Responses to the "Pickles" forum

Original forum question and responses:

Should we keep "Pickles"?

We're testing the comic strip "Pickles" from Jan. 1 through 27. Let us know what you think. Should it ultimately replace one of our existing comics? If so, which one? And what other guest comics should we consider in the months ahead?

Zojourner - 08:51am Dec 19, 2006 ET

I can't tell you about Pickles just yet - but I can say that you picked some of the WORST comics ever in recent new additions to your newspaper. It used to take me a good long while to read the comics each day but now - it takes no time at all because I don't need to read about half of them. Want my opinion? Start from scratch and re-do the entire comics pages with input from your customer base. OK...maybe that is what you are trying to do but I would quickly rid the paper of Frazz and some of the othr new ones. What was wrong with Drabble anyway?

Jenni E - 08:57am Dec 19, 2006 ET

So many good strips, so little space! How about considering Agnes, Frank & Ernest, Tank McNamara, Six Chix, Between Friends, Lost Sheep, and Over the Hedge.

Meanwhile, why not dump BC with its Christian fundamentalist slant (or at least put it on the editorial page), Gil Thorp, Garfield, Beetle Bailey, Family Circus, and any strip no longer written by the original creator (sorry, Peanuts). If you insist on running old strips, why not bring back Calvin & Hobbes?Ernest - 11:34am Dec 19, 2006 ET (#3 of 60) [Bookmark] [Edit] [Delete] [Reply] [Move]Registered user

I don't mind the new strips, and I won't mind seeing some of the old ones go.

I have been wondering, however, why the daily N&O strips of Pearls Before Swine are different from the daily ones I read in the Durham Herald-Sun. The N&O strips are missing the month and date, usually written in the space between panels, so they don't appear to be the current storyline.

AuntySocial - 12:27pm Dec 19, 2006 ET

I couldn't care less about the new cartoons. Bring back the ones you got rid of. I want Hagar the Horrible. You dig?

Thad Ogburn - 12:53pm Dec 19, 2006 ET Features Editor, The News & Observer

Good question about the Pearls Before Swine strips. When we launched this strip on Nov. 27, we were required by the syndicate to run several weeks of introductary strips, which introduce the characters. Those are the strips you see now.

When these strips end in a few weeks, we'll be running the regular daily Pearls strips seen in The Herald-Sun and other papers.

Thanks for reading.

Holly Mclaughlin - 04:56pm Dec 19, 2006 ET

Pickles is okay but my husband and I would like to see Haggar the Horrible and Duplex in your cartoon page. They always make us laugh.

Kona Girl - 05:18pm Dec 19, 2006 ET

I can't comment about Pickles yet either, however I would like to say--why on earth is The Family Circus still being published? Is there anyone out there who actually thinks it is funny?

julie.t.ball - 10:30pm Dec 19, 2006 ET

I agree with you. The new comic strips are horrible -- Frazz, Edge City and Pearls before Swine are just not funny. Please bring back Cathy!

Kenshi - 10:32pm Dec 19, 2006 ET yeeee-ha!

Cathy?? yuck. I'd take Frazz over Cathy anyday. If the N&O wants the copmics to be better take away that POC that takes up half the last page on Sunday.

Zojourner - 08:20am Dec 20, 2006 ET

Obviously - as the N&O says over and over - you can't please everyone with every comic. BUT there are some obvious losers in the new batch of comics (all of them in my opinion). Pearls before swine - how do we know it is not current if we don't read it because it isn't funny. Frazz - not funny. Edge City - not funny. Hagar the Horrible - come on, everyone loves Hagar!!!

KENSHI - which POC do you speak of, there are so many to choose from in this paper.

7rob7 - 08:28am Dec 20, 2006 ET

It is not a requirement that comics be funny.

Frazz is growing on me, Edge City I haven't decided yet.

Pickles I've read in other papers, and put it on the same page (ha-ha) as Pearls...

The best strips the N&O runs are For Better or For Worse, Mutts and Get Fuzzy.

Kona Girl - 02:54pm Dec 20, 2006 ET

I am also happy Cathy got canned. I don't read Cathy, but just glancing past the comic to read others made me go ACK!

My favorites: For Better Or For Worse, Zits, Baby Blues, Mutts Dilbert, Fox Trot (sniff, sniff) and Get Fuzzy--though Get Fuzzy hasn't been as funny lately.

