We at the Bangor Daily News think it’s time to freshen up our comics pages — the strips and how we present them. Because we understand that individual comics become part of readers’ routines, we are asking you to complete the survey accompanying this story to help us determine which strips are worth keeping and which ones have run long enough.
The first survey form was printed in the Saturday-Sunday July 17-18 edition, and we have received several hundred completed forms that are beginning to show clear preferences. Readers, overall, are big fans of Zits, For Better or For Worse, Hagar the Horrible, Baby Blues, Peanuts and Pickles, among others.
You also are clearly united on Cathy: You hate it. Cathy joins Ollie and Quentin, Ziggy, Pearls Before Swine and Slylock Fox on the rejection list, at least so far. Other strips, such as Mark Trail, Sally Forth and Dilbert, have produced more ambivalent results. Many people have listed Doonesbury among their least favorites — with several writing expressly to say how much they disliked it — while a near equal number have listed it as a favorite.
Our goal is to make these pages funnier. We don’t have any more room to jam in additional strips, so something’s got to go if we’re going to add something new.
Our plan, depending on the survey results, is to offer you the chance to read some different strips on a trial basis. If you like ’em, we’ll keep ’em. If you don’t, we’ll keep shopping. We want to provide you with another reason to subscribe or pick up a copy of the BDN at the store.
Please take a few minutes and fill out the ballot on this page. Simply check off your 10 favorite strips and 5 least favorite. We’re asking you a few other questions as well, the answers to which will help us serve you better. If you have five people in your family who read our paper and you’re wondering how you’ll all ever agree on a Top 10 and Bottom 5 comics, feel free to photocopy the ballot so each of you can vote. By the way, this is a newspaper-only survey. It’s not offered on our website because our comics don’t appear online.
We will run the ballot again on Tuesday, July 27. The deadline to clip it and mail it back to us is Friday, Aug. 6. We won’t count anything postmarked after that date. Want to save a stamp? Just drop it off at our office at 491 Main St. in Bangor during business hours.
If you’re not happy with the preliminary results you’re seeing here, you can still change the outcome. The survey isn’t over yet — so if you have yet to send along a completed survey form, please do so soon so your votes can be counted.