From the editor: Some housekeeping to start the new year

Cuyler Meade, editor, Craig Press
Craig Press

I don’t want to bury the lead here. You may have already noticed — especially if you were like me when I was a kid — that we are not running the comics page today. That was not an error, nor was it temporary. We will not be running comics in the Craig Press going forward.

Anything can change in the future, but at least for 2022, that’s a decision we’ve made as an entity, and it’s one that we understand might not be popular with those who love the Funnies.

I get it. Trust me. I grew up reading the Funny Pages. That’s how I was introduced to newspapers, really — that and the sports section. I remember popping off the front two sections of then then-extremely robust San Jose Mercury News for years and years as I ate my morning cereal to turn to the back of the Arts & Entertainment section to pour over what were then two pages of comics on the weekdays and, if you can believe it, at least four color pages on Sundays.

Those were the days, you guys. I’m with you in lamenting that most of what I mentioned in that last paragraph doesn’t exist anymore – or at least not in a recognizable format. The Merc is still there and doing great work, but their print section is nothing compared to the old days. I highly doubt the A&E section exists, though I haven’t been back in ages, and I’d not be surprised to learn they’ve cut the Funnies down to one page or less. All of that, unfortunately perhaps, is the way of the world.

Here’s the thing, though. When I was growing up, there were a lot fewer outlets for regenerating, refreshing daily content. For a kid in the 90s and early 2000s, those pages were kind of the world of entertainment if I wasn’t watching early cable TV or listening to the radio. Yeah, of course the internet existed, but I could read from Peanuts down to Marmaduke and back before a single panel of Calvin and Hobbes loaded on the old dial-up — if such a thing even existed in those days, which I doubt.

Today it’s hard to imagine that. Today, in an age of 5G and gig-speed wireless and whatever else is on the near horizon, not to mention the legions of entertainment options those bring with them, the comics just don’t hold that place in our diversion offering that they once did.

And so, truly, I mourn the end of an era in Craig, and I hear those of you who likely mourn with me. But as all these changes I’ve mentioned above have come about, so too has the news industry changed. And here’s the truth.

We’ve got to be as lean and mean a news-publishing machine as we possibly can be. We’ve got to drive all our resources into gathering the important and critical local and regional news that we endeavor to deliver every Wednesday and Friday in print and every day online. We have a long way to go to be everything we ought to be, but the sad truth is that providing one of frankly dozens of ways just to read the daily comics, much less the thousands of ways to find a moment of Frank and Ernest-type chuckles in your daily entertainment regimen, is not in the interest of getting to those lofty and crucial goals.

So we hope you’ll forgive us as we shed a tear together for the end of Dogbert and Odie, the Grizwells and Rose and Jimbo, at least as they appear in the pages of the twice-weekly Craig Press. There’s lots of ways to find your favorites online or in dedicated print, and I hope you’ll seek them out and stay abreast of their chortle-worthy hijinks as you see fit.

Puzzles are here to stay, though. Find the crossword and Sudoku on Page 6 most of the time going forward. We’re not monsters.

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