Tuesday, February 24, 2009

L.A. Times Minus Sally Forth


First, thank you very much to all the people who have written to the Los Angeles Times and voiced their opinions about the paper's decision to cut Sally Forth. It has been extremely heartening for me to read such wonderful words and see how much the strip means to so many people. I truly do thank you with all my heart.

Second, I want to thank the authors of the blog Franklin Avenue for penning such a supportive and encouraging response to "L.A. Gate" (phrase patent-pending) with The Los Angeles Times' "Sally Forth" Problem. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they all-too-kindly (and incorrectly) refer to me as "hip," "young" and a "comedian."

Thank you all for your support. Please stay tuned as I try to foment an actual revolution that storms the offices of the L.A. Times demanding swift retraction or violent retribution, only for the paper to cede both pages of its comic section to The Yellow Kid.

UPDATE: And a special shout-out to a very special friend for her post Disgruntled L.A. Times Readers Will Cut You.

11 comments:

TParadox said...

The article about the "problem" raises the possibility that this is a publicity stunt, to remind Times readers of the paper's importance in their lives. If that's the case, I advise LA Sally Forth fans to get it online. I've been getting all my comics online for over a year now.

King Features doesn't play ball like the other syndicates, but there are newspapers which put their (and other) comics online. I read Sally Forth and others at the Huston Chronicle, mainly because that's where all the links at The Comics Curmudgeon go.

I know the Washington Post is another good source of comics, and Yahoo News has some good ones. I go there when Comics.com is balky (more than once a week). Most services allow you to build a custom comics page, for convenience.

I don't know how online viewings of SF affect your income as writer, since there's an extra middleman, but it's an option. If the article guesses right and the LA Times thinks it can toy with its readers like this, its readers should prove it wrong.

Mac said...

Well, for the comics page, you are a young, hip, comedian. You're practically Eddie Murphy, circa 1985.

Mac said...

And I realize that referring to Eddie Murphy in this context shows exactly how old and unhip I am, but I am old and unhip enough to not care.

yellojkt said...

Since you are younger than me (and always will be) I have to consider you young and hip just to keep from thinking of myself and lame and codgerly.

Thumper said...

Dang...if the Sacramento Bee ever drops it, I'll cancel my subscription.

Truly.

What's the point in paying for newspapers, if not to get the good comics every morning...?

(Don't laugh, that's the only reason I get the paper...)

I am not young and hip. That's why I need my comics IN THE PAPER.

jfruh said...

TParadox-

Ces, correct me if I'm wrong on all this, but ... the immediate problem, from the point of view of Ces and other comics creators, is that the syndicate is paid by newspapers for strips. Papers pay separately for print and Internet rights, but they pay a flat fee for each, which is not dependent on the number of readers.

Thus, even if every Sally Forth fan in Los Angeles faithfully reads the strip every day on the Website of the Houston Chornicle or the Washington Post, King Features is still getting less money for the strip, because the Chron and the Post aren't paying King any more than they were before for the Web rights, but now the LA Times has stopped paying for the print rights. And comics creators get paid by King based on how King gets paid -- i.e., based on how many papers and Web sites pay to syndicate their strips.

Having outlined this, you might think that the way that the money works here, particularly for online stuff, is kind of bizarre and archaic, and you're almost certainly right, but that's the reality as it stands.

Francesco Marciuliano said...

Could not have explained it better myself, Josh. Thank you.

TParadox said...

Makes sense. I knew it was unlikely that ad revenue could come on an impression basis from a newspaper site.

pla said...

The Oregonian is also dramatically cutting down their comics page, but are allowing people to vote on their favorites and least favorite comics (aside from eight they've committed to). If anyone's interested in stuffing the ballot box for Sally Forth can vote here.

Kevin I said...

If they ever took it out of our comics page, I'd stop stealing the paper from my parent's bathroom when I visit.

It's pretty much the only print strip I still read anymore...

The Cold Soul said...

Heck, I am 18 and I know who Eddie Murphy is---he's---well, amoral but stunning!
Are we both thinking of the same person----The Comedian/Eddie?
Hmm...