The News & Observer is taking on the dreaded task of revamping its lineup on the comics pages. Readers can vote online or mail in a ballot printed in the features section.
I voted online, and my 7-year-old son filled out the paper ballot. It’s interesting to see his preferences — he likes Peanuts, which is still new to him, and he is still innocent enough to be charmed by Family Circus.
The accompanying article about the vote explains that the paper seeks a diverse “portfolio” of comics similar to a stock portfolio. Some comics are reliable, others risky. The key is to come up with a good mix. It’s a reasonable approach to a process that can never make everyone happy.
My silly side has a different approach: a comics page with the worst strips imaginable, collected in one place to irritate as many people as possible. There are varying levels of awful in these strips. Some are poorly drawn. Others are telling the same two jokes over and over again. Others are cloying or just downright annoying.
With apologies for the “from hell” cliche, here is my comics page from hell:
- Andy Capp
- Baby Blues
- Barney Google and Snuffy Smith
- Broom Hilda
- Dennis the Menace
- Grin and Bear It
- Hagar the Horrible
- Hi and Lois
- Judge Parker
- The Lockhorns
- Mallard Fillmore
- Sally Forth
- Tank McNamara
- They’ll Do It Every Time
- The Comics Curmudgeon (blog about comics in general)
- Duck and Cover (blog about Mallard Fillmore)
- “It’s No Laughing Matter” (article in The Wall Street Journal)
UPDATE: More on the N&O vote.