I wasn't big on Haggar, but I'd take Haggar over Family Circus any day.

golden mom - 03:01am Dec 30, 2006 ET

What about trying out Mother Goose & Grimm for one of your monthly slots?

Something quick, humorous and not an on-going daily comic that you need to read daily to keep up would be great for the new comics .

carolinabobbitt - 07:36am Jan 1, 2007 ET

I'm a retired older American and I can relate to the humor in " Pickels ", please keep this cartoon in print. I cannot understand why you continue publishing " Watch Your Head " it is not even funny and most of the time I cannot see the details because of the dark ink printing.

Dave Pratt - 08:53am Jan 1, 2007 ET

Pickles has always been one of my favorites, so I vote to keep it. There are some of the comics that I don't "get", but they may grow on me. I have started off my day with the comics wherever I have lived for 60+ years and there is always at least one that gives me a good chuckle. And, it is usually a different one every day. DaveDebbieDoesTS - 09:36am Jan 1, 2007 ET (#16 of 60) [Bookmark] [Edit] [Delete] [Reply] [Move]Registered user

Pickles is one of the few things I miss about living in FL...PLEASE keep it! And while you're at it, add Mother Goose & Grimm to the lineup!

What should leave to make room? Get Fuzzy should get booted. Beetle Bailey has gotten old too.

jscarterjr - 09:45am Jan 1, 2007 ET

I love Pickles and would really like for you to keep the comic strip.

1Peter418 - 09:46am Jan 1, 2007 ET

Pickles is not very amusing. I don't care for the way it's drawn.

motorhead - 09:57am Jan 1, 2007 ET

Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.

Get rid of all the comics.pegjim - 10:11am Jan 1, 2007 ET

As a reader of Pickles in NY, I think it is great. Please keep it in the comics so we may read it now that we have moved to NC

fred buchan - 10:33am Jan 1, 2007 ET

Keep "Pickles"!! We have missed reading this strip since moving from the Washinton/Baltimore area in July 2006.

ginny kinkead - 11:00am Jan 1, 2007 ET

Absolutely keep "Pickles" Its a great strip and will be enjoyed by many once it catches on!

bob petrolino - 11:19am Jan 1, 2007 ET

Keep Pickles!!!!!!!!! It is a tried and true comic strip that will appeal to young and old. The new comics are awful!! Please keep this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HappyHiker - 11:57am Jan 1, 2007 ET

I took a look at previous Pickles strips (available at comics.com) and thought that the December 30 strip was the funniest and most outrageous comic I've ever seen!! Then I looked back to the Dec. 29 strip and realized that I had misinterpreted the drawing: that's shaved fuzz, not a puddle!

lyndon fuller - 01:16pm Jan 1, 2007 ET

"Pickles" is fine, but why not get rid of some of the vapid, stupid and humorless comics you presently have, such as: "Syliva" , "Shoe" and the pitiful new additions "Watch Your Head" and "Pearls Before Swine". You really added a stinker with that last one. I would really like to know who chooses your comics. Is a sense of humor a prerequisite? If not, maybe you should consider it.

Irish - 01:36pm Jan 1, 2007 ET

Okay, since you asked.

My favorite strips in no particular order are Bizarro, Non-sequitur, Zits, For Better or For Worse, Dilbert and Rhymes With Orange. Sylvia has some funny stuff at times and I usually read Funky Winkerbean.

Edge City has potential. Pickles doesn't appeal to me. Pearls Before Swine is inane (oh, and the title smacks of hubris), and Frazz strikes me as a Calvin ripoff.

Kudzu, Shoe, Garfield and BC should have been trashed long ago.

Thomas Helm - 02:28pm Jan 1, 2007 ET

I like Pickles but I also love Fox Trot. There are some comics that I don't like though. I think that you should put Pickles in the place of Gil Thorp. I think that you need to put Fox Trot back in it's spot and replace Pickles with Gil Thorp.

crabbyperson45 - 02:45pm Jan 1, 2007 ET

I love Pickles!! A friend even sends down strips in her letters. I 'm trying to get used to the new strips but at this point I'm having a problem understanding "watch your head". I vote that if one comic has to go that it be "Gil Thorpe" But don't ever get rid of "Zits" I send that one to my friend regularly.

