|Pop Culture Gadabout|
Sunday, March 26, 2006 |
( 3/26/2006 11:41:00 AM ) Bill S.
SHRINKAGE – Recently, our local paper, the Bloomington-Normal Daily Pantagraph, did a major job on the Sunday comics, cutting the six-page weekly section down to a four-page supplement – with one of the pages devoted entirely to a local kids' feature called "The Flying Horse." The change left three broadsheet pages for a total of nineteen color strips, resulting in panels about the size of what you'd see in a manga digest.
The act of miniaturization arguably doesn’t do too much damage to strips like "Dilbert" or "BC," but it's sure messed up more fully rendered series. For one thing, the smaller size makes it harder for color to be properly aligned, which subsequently blurs the imagery. This week's "For Better of Worse," for instance, featured an extended wordless sequence at the dentist. The misapplied color totally muddied up artist Lynn Johnston's deft visual storytelling.
Remember when "Calvin And Hobbes" creator Bill Watterson got publicly self-righteous over the diminution of the Sunday funnies, demanding that his strip received a half-page because the smaller size stripped his cartoon dinosaurs of their grandeur? Not sure even Bill knew how bad things were gonna get for ye Sunday funnies . . .