Home » Oregon Trails » One size fits all?

One size fits all?

I thought I’d try and show today’s strip as close to a newspaper format as possible (they are not all exactly the same, of course). I think it is good to keep that in mind when we’re looking and critiquing the panels. That is, when the strips are published online, they tend to be so much larger than they are when printed, and cartoonists, by and large, draw with the understanding that they will be significantly smaller than the original drawings. So here is the same strip, as seen on the Comics Kingdom web site:

The proper “focal point” for viewing a drawing is important. The famous 19th French artist Georges Seurat painted small dabs of complementary and contrasting colors laid side-by-side and overlapped so that, when seen at a proper distance, they visually blended into other colors and shapes. This was a deliberate technique on his part.

My thought is whether we should continue to post and view these panels in their online size or the newspaper size. I think in the latter case, a lot of complaints about artistic style or quality are minimized, so to speak. That is, images do not look so stark or odd. And that is likely deliberate, as Rivera is well aware of newspaper size reductions. Anyway, is this a valid observation or am I just talking myself into a rhetorical corner?

Hey, I almost missed it:  Mark is wearing a short-sleeved version of his standard red-and-black checked shirt. Maybe he really does have a closet full of them for all seasons.


3 thoughts on “One size fits all?

  1. Due to cost cutting measures the size of the panels really is a joke. Especially bad is the Minneapolis Star Tribune Sunday strips. They are literally unreadable. The Sunday panels are geared by the cartoonist to be larger than the daily strip. In order to save a page of paper the Tribune has minimized the cartoon to a facsimile of a large postage stamp. I pay good money for an actual delivered subscription. So I wrote a letter to the paper to no avail.

    • Yeah, old news, I’m afraid. But I’m with you, along with most cartoonists, I’m sure. In fact, Chester Gould, who created Dick Tracy, used to satirize the shrinking size of the comics by including an occasional strip-in-the-strip called “Sawdust”, which consisted only of dots in each panel telling jokes. Furthermore, many cartoonists use the first 2 or 3 panels on Sunday strips as throwaways, since editors sometimes chop off those panels to squeeze in other things, like those stupid puzzles and other crap you see on Sunday pages, as in the Strib.

      By the way, how is your delivery? Ours got so bad and we got so tired of complaining that we canceled the subscription (after 30+ years). The Strib outsourced it several years ago and that’s when the problems began. They don’t care.

      • For the most part delivery has been pretty good. A few weeks ago we had problems but I attributed that to our normal guy on vacation. I’d probably go online full time but I guess I’m old school. Plus mu Lab lives to pick it up and bring it to me each morning! It would screw up his whole day if I discontinued!

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