Readers' Representative Journal

A conversation on newsroom ethics and standards

« Previous Post | Readers' Representative Journal Home | Next Post »

"Between Friends" - a new comic strip

Between_friends_comic_strip_panel This notice runs in today's comics section:

"Between Friends" joins Calendar today, one of the comics we're letting readers sample as possible replacements for “For Better or for Worse,” which is now in reruns. For the next five weeks, we’ll sample “Between Friends,” by Sandra Bell-Lundy. After that we’ll sample two more comics, then we’ll make a selection. Send comments to comics@latimes.com.

Reader comments about comics can be found at this post on "For Better or For Worse," and another post about "Doonesbury" that was published on this journal in June, as well as an earlier posting in March

(c) 2008 King Features Syndicate, Inc. World rights reserved. Posted online by special permission.

 
Post a comment
If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate.
Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In





Comments (54)

Between Friends continues the dumbing down trend in the LA Times comics. Please please PLEASE reverse this trend and keep the quality up!

This is such a genuinely warm and funny comic, exactly like being with friends!

"Between Friends" is a real loser: just plain unfunny, although well-drawn. "For Better or For Worse" got soppy and sloppy, and the reruns are awful. We can only pray that the third choice is a winner.

I think Between Friends is an ideal choice to replace For Better or For Worse.

While I've always been a FBFW fan I'm not a fan or issuing reruns so it's nice to see a fresh strip come on board.

Between Friends is a warm, comfortable comic strip which is appealing to a lot of readers. We can only handle sarcastic wit for so long before it gets tedious, it's often nice to come back to a familiar group of friends.

I want For Better or Worse back. Please don't drop this great comic

Thank you

Having become a reader of "Better or Worse" later in its history, I've enjoyed reading the beginning of the family. If its death knell has been sounded, I would vote for "Between Friends"

No go on Between Friends....very unfunny, can't keep up with who's who or any connection to the previous day (if any)....just plain BORING!! Grant it, Better or Worse was not the greatest, but it did have somewhat of a storyline that if you cared what was happening, you could tune in the following day. LA Times has the worst funnies there is...I could probably count my favorites on one hand.

Sorry, but this BETWEEN FRIENDS has got to go. Those of us who were looking forward to seeing the FBOFW family that we've come to know develop from the start have been shafted if you don't bring it back. It's not 'old news' to anyone, and the terrible stuff you try to replace it with, ugh. With judgements like this, no wonder newspapers are tanking. BRING FBOFW BACK!

Please bring back For Better Or For Worse!

Please re-run Far Side!

Please bring back Sylvia!

Get rid of Brewster!

"Between Friends" doesn't make me laugh, but it looks like it might be promising. There are some strips where I feel it's a waste of space.

But "For Better or Worse" is remarkable. It changed the style of comics, combining the "gag"-type strip with the story type strip, in a compassionate and insightful way.

Am I the only one who likes the strip but hasn't been reading it since it began? I enjoy seeing the early ones, "before I came in."

So, Keep For Better or Worse, and if you also want to run Between Friends, I'll follow them both for the time being.

I agree with others that there are strips besides these two that could be eliminated, but I leave that up to you.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE RERUNS? I was looking forward to reading them again.I have been reading them since the beginning but it's been so long it's like they are new again. Also I agree with the other reader that the same would be true for The Far Side reruns if that's possible. Great stuff!

BRING BACK FBOFW!!!!
WE DID NOT SEE IT AT THE BEGINING, SO IT IS ALL NEW TO US.
BETWEEN FRIENDS IS PATHETIC.
LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE!!

I don't care for "Between Friends". There's already too much male bashing in the comics, sitcoms, and TV commercials today. It's not funny, and we're tired of it.

MY VERY FAVORITE STRIP for many years is "For Better of For Worse" I read it every day and miss it when it's not there (as is currently the case). I think the creator has presented a very realistic strip that has grown up with ME; taking me through the early parenting years and up to the maturing of my family. I'd welcome repeating it from the beginning.

