Susanna McLeod - The Funny Pages are Changing Again

March 1, 2008

     It's not for a lack of funny lines or lack of great artwork. It's not for a lack of fan interest. But Roy Schneider, creator of The Humble Stumble is throwing in the towel. His syndicated strip will end on March 9, 2008. Roy has given up on the cartoon world. After 13 years of trying again and again to reach the golden grail of syndication, he found it almost impossible to grow his comic strip. I understand his reasoning, but I'm still very disappointed.

    "Unfortunately," Roy said in his press release, "the market being what it is, with editors afraid to make decisions themselves and relying instead on reader polls and the occasional cranky letter from Gertrude in Omaha, it's very difficult for a young strip to get - much less hold on to - those precious slots in the comics section."

     Over the last two weeks, The Humble Stumble has been creating a lot of laughs about he departure with "walk-ons" of characters from ther comic strips attempting to take over The Humble Stumble's newspaper slots, their stuff and even the Dad Joe's favourite guitar. Going out with a smile is always a good thing. Maybe some day The Humble Stumble will make a roaring comeback.

     In the meantime, Roy Schneider will be focussing on other creative projects such as his new music CD. Said to be a wonderful piece of work, he will be touring to promote the CD. (You can buy it at CD Baby.)

     Not quite ready to retire from the funny pages, Lynn Johnston has changed the format of For Better or For Worse, weaving a blend of early strips in with the new ones. With the strip in its 29th year, the cartoonist wanted more time to live her own life away from the drawing board. The weaving won't be as easy as it sounds, though. Lynn told Pam Becker of the Chicago Tribune that she will have to "fix some of the stuff," and "redraw a number of strips for which the original images are missing." It's certainly a way to capture readers, waiting longer to see how new plotlines unfold and how old lines have been changed.

    If anyone can manage such a challenge, it would be Lynn Johnston. Unfortunately, just as she will be having more time to share, Lynn's marriage of 32 years hit the rocks last spring.

    And that's just not funny.

Roy Schneider CD
Roy Schneider's new CDLynn Johnston 1
Lynn Johnston photo from GoComics.com

© Susanna McLeod 2008
TheCartoonists.ca