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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

New mix of Sunday comics starting Feb. 3

People take their comics seriously. So I want to give you a heads up and a little explanation about changes to The Saratogian’s Sunday comic section starting Feb. 3.
We’ve add some features and dropped some; I hope you’ll like the new mix.
The changes were precipitated by economics. The goal was for The Saratogian and two of its sister papers, The Record based in Troy and the Daily Dispatch based in Oneida, to share one comics section. Makes sense. But that means getting used to some new features and saying goodbye to some others.
A must-keep was Dilbert.
I find solace in Dilbert, taking comfort in the shared frustrations of the absurdities of workplaces and companies everywhere. I manage a grimace of a smile even when the pointy-haired boss is uncomfortably familiar. And my colleagues in Troy and Oneida were eager to offer readers the genius of Scott Adams.
Other familiar faces include Lio and his monsters; the “B.C.” cavemen; the oddballs in local cartoonist John McPherson’s “Close to Home;” the frozen-in-time “Family Circus” (Who altered these comics? Not me!); the goofball cop, lawyer and shrink in “Pros and Cons;” my parents — oops, I mean, “The Lockhorns;” the “Stone Soup” sisters; the alien, chicken and slice of pie in “Bizarro;” the “Heart of the City” kids, and “Slylock Fox” (can you spot six differences between this week’s comics and last week’s?).
Among the new additions: the wonderfully drawn family feature “Baby Blues,” the serial “Spiderman,” good old “Crankshaft,” brand-new “Thatababy,” and an assortment of puzzles. The New York Times puzzle will still be waiting for you in the Life section, but Sudoko and Jumble will appear in the comics section, along with two more puzzles — Wonderword and the Newsday crossword, which has been popular with The Record readers.
Comics have a long tradition in newspapers, starting with The Yellow Kid in the 1890s. (I learned about him in journalism graduate school, but you can catch up for free on Wikipedia).
Snagging the Sunday funnies has been one of my lifelong pleasures. As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, I couldn’t wait to catch up on the well-being of the orphan Dondi, I longed for the day when I’d have a watch like Dick Tracy, and I was inspired by the brave and sexy reporter Brenda Starr. Decades later, it was with some reluctance that I dropped Brenda from The Saratogian.
I had a similar feeling with some of the funnies I let go for this new, consolidated section. But I’m happy with the additions, too. I hope you will be, too. Either way, let me know at or 583-8711.


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