Exchange to change comics offering

Staff report

November 9, 2013

New comics and a new look are featured today on the Comic pages of The Laurinburg Exchange.

Among the additions to our comics lineup are “Rhymes with Orange” and “Baby Blues,” two strips that recently received top awards from the National Cartoonist Society, the world’s largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists. These new comics will join some of your old favorites, such as “Dennis the Menace,” as name of your newspaper blends the new strips with nostalgic comics that readers have come to love.

The changes are part of an exclusive agreement between Civitas Media, owners of The Laurinburg Exchange, and King Features, one of the largest providers of specialty content in the newspaper industry.

“Just like television stations make changes to their lineup of shows each season, it’s important for newspapers to keep its content fresh. Today’s changes offer our readers some of the most popular work available,” said Jim Lawitz, director of content for Civitas Media.

“Rhymes with Orange” is targeted to the under-40 reader. With insightful wit, it spoofs everyday contemporary life. Without regular characters, creator Hilary Price uses everything from dogs and cats to charts and graphs to comment on the world today. The King Features cartoonist won the Best Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award of the year.

“Baby Blues” chronicles the trials and tribulations of parenthood, ranging from temper tantrums and dirty diapers to teething pains and sleepless nights. Its creator, King Features cartoonist Rick Kirkman, won the Reuben Award for “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.”

Other new additions include “The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee” and “Retail.”

In an age when we are bombarded with information and a 24-hour news cycle, Edison Lee offers a disarming view of our world through the eyes of a child who is both a brilliant genius and an eternal optimist.

“Retail” is the first-ever syndicated comic strip to focus solely on this service sector. It presents a hilarious look at the retail industry by chronicling the daily events at the fictitious Grumbel’s department store.

The new page also includes a popular crossword puzzle whose degree of difficulty increases with each day of the week. Readers also will be treated to a Sudoku puzzle.

The addition of the new content means some of the comics that used to appear in The Laurinburg Exchange, including “Funky Winkerbean” and “Mutts,” are being replaced. Lawitz realizes this may be upsetting to some readers.

“Every feature in a newspaper has its hard-core fans. We realize this. But it’s also important to try new things, and we feel if they give this new content a chance, they’ll enjoy the changes.”