|Edmonton Journal||Edmonton Sun||Chicago Daily Herald||Norwich Bulletin||Winnipeg Tribune||Lake County News Herald|
In the late 1970s, a few Canadian and U.S. newspapers began publishing the Sunday color comics as a comic book sized supplement within their weekend edition paper. The obvious downside being that comic strips were printed smaller than normal, but the upside was a greater quantity and variety of strips included in order to fill the many pages of a weekly comic book. It wasn't enough to simply carry the usual comic page fare such as Peanuts, Doonesbury, Blondie, Wizard of Id, Garfield, etc. In addition, many continuity strips (e.g. action, adventure, sci-fi and soap opera) not typically found in most newspapers were given a chance to see print in these newspaper comic books. During the heyday (1979 to 1981), it was not uncommon to find comic strips from such diversely owned super-hero properties as Spider-Man, Superman, and The Phantom within the same issue. Competing sci-fi franchises such as Star Trek and Star Wars were also commonly found within a given issue.
Unfortunately, the use of the comic book format was rather short lived. By 1983 most newspapers had abandoned the format and the few that continued altered their strip line-up to become primarily gag based books. Not helping matters was the fact that many continuity strips ceased their syndication towards the end of 1983 (e.g. Star Trek, Latigo, Buck Rogers, Kerry Drake, etc.).
The above timeline shows when each newspaper used the comic book format between 1977 and 1993. The Lake County News Herald continued with the format until the end of 1997. The Connecticut Post also adopted the comic book format from 1995 to 1998, featuring Spider-Man, Little Orphan Annie, Rex Morgan, and The Phantom, throughout those years.
It may come as a surprise to most US newspaper readers, to learn that many Canadian papers actually included the Sunday comics as a supplement within their Saturday edition paper. In an effort to maintain consistency, this site refers to all comic book publications as occurring on a Sunday (which is also the correct weekday intended by the comic writers and artists).
|Country||State/Province||City||Newspaper||Comic Book Format Start||Comic Book Format End||Pub. Sat or Sun?||Avg. Page Count|
|Canada||Alberta||Medicine Hat||Medicine Hat News||1978-Jan-22||1981-Jan-18||Saturday||16|
|USA||Georgia||Lawrenceville||Gwinnett Daily News||1979-Sep-02||1982-Aug-29||Sunday||16|
|USA||Massachusetts||Framingham||South Middlesex News||1978-Mar-19||1984-May-13||Sunday||32|
|USA||Ohio||Willoughby||Lake County News-Herald||1978-Sep-10||1993-Jun-06||Sunday||32|
|USA||Pennsylvania||Chester||Delaware County Daily Times||1982-Mar-14||1988-Dec-25||Sunday||24|
|USA||Vermont||Rutland & Barre-Montpelier||Rutland Herald & Times Argus||1980-??-??||1983-??-??||Sunday||16|
Use of the comic book format seems to be a decidedly northern affair. The lone exception is the Gwinnett Daily News originating from the fine state of Georgia. View the newspaper comic book map to see how the format oddly favored cold weather states and provinces.
A detailed guide to the contents of many (though not all) of the comic books is found within the following excel file. This file identifies which adventure and soap-opera style strips were carried, when, and in which newspapers; Sunday_comics_in_CB_format.xlsx
Contact me if you have any comments, additional info, or newspaper comic books for sale/trade.
mark_nems at yahoo dot com
|Connecticut Post||South Middlesex News||Kenosha News||Calgary Herald||Montreal Gazette||Toronto Sun|