The Herald Bulletin

March 2, 2014

Scott Underwood: Rhymes with Orange,WuMo added to THB comics


The Herald Bulletin

---- — Several months ago a sales person from a national media syndicate stopped in Anderson to pitch products offered by the company he represents.

We already subscribed to some of the syndicate’s weekly columnists and puzzles, and I wasn’t really interested in the other offerings — except for one quirky comic strip. Samples of the strip, one after the other, left me chuckling.

At the time, I didn’t have any flexibility in the newsroom budget. That changed a few weeks ago when our company renegotiated the terms of some of its syndicate contracts.

So, beginning today, we will publish WuMo each day — Mondays through Saturdays — most often on a page in our Life & Times section. The strip, both the artwork and the humor, will remind some of the old Far Side comic panels. WuMo casts an irreverent eye on life’s ironies and absurdities.

The strip draws its name from a combination of the surnames of its Danish creators, Mikael Wulff and Anders Morgenthaler. WuMo has quickly grown into one of the most popular comic strips in Europe and is also being added to North American newspapers at a rapid pace.

I hope you like it, but I also realize that humor is always highly objective. Any attempt at it will be regarded with disdain by at least a minority of the audience!

Beginning today, we’ve also added another popular comic strip to our daily Comics & Puzzles page. Rhymes with Orange, first created in 1995 by Massachusetts artist Hilary Price, is now carried by more than 200 newspapers across the country.

We’re using it to replace For Better or For Worse. I realize that this strip has been popular with many or our readers. But for several years now, no new strips in the series have been created, meaning that you’ve been getting recycled legacy comics.

Readers of our Commentary page have noticed another recent change in our comics. For several years, we have run the Doonesbury strip there Mondays-Saturdays.

The creator of Doonesbury, Gary Trudeau, however, has decided to focus on other projects and is no longer creating new strips in the liberal political series.

We had the option of reprinting legacy Doonesbury strips, but decided against it. We’ve been seeking another liberal political or social commentary strip to replace it, but have yet to strike on one that we believe is right for our market.

That leaves Mallard Fillmore as the daily strip on our Commentary page. It has a decidedly conservative slant but is easier to read and isn’t as political as Doonesbury.

I hope you look forward to WuMo and Rhymes with Orange each day and that you continue to enjoy our other daily comic strips and panels. As always, if you have ideas for improving our comics offerings, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Editor Scott Underwood’s column appears Mondays. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @THBeditor. Contact him at scott.underwood@heraldbulletin.com or 640-4845.