Sorry, just never have been a fan of FBOFW. For sure, I don't want to sit thru re-runs. I know, I know, if I don't like it, change the channel. The problem is, there are limited numbers of channels. If you are going to blackball Stan Lynde, find someone who can do a credible Rick O'Shay and Hipshot Percussion. Again, not wishing to necessarily disagree with the taste of various readers, is there really an audience for Rex Morgan, Medieval Doctor? Sally Forth? Drabble? Blondie? Family Circus? Get Fuzzy? Marmaduke? Talk about lack of nuance. Continuing to bounce around, please don't get rid of Brewster Rockit. It has evolved (OK, maybe that's a stretch for Brewster), as has 9 Chickweed Lane, to the point that they are in the top half dozen strips. Just a suggestion, but why not provide a simple rating survey allowing us readers to give you our "best to worst" selections? A side benefit would be to use the survey during contract negotiations with your "strippers".

Please don't continue "Between Friends" any longer. All the strips I have seen so far just seem to be angry or mean spirited with no vestige of comedy. We don't need to see that sort of thing every day. Pleasebring back "For Better or For Worse". If "Peanuts" can do it so can FBoFW.

In short, I'd rather read re-runs/re-writes of For Better/For Worse than anything Between Friends. It's just not funny and has no relation to any friendships I've had.

On that note, I must agree with some of the other writers, just WHO exactly reads: Family Circus, dennis Menace; Drabble; Brewster Rockit; Cathy; Sally Forth; Marmaduke; Rex Morgan.

Other marginal comics, less funny than funny, include Pearls/Swine; Candorville & La Cucaracha. None of which are all that funny.

Glad to see the tide agains Between Friends.

Get rid of Between Friends. The story line is STUPID & not funny. The art work by Sandra Bell Lundy is amatuerish She better go back to art school and learn how to do it correctly. Our Vote is NO on Between Friiends. We are voting for the return of Better or Worse. Quit fooling around with the comic page. You have done enough already.

Bring Back For Better Or For Worse

So far it's "For Better or Worse", hands down.

I don't I'll change my mind when you "sample" other comics, either.

I have been an LA Times subscriber for as many years as I can remember and an avid reader of the comics. I really enjoyed the strip For Better or For Worse but am not interested in seeing reruns of it. For the same reason, I don’t read Peanuts anymore either. One of the things I liked about FBOFW was the family aspect and would like to see it replaced with another family style comic. I also don’t want another political one. I think there are more than enough of those already. Please spare us from more of them.

From what I have seen, Between Friends is not what I want. It is much too depressing. I look to the comics to brighten my day. There is already too much depressing stuff in the paper. I would like to see a humorous family style replacement. A mixture of the generations is very nice as well. As a parent and grandparent I see much humor in the interactions of the various family members. There certainly can be some serious issues brought up from time to time, but preferably with some humor too. I will look forward to seeing the other options in the weeks ahead.

Between Friends presents such a new refreshing realistic approach to comics. The writing allows readers to experience revelations by relating to the common true to life experiences Lundy presents. Lundy's artwork is far superior to Johnson's who has become messy over the years. It too busy. I think she needs some new brushes. Don't re-run Johnson...make way for the new refreshing storylines that Lundy can provide us. My vote is definitely for Between Friends.

Ive got to complain about "between friends"---it's just not funny! I read the comics to have a little chuckle--Pearls before Swine is great--but B.F. is a total downer! There has to be better stuff available--lets see what you've got! Ive read the Times for 40 years, but this is the first time I've been OUTRAGED by your selections--Lio is pretty bad, also. H Mankey

Between Friends is refreshing as compared to FBoFW. Make way for something new. The characters seem sophisticated and present a well rounded view of lifestyles women lead today. FBoFW should have died with Farley.

Bring back "For Better Or Worse". Nothing approaches the gentle humor and telling script than this comic. Tell the story again - you have a new generation of readers now!

