Faithful reader CaptainNovolin brought my attention to this column from Joe McQuaid, publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, which has an important and depressing nugget of A3G news contained within:
Because it doesn’t happen very often, it rattles me when I am right about something.
The first one I got right was actually due to the Lady of the House, who is right more often than she is wrong. She had been telling me for quite awhile that the Apartment 3-G comic strip in our daily paper was long past its expiration date. She said the story line made no sense and the drawing had deteriorated.
When I took a look, I knew she was right but I still delayed doing anything because I hate to get yelled at by angry comic-strip readers. When I finally dumped 3-G I guessed I wasn’t going to get a lot of complaints.
I was right. I actually got more complaints about the first strip we tested in its place. I have since heard from my industry sources that 3-G is going to be discontinued by the comic syndicate later this year. Wow! Ahead of the curve!
This is, obviously, extremely sad to me. I think all of us know that the soap opera strips aren’t necessarily going to be around forever, but I was heartened to see that the syndicates seem to be supporting at least some of them; new artists came in to Judge Parker, Rex Morgan, Mark Trail and Gil Thorp in the past few years, after all. But there was continuity within those transitions: Judge Parker, Rex Morgan, and Gil Thorp all kept their same writer as the artists changed, and James Allen over at Mark Trail had been assisting Jack Elrod for some time before taking over. I wonder if what’s happening at Apartment 3-G is that both artist and writer are planning on leaving, and the syndicate isn’t interested in retooling the strip completely.
It’s sad because of all the soap strips, A3G seems most ready for the sort of total reboot Dick Tracy got a few years back. A light drama about three young women professional women living in New York, having adventures and romances? I’ll be a lot younger of comics artists and writers would jump at the chance to tackle that in a contemporary way, and it could be really interesting to do so.
Anyway, apparently James Allen has thrown his hat in the ring, and, heck, writing this strip has always been my secret dream. It’d be great to see actual young women on the creative team, though. Could it be you? Let’s dare to dream and/or petition King Features!