Papers Use ‘Doonesbury’ Reruns or Other Comics as Trudeau Starts Break

By: Dave Astor

Newspapers are taking different approaches to replacing “Doonesbury” as Garry Trudeau begins his 12-week break.

Many of the 1,400 daily and Sunday “Doonesbury” clients will carry reruns of Trudeau’s comic, although Universal Press Syndicate doesn’t have an exact number.

Also, when contacted today by E&P, Universal Vice President and Managing Editor Sue Roush said about 15-20 clients have told the syndicate that they will use other Universal comics during Trudeau’s March 23-to-June 16 break.

One paper running another Universal strip is the Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner, which will publish four guest comics for three weeks apiece during the next 12 weeks. The first is “Cul de Sac” by Richard Thompson of Universal.

The Star-Gazette in Elmira, N.Y., is doing an ideological switcheroo by replacing the liberal “Doonesbury” with the conservative “Prickly City” by Scott Stantis of Universal. When “Doonesbury” comes back, the paper will either keep “Prickly City” while dropping the conservative “Mallard Fillmore” (added last year), or keep “Mallard” and drop “Prickly.” Readers will decide.

Some newspapers are running non-Universal strips in place of “Doonesbury.” For instance, The Roanoke (Va.) Times today began publishing “Pearls Before Swine” by Stephan Pastis of United Media, and the San Francisco Chronicle is trying “Candorville” by Darrin Bell of the Washington Post Writers Group.

Trudeau’s sabbatical was announced on March 5.

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