"We’ve also had a number of readers tell us in the poll and otherwise that they did not like any of the guest comics we’ve run so far."

And what do they propose instead?   I ask because their opinion seems to carry a lot of weight.

John Beck wrote on September 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm
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Thanks for the question. Actually, most of them did not propose any comics, just writing in "none of the above" or worse on the ballot. I wish they would have proposed some alternatives.

sarahunt1 wrote on September 26, 2012 at 11:09 am

Thank you for the explanation as to why "Cul du Sac" was discontinued.  It had become one of my favorite comics.  I remember Frazz and I'm just lukewarm on it but Tundra looks like it may be a winner.  Today's strip was hilarious!  I still miss The Born Loser.  In my opinion the worst comic on the page is Red and Rover.  It's worse than the serials.  Mutts is pretty lame also.  The serials are only slightly better than Mutts. 

I love reading the comics!  I save them for the last thing to read in the morning paper.  I search out Dinnette Set in the want ads, then turn to the full page.  I start with Rex Morgan at the bottom left side, reading up, over and down, ending with Mother Goose & Grimm.  I'm an unhappy lady if I don't get my daily "comics fix".  If I have no time to read anything else, I'll make the time to read the comics.

John Beck wrote on September 27, 2012 at 10:09 am
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Thanks for the comment. I have high hopes that readers will really like "Tundra" over time. It reminds me a little of "The Far Side." Funny that you mention reading the comics in a certain order, I do also, saving "Dilbert" for last.