Comics-world News

(Not “Comics World News”, which would be news about comics that spans the world, rather than news ABOUT the world of comics)

Spotted in Randy Cassingham’s This Is True (née This Just In, changed many years ago after SNL’s lawyers got on his case):

So Long to cartoonist Chris Browne, who took over the “Hägar the Horrible” strip from its creator, his father Dik, when Dik died in 1989. Chris wrote and drew the comic until he died, on February 5, at 70.

Some may recall that Dik Browne also created Hi and Lois, which I’d forgotten (if I ever knew).

Some nice coverage (and no, I don’t know why only the one got a preview–it did even when it wasn’t first):


  1. “Raising Duncan” was a popular strip on rec.arts.comics.strips, and Chris would regularly post on the newsgroup.

  2. I guess it helps if you really like small dogs. The strip ran for just under 4.5 years (ending on Sunday 2-Jan-2005, but seems to have a permanent (if slightly irregular) zombie re-run existence at GoComics.

  3. There are a number of strips in permanent rerun mode. Big Top, Lucky Cow, Preteena, Liberty Meadows, and The Boondocks are all ones that have been in my lineup and looped through reruns several times.

  4. @ Brian – I have been reading the “Ink Pen” reruns for quite some time, but the strip has not (yet) cycled back to the beginning. The only other rerun on my daily list is “Cul de Sac”, which has cycled back (at least once), but lately has been producing new strips that I don’t recall seeing before. My memory could be faulty, of course, but I suspect the archivist has been doing some calendar shuffles.

  5. “. . . but I suspect the archivist has been doing some calendar shuffles.”

    I don’t understand WHY the reruns can’t be/aren’t printed according to season. Some are – Cathy, for instance – but RD is celebrating Christmas in the summer. If they can do it for one comic rerun, why not for all?

    I, too, think some of the Cul de Sac comics are ones I’ve not seen before.

  6. Cassingham’s assertion that Chris Browne wrote and drew the strip until the day he died appears to be an exaggeration based on his sister Sally’s interview (the last link).

  7. @ Andréa – Thanks for confirming that it wasn’t just me. As was noted in a different thread, the fundamental problem is that GoComics has no editorial staff; their website is merely a pipeline that is making (a minimal amount of) money on advertising revenue generated by readers visiting the site, as well as the fees that some users pay to avoid seeing those same annoying ads.

    Any content management that takes place is solely the responsibility of the respective content providers (authors and/or their syndicates). In cases like “Peanuts” and “Calvin and Hobbes”, the syndicate is still making a fair amount of money from newspapers, therefore, it is in their vested interest to make sure that the published strips are in a logical, understandable sequence. For zombies like Raising Duncan and Ink Pen, there probably aren’t any papers publishing them, so the only reason for their continued existence at GoComics is as “clickbait”. GC takes whatever pops out of the slot, and foists it off on a readership that can take it or leave it. GC has already made their millifraction of a cent on the advertising page views, and therefore has no interest in responding to reader complaints.

    P.S. The latter applies with equal force to the multitude of superfluous “classic” features that GoComics has founded for the sole purpose of expanding their apparent number of selectable features.

  8. CATHY today relates to Presidents’ Day, so SOMEone has really taken that strip in hand and made sure it corresponds to the seasons and holidays. Surprisingly, RD is also ‘on season’, altho I think that it’s purely accidental.

    Thanks for the explanation, Kilby . . . makes absolute sense to me.

  9. I don’t understand WHY the reruns can’t be/aren’t printed according to season.

    When a strip reaches the end of its run and either starts reruns or a new cycle, the end is usually not a convenient starting point. So to get in sync they’d need to skip a bunch of strips or rearrange the order in some fashion. At any rate it would need someone to spend time on setting all that up. As noted, for strips still in the papers, hiring people to do that make sense. Most of these just start again from the beginning and run the whole sequence.

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