HappyHiker - 06:32pm Jan 1, 2007 ET

I agree with the last couple of posters. Let's get rid of Gil Thorp. Can anyone actually understand what's going on in this strip? It's like walking past a movie theater and hearing a snatch of dialog every few minutes and trying to figure out what the movie is about. Too post-modern!

Of the four new strips this month, Pearls Before Swine is great! Consistently funny and thought-provoking. The other 3, not so hot, but maybe they will grow on me.

motorhead - 06:53pm Jan 1, 2007 ET

I had to check out what all the fuss is about, so I read a few Pickles online. Not funny. Not funny at all. Put it in the birdcage.

Jerry & Pat Lech - 08:05pm Jan 1, 2007 ET

Pickles is probably the funniest comic in print. There are a lot of seniors in the area who would identify with the characters.

Comics such as Gil Thorp or Sylvia are not funny, have no plot, and make no sense. Get Fuzzy is not that funny either.

Whoever selected Watch Your Head is not in touch with local readership. I have been following Pickles on line since N&O doesn't publish it. KEEP PICKLES PERMANENTLY

Gander1000 - 12:06am Jan 2, 2007 ET

Pickles is a great comic and should be left in print.

The strips that should go are: Sylvia, Watch Your Head, Kudzu, Gil Thorp, Pearls Before Swine.

likesunsets - 08:52am Jan 2, 2007 ET

Please keep Pickles! I have wished for 5 years that it was in the N&O.

Edwin W. Welch - 09:03am Jan 2, 2007 ET (#34 of 60)

The cartooning and humor in Pickles is superior to most comics. And it is about as good as Shoe and Get Fuzzy - - the Gold Standards, and on the other end of the spectrum from Frazz and Pearls Before Swine. Please make Pickles permanent. Thank, Ed

Janet Stewart - 09:15am Jan 2, 2007 ET

I think Pickles should stay!! So true to real life and gives me a laugh to start out my day. Please get rid of Gil Thorp (cannot follow the storyline and it is confusing). Also, Sylvia and Curtis need to be deleted from the comic page as well.

Louis Kirkbride - 11:14am Jan 2, 2007 ET

Absolutely KEEP Pickles. One of the great comics for those of us beyond 50. Can really identify with this comic. I agree with a number of readers to replace Gil Thorpe with Pickles.

maryjc7230 - 02:12pm Jan 2, 2007 ET

I LOVE Pickles. My sister turned me on to it over a year ago. The jury is still out on the recently added strips. I never read Gil Thorpe, Dennis the Menace, or Mutts. In the sunday I have ALWAYS hated Prince Valiant.

Elizabeth Allen - 03:49pm Jan 2, 2007 ET

Keep Pickles. Get rid of Watch Your Head, Gil Thorp, Get Fuzzy and Sylvia. Prince Valient rocks.

wouters123 - 04:43pm Jan 2, 2007 ET

I think Pickles makes fun of the older population and as a member of it , I don't think it's funny. An old man tripping over a dog on the floor is funny? Not at my house.

Thad Ogburn - 06:35pm Jan 3, 2007 ET Features Editor, The News & Observer

Thanks for the feedback. We'll continue to monitor it for the next few weeks, but so far it looks like Pickles is a winner.

We also plan to test Mother Goose & Grimm in the coming months, as well as Sherman's Lagoon. The next four-week test, starting Jan. 29, will be Lio.

7rob7 - 12:04pm Jan 4, 2007 ET

I'll give you Pickles if you cut Gil Thorp.

But for the love of all that's decent, please, please, please do not subject us to Mother Goose and Grimm. I would rather look at daily morgue photos from Baghdad anything else.

Get Fuzzy, Mutts and For Better or For Worse remain the best strips in the daily edition; Sylvia is one of the best of the remainder ("The Woman Who Worries About Everything" is one of my all-time favorite characters anywhere.)

I'll remind folks that comics do not need to be "funny" and the best ones are not supposed to be.

