Major Feature Changes in ‘Wash. Post’

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By: Dave Astor

The Washington Post made several comic and column changes starting yesterday, including grouping adult-oriented features together.

Three comics that entered syndication during the last few years were added. They are “Candorville” by Darrin Bell of the Washington Post Writers Group (WPWG), “Frazz” by Jef Mallett of United Media, and “Prickly City” by Scott Stantis of Universal Press Syndicate. The last strip contains conservative social and political commentary.

Dropped were “Shoe” of Tribune Media Services (TMS), “Rex Morgan, M.D.” of King Features Syndicate, “One Big Happy” of Creators Syndicate, and the Sunday “Bo Nanas” of WPWG. “Shoe” and “Rex” are no longer done by their original creators.

In the column area, “Ask Amy” by Amy Dickinson of TMS will take over the space filled by the Universal-distributed “Dear Abby” — though the latter advice feature will still run on Mondays and Wednesdays in the “Style” section. The astrology column by Holiday Mathis of Creators will replace the one written by Jeraldine Saunders of TMS. Mathis trained under the late Joyce Jillson, and Saunders had succeeded the late Sydney Omarr.

The more adult-oriented comics and other features in the Post will be grouped apart from the more kid-friendly ones — something that’s also been done by at least one or two other dailies. Content in even the most adult-oriented mainstream comics is no more controversial than much of the material in other newspaper sections. But some readers get upset seeing edgier strips run next to blander ones because of the perception that many children read newspaper comics.

A Post editor could not be immediately reached for comment this morning about reader reaction to the feature changes.

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