Comics Cut: Newark Paper Drops Fat Cat, Newlywed

By: Dave Astor

“Cathy” and “Garfield,” two widely syndicated strips that have lost favor with some editors and readers, were among seven comics dropped Sunday by The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.

“‘Cathy’ was perhaps the only comic that may have entirely worn out its welcome,” The Star-Ledger wrote. This happened despite — or, perhaps, partly because of — Cathy Guisewite’s title character getting married this February after 29 years of single life.

The Star-Ledger, which also named seven comics joining its funny pages, said “Garfield” was “cutting-edge in 1978 when it introduced a self-centered cat with a big appetite and a mean streak. It has since been eclipsed by other, more complex cats.” And its creator, Jim Davis, has farmed out a lot of his strip’s work to assistants.

Other comics canceled by The Star-Ledger include “Hi and Lois” (a 51-year-old strip now done by the sons of its creators), “Fred Basset,” “Heathcliff,” “Marvin,” and “That’s Life.” The newspaper said it leaned toward dropping “so-so” comics rather than ones that elicited strong pro or con reactions from readers.

Comics added were “Brevity,” “Frazz,” “Flo&Friends,” “Heart of the City,” “Pardon My Planet,” “The Sunshine Club,” and “Rhymes With Orange” (which had been appearing Sunday-only in The Star-Ledger).

During the past few weeks, about 3,000 readers offered their opinions about proposed changes in the comics lineup of New Jersey’s largest newspaper.

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