Nothing new in this piece about an upcoming panel on newspaper comics but it’s a bit… galling to hear a bunch of established cartoonists quoted as saying nothing new is every going to be any good. I guess I’m specifically reacting to this quote from Cathy Guisewite:
To me a strip should run forever because it’s a classic. They have meaning to me, and no new newspaper strip is going to earn that place in my heart.
Leaving aside lots of additional snark I could write about this piece, a few thoughts on the neverending story of the newspaper comic "crisis". Of course newspaper comics are in trouble – the entire newspaper business while still generating profits every year is not growing. Many newspaper companies though are starting to get the fact that they’re in the news business – not the newspaper business. Either they are trying to adapt or they’re planning on squeezing as much cash as possible out of the papers until they die.
Webcomics are still a messy and chaotic place but it is growing. Maybe we’ll never have a Calvin & Hobbes again in terms of sheer audience but that’s no different then most mediums – we’ll never have a M*A*S*H-size audience for most television shows again either. That doesn’t mean we won’t have television, or comics, that is as good or better but with so many more choices around the audience will by definition be smaller.