This strip is a keeper. It's refreshingly mature in its outlook and subject matters. And, importantly, it isn't easy to access online so without the LAT support it will be hard to keep up with something that really seems worth it.

Bring back For Better or Worse and eliminate Lio and Brewster Rocket. I and others want to know how it all started,

I missed the beginning of FBorFW and would much rather read that than the unfunny, depressing BF. I enjoy the dry wit in other strips, but would not mind at all losing Brewster Rockit.

Between friends...I luv it
Whatever happened to the Boondocks and Calvin & Hobbs?
Lio..needs to go and
For Better or Worse can return!!!!!

PS. When is Cathy ever gonna lose weight or have a baby??

Between Friends is not funny.

Comics are supposed to be funny.

Bring in Arlo 'n' Janis

My husband and I enjoy reading the comics almost every day...we were very bored with the re-runs of the For Better or Worse cartoon (Peanuts too) and we appreciate the opportunity to sample new cartoons. That said Between Friends is not a comics we wish to see in the Times. The comic is very predictable and un-insightful. If it was selected to appeal to women, it fails the same as McCain did picking Palin - women without any substance. The cartoon is basically dumb cliches. Please look for a more well rounded and educated cartoon - that can also appeal to our personal lives.

I miss For Better or For Worse. It was a nice surprise to see how the 'older' version of the comic was very current and amusing. I was looking forward to seeing how the comic evolved. It had a lot of smiles and/or good laghes in it.
Though Between Friends is better than several other 'comics' being offered, I really like to begin my day with a smile before I start in on the hard news. There is no smile in BF.

For better or for Worse is a no brainer...other papers including the Pasadena Star News and the San Francisco Chronicle are showing the strip when Mike and Elizabeth were young which we have never seen. PLEASE start "For Better or For worse" from the beginning. Like Peanuts it will run forever. No comic will replace it.

I find "Between Friends' unfunny and a bit shrill. I'd be happy to see it go.

And I vote for the new 'For Better Or For Worse" to continue. Johnston might no longer be breaking new ground, but she's a pro whose best work shows others how it should be done.

Whatever you do, please keep 'Brewster Rockit.'

I never saw the many years of the beggining of For better or worse. The later parts were enjoyable and full of real-life family problems and adventures. BF is boring and not at all meaningful. I would love to see FBOW continue. Also the puppy will become "Farley" and I would love to seem him as a young dog. Thanks for re-running FBOW.

I am a loyal "for better or worse" fan. I loved being part of that family. I enjoyed their adult family. PLEASE... talk their creator to please continue to share that family with us!
My 68 year old brother and I used to telephone back and forth as each day of their lives unfolded..
We are very sad and sorry that our Comic Strip Family is gone!
REL

Brewster Rockit:Space Guy, Lio, and Pearls Before Swine are consistently funny and original.

Between Friends is neither.

Please, please, please, drop the Between Friends comic strip. What a downer of a strip. Don't even wait until November 8 - drop it today!!!

Bring back For Better or For Worse. The argument that Lynn Johnston is “revisiting a story already told” isn’t compelling enough to let it go, since many of the strips are new. If that is the criterion for keeping or removing strips in the paper, then Peanuts should have been let go back in 2000 when Charles Schulz died. There hasn’t been a new strip there for nearly a decade. The characters of FBOFW are like members of an extended family, and it's interesting to revisit their backstory, particularly for those of us who don't remember back that far.

Suggestions for comic strips to add to the comics page:

Elderberries by Corey Pandolph
Arlo and Janis by Jimmy Johnson
Herb and Jamaal by Stephen Bentley
Monty by Jim Meddick
The Other Coast by Andrian Raeside

Strips that the Times used to carry, and should bring back:

Rhymes with Orange by Hilary Price
Agnes by Tony Cochran
Grand Avenue by Steve Breen
The Meaning of Lila by L.A. Rose
Over the Hedge by Michael Fry and T. Lewis
Sylvia by Nicole Hollander
Zack Hill by John Deering and John Newcombe

Strips to definitely keep:
Get Fuzzy, Brewster Rockit, Lio, Frazz, 9 Chickweed Lane, Non Sequitur, Zits, Pearls Before Swine, Sally Forth, Jumpstart and Candorville.

