by Donna Barstow | July 10th, 2008
At least in the LA Times.
Hello, Dilbert, my old friend.
I know papers are trying to save money. The LA Times is laying off 150 more reporters this month. Really shameful. And haven’t I already been a victim from that?!
And so sometimes they shave a sliver off the page. I guess the columns just got skinnier, too, because a few months ago I noticed Dilbert, which runs in the Business section of the LA Times, was suddenly running vertically, instead of horizontally.
I think Dilbert is one of the funniest, if not the funniest, strips out there. Laugh out loud funny, which is rare for me. But I guess I can’t think in a North-South way, because I literally can’t understand it now. I keep looking at the shape, and then try to figure out the vertical action. ( It’s also compressed & distorted – I’m surprised you don’t have people throwing up when they try to read it, Times.) By the time I reach the bottom I forget what the premise was. And who wants to re-read a comic? This is not the way to showcase the biggest cartoonist in the US, editors.
A few years ago I was lucky enough to hear Wiley Miller, of Non-Sequiter, speak at a local cartoon group (CAPS). He was quite pleased with a solution he worked out with his syndicate. (He is really a single panel, but drawn as an annoying rectangle to fit in with the other strips. I’m talking about his older stuff, before he had characters.) Many Sunday papers didn’t have enough room to run him on Sundays, so he told his syndicate, ok, he’d just draw the Sunday strip vertically, to squeeze into available space that way! You’ll have to decide for yourself if this works. Or if it’s funny.