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A female reader of today’s strip wroite that this was a good example of a male author’s misperception of women. Other female readers responded that they thought it was “dead on” and funny. As a gay man, I do feel better in tune with straignt woman, but, that said, I’m still a man and am interested in your opinions. What do you think?
A 75-year-old reader emailed me to tell me that the Calgary Herald still carries “The Meaning of Lila.” I’m so thrilled that they did stop publishing the strip. I’ve been working hard to rewrite the classics and make them funnier and more relevant and hope that they continue to amuse current readers and reach a whole new audience of readers. With enough support from organizations like the Herald, maybe, someday, I can bring back Annie and the group and resume the storyline. Thanks, Calgary editors and readers!
Well, it’s been several months since the strip officially stopped new strips, including Annie’s story and I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of wonderful letter and emails I’ve received saying how much you’ve all enjoyed the strip and Annie, in particular. While I’m sorry to say that I’m nowhere closer to restarting the strip, my time is spent updating the classics with improved humor and new references and it has been growing on comics.com. I guess there are some readers who are enjoying the trip down memory lane when Lila first started out and new readers who are discovering the strip for the first time. I thank you both! And will keep you informed if something changes for the strip in the near future. Until then, I hope you all have a happy new year!
If you’re new to the strip or even if you’ve been a loyal reader for several years, you will enjoy Classic “Lila’s” because they are being updated to hopefully be funnier and more contemporary. I’ve learned a lot through these past nine years, and as I’m going through the original strips, I’ve been enjoying punching them up and even changing copy to make them more enjoyable than the first time around. So even if your local newspaper stopped carrying “The Meaning of Lila,” be sure to check it out online at Creator’s new comic strip website, Alpha Comedy. Thanks for reading! –John
Thanks, everyone, for all the good ideas about how I might make money on Lila. And for the interesting commentary about comic strips and newspapers. It’s true, young people aren’t reading newspapers, but it’s also true that websites are not paying comics. It’s a catch-22. It’s been an exhausting nine years and I think I’ll just take a nap for now. Give me a wake-up call in a few days :-)
My continued thanks to everyone for your thoughtful words this week. The end of “Lila” has not been easy and I guess it didn’t sink in until the last strip appeared this past weekend. I’m still experiencing some “shock and awe” at your support for the strip and can’t tell you how much it has helped me get through these past few days. Based on some of the comments, I thought I’d give some more insight into why “Lila” had to end. When I became syndicated nine years ago, I was thrilled. It was a lifelong dream to have a syndicated comic strip. I thought I was going to be the next Charles Schultz or Berked Breathed. “Lila” quickly got into newspapers like the Denver Post, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Seattle Post Intelligencer, but then were quickly removed when readers complained about the contemporary storylines and the openly gay character. It then became a hard road and the strip was never able to gain its footing again. What readers don’t realize is that despite a lagging newspaper business, cartoons need to be published in newspapers for cartoonists to make any money We receive literally pennies from online publication and readership. Newspapers wonder why they can’t attract new, younger readers? Perhaps it’s because they refuse to let go of old comic strips. When there is a coveted opening on the comics page, like there was when “Kathy” retired, newspapers hold contests instead of choosing a strip that may create a nice balance on their comics page or may attract a new audience. When “Kathy” ended, I thought “Lila” would be a perfect replacement, but “Lila” didn’t even get included in the contests. So, there you have the plain truth. If you’re enjoying online comics, help your cartoonist out and send an email to your local newspaper. That’s the only way it will survive, unless that cartoonist is independently wealthy! And that’s the end of my rant. It’s actually been a fun nine years and I’ve loved all the comments those years. That’s something newspapers can’t do, give you instant feedback from your readers…and I cherished it, everyday. Thanks, everyone. I am YOUR biggest fan. –John