For your consideration - Thom Barker

For your consideration - Thom Barker

Response to young reader: Why we don’t have comics

Thom explains to letter writer the reality of the newspaper business today

Last week, I received a letter to the editor from a young reader, Jaxson Lake.

He wrote: I am writing about why the newspaper does not have any comics in them. Why? Kids like comics. So why do we not have comics?

Dear Jaxson,

Thank you for your letter, and especially the photocopy of the Big Nate strip you included. I found it very amusing. I also appreciated the fact that you took the time to actually send a paper letter in an envelope. I don’t get many of those anymore.

I like comics too. I always have since I was a kid myself. That was a long, long time ago. Back then, the newspaper in my hometown came out every day. It had a full black and white page of comics in the daily edition and a whole colour section of comics in the Sunday edition.

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There was even a time when your hometown newspaper, this newspaper, had comics.

Sadly, Jaxson, the newspaper business is not what it used to be.

The short answer to your question of why we don’t have comics is we just don’t have the money.

Cartoonists, like everyone else, deserve to be paid for their work, and since we can’t pay them, we can’t publish their strips.

There are other reasons as well. Kids today may well like comics as you rightfully pointed out, but with the internet and all the streaming services available, tablets and video game systems, etc., it is very difficult for us to compete with all of that.

Back in my day, we had very few choices for entertainment, aside from playing outside, which is what we did most of the time. We had books, three channels on TV and radio.

I don’t want to sound like one of those old people going on about how kids today are so spoiled, because I don’t feel that way. The modern, fast-paced world of today holds many challenges for young people like yourself that we did not have to face.

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I am afraid I cannot tell you we will start having comics in our paper, but I hope this helps you understand why we don’t.

By the way, Jaxson, my favourite comic of all time is Calvin and Hobbes. If you don’t know this one, you should check it out.

Also, when you get a little older, you might want to try Doonesbury.


The editor.

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