The Yellow Kid, Little Nemo and Krazy Kat were not "funny," and only Pogo, Calvin and Hobbes and Get Fuzzy among modern "sequential art" consistently achieve the fantasy, humor and surrealism that defined the genre and made it a part of our daily lives

Dick Baldwin - 10:43am Jan 5, 2007 ET

WE LOVE "Pickles" -- at this point it is the best things you will do since you removed or updates the Comics section. Here are a few which we do not read and could be removed: Family Circus, Jump Start, Peanuts, Curtis, Sally Forth and Gil Thorp. Here are several we have always enjoyed reading: The Wizard of Id, Mary Worth, The Grizwells, Apt 3-G and Hagar. We will watch with interest to see how your comics selection continues to evolve.taimakachine - 11:28am Jan 5, 2007 ET (#43 of 60) [Bookmark] [Edit] [Delete] [Reply] [Move]Registered user

Well I guess some of you didn't get the memo that the comics page does not revolve around you. They said that they WOULD NOT be able to please every single person with every single comic. I thought it was really nice and progressive of them to try and make the comics page a reflection of the very diverse tastes of the people. alot of posters here are saying "I don't like this comic or that comic cause it's not funny !" well maybe your particular perception of what's funny is very narrow minded. Now since everyone is not going to like X-comic, you all should at least try and give a more descriptive reason for why you don't like it that goes beyond "it's not funny" I'll be honest I don't read much of jumpstart or babyblues or foxtrot or any of those family centered comics.

I don't relate with them because I don't have childeren and my family life is really nothing like that. Basically even though the humor does not appeal to me I am sure that it will appeal to someone else. They are not bad comics or outdated. but the mood of the comics is a bit too sugary sweet for my taste, this also goes for Pickles.

I like Over your head, and that comic plus Curtis and Jumpstart, all add touch of diversity to the comics page that I think is sorely needed. the same goes for Sylvia and I think Cathy set women back 10 years in every strip, so I count me in as another person who's happy to see it go.

The final thing I have to say is I like Pearls before swine and I appreciate its slightly dark and twisted sense of humor. please keep it.

editrix - 11:06am Jan 6, 2007 ET

Pickles and Pearls and Get Fuzzy are all funny - and FBorFW is an all time favorite. I'm glad you're morphing the strips to be more up-to-date and reflect the make up of the Triangle (and losing the bad serial like Gil T - awful!).

BTW: Just because Stephan isn't the best artist doesn't mean Pearls ain't funny and what the hell is wrong with modelling a strip after an all time great like Calvin (Fuzzy)? Some of you folks need Prozac. They're comic strips (which I'll continue to read online no matter what the N&O does).

Thad Ogburn - 09:57am Jan 8, 2007 ET Features Editor, The News & Observer

Just a reminder that bringing Foxtrot back is not an option. The cartoonist is no longer offering the strip daily, which is why we're testing the guest comics there.

The Sunday Foxtrot is still available each week in The News & Observer. Thanks.

Cherie - 03:47pm Jan 8, 2007 ET

Great News Thad! I started reading 'PICKLES' in the St Petersburg Times nearly ten years ago while visiting my folks and quickly developed a great fondness for the reality of it. I have continued to read it online. Earl & Opal, Muffin, Roscoe, Grandson Nelson, daughter Sylvia, son in law Dan and the family's circle of friends etc all reflect many American families today! No, elderly people tripping over dogs is not funny, but lighten up folks ... this IS a comic strip that does mirror life as we know it! So, I am very pleased you are testing it ... and I encourage you to make it a permanent part of my daily dose of the the lighter side by starting my day with a few good chuckles! Thanks! CMW :) 01-08-2007

Nancee Letter - 10:42am Jan 9, 2007 ET

I just want to cast my vote to keep Pickles. I LOVE the strip. I have waited for the News & Observer to pick it up. Please continue it!

Nancee Letter

Robert Hauver - 11:39am Jan 10, 2007 ET

This is a great comic strip. Please continue to publish it.

Zojourner - 03:52pm Jan 11, 2007 ET

Pickles is like the lesser of poor comic strip choices. I wish you could find something a bit more edgy and worth reading each day. I hope your choices in the future are better than this.

If you are interested - I consider "Watch Your Head" and "Frazz" to be worthless among your new comics.

George Haris - 07:02am Jan 12, 2007 ET

I'll go againt the inexplicable "Pickles" lovefest to say I find it incredibly dull. It makes "Rose is Rose" look edgy. There are some great strips out there - I recommend "Pooch Cafe" if you want a strip about people with a dog. Other worthwhile available strips are "Arlo and Janis", "Little Dee", "Monty", "Retail" and "Ink Pen". "Ink Pen" and "Retail" are fantastic. I understand that "Lio" is going to get a run soon; another good choice.