P.S. for the person asking about Calvin and Hobbes, and Boondocks - neither of those strips have had "new" strips for many years, as their creators chose to not continue them.

"For Better or Worse" was our favorite strip. We thought it was great to go back to the beginning of the story as we didn't start reading it until about the time April was born. We are very upset that you are not running the strip. We had been so looking forward to how it all started. It's also interesting to see how the artwork changed and improved over time. Please bring it back!

I very much want you to keep For Better or For Worse as one of your comics. Please get rid of "Between Friends" ASAP. It's one of the worst "comics" I've ever read. "Lio", La Cucaracha" and "Prickly City" are right up there with "Between Friends." They are a waste of your space and my time. As are "9 Chickweed Lane", "Mutts", "Get Fuzzy" and "Bizarro." There have got to be more and better "comics" out there - comics that are at least somewhat funny and, if they just have to, make some kind of social statement. However, I think the Op-Ed and Letters to the Editor are better places for political/social/moral comments. Please don't feed me biased opinions and call them comics. And don't insult my intelligence with "comics" that are written poorly, are totally unfunny, and have no redeeming value whatsoever.

From one newspaper guy to another: The people who clamor for FBOFW are the same people who complained so bitterly about minor changes to the TV listings, or about ink on their fingers. You know in your heart this is true.

We know readers under say, 50, are increasingly rare, and bringing back a warmed-over FBOFW will only convince those younger readers that the Times has nothing for them of relevance.

Please do not continue with Between Friends. It is painfully, NOT FUNNY. This is the comics, remember. Thoughtful and insightful are OK as with Better or Worse, but this is too dark.

Please run Between Friends! It's funny and happy.

LuAnn is more contrived than most strips. It's forced and fails on at least two levels - it's superficial and decidedly unfunny. Please Please don't run it! Between Friends is much better although I'm not sold on it yet. I forgot the name of the first one you ran but I didn't like it,.

Drop Luann.
Bring back Pogo and Apartment 3G

So far none of the replacemaents come close to the quality and content of "For Better Or Worse." It's great to go back to the beginning and this strip should be brought back.
Lynn Johnston's summary of where her characters were today, done this past summer, only made it more poignant and encouraged the return to the beginning. Finally, I buy your competition to get the retelling of the strip and for several other reasons unrelated to comics.
If the LA Times drops much motre content I'l drop it from my daily purcase of newspapers.

So far, For Better or Worse stands out as the best strip in your strip challenge. Has depth, humor and is well drawn. The first replacement was well-drawn, but too dark. The second was light-hearted and that's about it. The current strip, Home and Away is missing it all.
All, however, are better than Lio.

Well, here's my two cents. I've read the entirety of For Better of Worse, and it feels like a re-run. Luann's a possiblity (and I like it), but you have Zits as the teenager strip. How about one to please the aging population? Have you looked at "Pickles?" Funny, insightful and clever.

I love For Better or Worse, rerun or not it definitely gets my vote. I have not enjoyed any of the others you have offered as replacement.
On another note, why do you not show all of the comics in the Sunday edition?
I would love to see Rex Morgan, 9 Chickweed Lane in my Sunday paper. I always enjoy seeing continueity comics. My favorites and the only ones I read are FBOW, 9 chickweed Lane, Zits, Baby Blues, Crankshaft, Sally Forth & Family Circus.

Home and Away is awesome. I can relate to those characters and the situations. What a great way to get the giggles going for the day!

 

This is the backup site for The Los Angeles Times. We'll post news and information if latimes.com becomes inoperable or inaccessible.

LATEST
this is a test breaking news post |  April 16, 2013, 1:45 pm »


CONTACT

Have a story tip?

Please send to newstips@latimes.com.

Can I call someone with news?

Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


LAT ON TWITTER