Breaking news: Hi & Lois acknowledges webcomics


Apparently the standard bearers of Hi & Lois created a bit of a furor when it posted a strip criticizing webcomics. Weighing in are Josh Fruhlinger of Comics Curmudgeon, Xaviar Xerexes of ComixTalk, and Gary Tyrrell of Fleen.

Personally, I can’t muster up any emotion, negative or otherwise, over friggin’ Hi & Lois, but there you go.

Incidentally, the webcomic artist in the strip looks suspiciously like Seanbaby. Who really should be adding more commentary from Luke Cage, Mr. Fish, and Dr. Doom to his rad Hostess Fruit Pie collection.

UPDATE: Also, here’s an interview with Bloom County‘s Berkeley Breathed (h/t The Beat). It’s tangentially related to the stuff above.

Bloom County was extraordinarily popular in the 1980s, a decade where along with Calvin & Hobbes, Doonesbury, and The Farside, it created a kind of renaissance for the funny pages. How different is the situation with newspaper strips today? Did the changes in the size of panels play a role in your recent decision to abandon newspaper strips? Will newspaper comics (and newspapers) survive? Have you ever thought about doing an online comic strip?

This is a sad topic but I’m going to be blunt. Newspapers have about five years left. Young readers of the newspaper comics simply don’t exist anymore in numbers that count. Those eyeballs are elsewhere and will not come back. Online comics are terrific. But they will never have 1% of the readership any major comic had 20 years ago, by the nature of the technology. They’re different beasts now. No, after having 70 million daily readers in 1985, getting 3000 a day online isn’t terribly energizing at this stage. I’m happy to go to the storytelling potential of film and books now. My heart was always there anyway, to be honest.


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on September 18, 2009, in comics, The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Eh… Even if you had a movie, you might get 70 mil ticket buyers over a month or so. I’m hard pressed to think of any medium where you’d get 70 mil viewers a day for any kind of entertainment. Chasing those kinds of numbers is pipe dream stuff now.

    Still, I wish Mr. Breathed the best.

  2. they have comics on the webs now?!

  3. I think that when you said “I can’t muster up any emotion, negative or otherwise, over friggin’ Hi & Lois,” you very nicely summed things up indeed. It’s barely even worth making fun of, the newspaper comics mammoth, as it sinks below the tar to extinction, trying to pull its legs out with its head a la homer simpson.

  4. Breathed: If I was on top of the world at one point, I wouldn’t want to join the t-shirts and good-will crap shoot of cartooning on the web either.

    That’d be like being… Poison and having to play at a car show.

    Hi & Lois: That webcomic artist is neither a tubby bastard with a goatee, nor a hipster douchebag. A little research please, Hi & Lois creators.

  5. I’ve always hated Hi and Lois just for the fact that he hasn’t bothered to update the look of his teenagers and dresses them all like 80’s punk rockers or some other stereotype he has casually come across while stumbling across MTV.

    This didn’t really upset me like it did others. Sometimes I think webcomickers are a bit sensitive. Now if a strip like Cathy did this though… *Fumes* 😡

  6. I feel like I’m watching a sinking ship reading through this archive. It’s oddly depressing.

    Print looks like it’s heading down, and I’m a pretty sentimental guy. I never had the luxuries of literature up until these days – and I’m losing it already. Well, my ancestors went through horrific sexual abuse for their comings-of-age – I can get through this.

    • I totally forgot I even posted this. Ha! Yeah, pretty interesting to see where print comics have been headed since. There should be some narrative in the “Stripped” documentary, which I hope to review when it comes in the mail.

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