If you need to make room, feel free to drop "Rose is Rose" and "Marmaduke". "B.C." alternates between offensive and incomprehensible.

Oh, and if you're thinking of adding a conservative-leaning strip, say yes to "Prickly City", and no to "Mallard Fillmore".

Dawne Galdi - 08:01am Jan 12, 2007 ET

I like Pickles. It may not be cutting edge, but it is something that I don't have to hide from the kids, and it is funny.Scott Plueddemann - 10:41am Jan 12, 2007 ET (#52 of 60) [Bookmark] [Edit] [Delete] [Reply] [Move]Registered user

Drop Pickles. It is rather boring. I would rather you bring back Drabble or Hagar. If you want to get rid of another comic, get rid of Gil Thorp.

Thad Ogburn - 12:00pm Jan 12, 2007 ET Features Editor, The News & Observer

"Pooch Cafe" is on our tryout list for later in the year. We'll be running four-week guest comics throughout the year, adding some to the lineup when they prove particularly popular.

Next up is "Lio" on Jan. 29, followed by "Sherman's Lagoon" on Feb. 26. "Pooch Cafe," "Mother Goose & Grimm" and others will follow. Send us suggestions. Thanks.

Robert Bohn - 12:19pm Jan 12, 2007 ET

"Pickles" is one of the "funny" comics that the N&O is now running. My wife and I get a kick out of reading it. This is certainly not true of the following strips: "Get Fuzzy", "Watch Your Head", "Marmaduke", "Gil Thorp", "Kudzu", and "Sylvia".

As a suggestion for a trial strip I strongly recommend "Crankshaft".

Pen - 06:29pm Jan 12, 2007 ET

It's sad that Foxtrot won't be there daily, but Pickles brings back great memories. I first read it when I lived in California, and when I moved to NC, I missed all the old comics. Lo and behold last week, I saw Pickles, and old favorite of mine.

I love Pickles, and I hope you keep it!

Pen - 06:31pm Jan 12, 2007 ET

I agree with you, Get Fuzzy, Watch Your Head, Marmaduke, Gil Thorp, Kudzu, and Sylvia, should be removed. Barely anybody reads those.

detgfrsh - 01:46pm Jan 13, 2007 ET

After reading "Pickles" for a few days, I find it rather bland. I'm disappointed that Foxtrot is no longer offered daily, but would encourage the N&O to replace it with another teenager-oriented strip, as we're down to just "Zits" (well, maybe "Hi & Louis" as well, but not all the time) for that genre.

As for the other strips, I've read all of them daily for the past month to generate an opinion and find "Sylvia", "Family Circus" and "Marmaduke" especially to be not worth reading, but also "Frazz", "B.C:" and "Shoe" to be rarely funny or insightful.

detgfrsh - 01:56pm Jan 13, 2007 ET

"Whoever selected Watch Your Head is not in touch with local readership." Not true. It, as well as "Boondocks" (which it replaced) and "Curtis" are designed to appeal to the black community, which we do have here in the Triangle area.

HappyHiker - 04:05am Jan 14, 2007 ET

I have to agree with the folks who think Pickles is pretty bland. An occasional chuckle, but not a real winner. If you're looking for suggestions, how about one of the J.C.Duffy strips (Fusco Brothers or Go Fish)?

As for current strips... please keep Sylvia, one of the high points of reading the paper!

Ones to get rid of (IMHO):

Marmaduke (worth looking at only to see how stupid today's premise will be).

BC: long since out of ideas. The "You Know" strips are about as funny as a 1955 Reader's Digest.

Kudzu: I hate to say it, but this is also out of ideas (Darn those Modern Translations... ugh!)

Gil Thorp (of course)

and BRING BACK SNUFFY SMITH!! (just kidding, folks)

Linda Penninger - 01:37pm Jan 15, 2007 ET

Thank you... I'm glad someone thinks the same as I do. Please get rid of the 4 new comic strips and bring back Cathy and Drabble. I do like Pickles so please keep this one. I really enjoy the humor of the comics pages - they provide a great relief to all the terrible news being published! Please make the above changes !!