The comic strip Nest Heads is ending, like, 10 minutes from now it looks like?


I guess it’s just a week of comic strip news around here. Daily Cartoonist reports that John Allen’s Three-Generations-And-A-Dog comic strip Nest Heads is ending syndication the 31st of July. It’s short notice, yeah. Creators Syndicate, which has been distributing it, just sent the word out on Tuesday. The daily strip has been in reruns since the 22nd of June, and the Sunday strip went into reruns after the 12th of July, with a comic that incidentally mentioned The Phantom.

Title panel: Dad, dressed in The Phantom's uniform, in the jungle, sweating. First panel, Dad: 'I wonder why the Phantom never made it bigger as an action hero?' Mom: 'Believability. ... You don't wear purple spandex in the jungle without a big sweat stain problem.'
John Allen’s Nest Heads for the 12th of July, 2020. Last original Sunday strip, apparently. And sure, it’s a joke many of us make about the ol’ Ghost Who Walks. A couple months ago Nest Heads also did a bit about Pogo, which was nice to see remembered. Now that The Far Side is reprinting dailies, Pogo is the biggest comic strip in need of an online presence.

It is weird to have a strip end syndication this abruptly, and (apparently) mid-week too. It’s imaginable that the strip is changing syndicates and the announcement got all weird. If I get news, I’ll share news.

I didn’t have much cause to talk about Nest Heads here. On my other blog I did discuss times it raised some mathematical topic. I don’t know whether the links to the Nest Heads page on GoComics will still work once August starts.

2020 has been a rough year for comic strips. Also ended so far have been Ask Shagg, Moose and Molly, The Pajama Diaries, Retail, and Stone Soup. And I have doubts about Mark Trail getting back up to speed anytime soon. Granted many of these are obscure or not well-loved comics, but every comic strip is somebody’s favorite. I mean, not Zack Hill. But every other comic strip besides Zack Hill is somebody’s favorite.

Has the comic strip _Momma_ come to an end?


Mell Lazarus, cartoonist for Momma and Miss Peach, died about two months ago. And now we know how far ahead of deadline he was able to work, between original strips and reruns. This appeared last Sunday, when I was trying to cover up being away from home with a week of my own reruns:

Characters gathered around Momma's gravestone: 'RIP Sonya Hobbes, 1927 - 2016. I Told You I Was Sick'. Surrounding the gravestone are Cathy and Electra, Jeremy from Zits, Luann, Earl and Mooch from Mutts, Farley from For Better Or For Worse, Snoopy, Billy from The Family Circus, the dad from Baby Blues, the guy and dog from Ballard Street, and Tom Doozie from the Doozies. Plus some Sergio Aragones marginal figures.
Mell Lazarus’s Momma for the 10th of July, 2016. I admit, I laughed, and felt bad about the laugh, which is what you want for this kind of joke. None of the characters are Lazarus’s, which does seem a little odd. The fellow on the far right holding the dog is from Jerry Van Amerongen’s Ballard Street. The very sketchy fellow on the far right is from Tom Gammill’s The Doozies and yes, it’s that Tom Gammill. If you don’t know that Tom Gammill, don’t worry.

I doubt anyone saw that coming. Momma was never a continuity-heavy strip and so there wasn’t any reason to think it would need a finale. I’m impressed that Lazarus or someone working with him had thought to have a closing comic. Also that it’s a perfect capstone for the comic.

It is curious to me none of Lazarus’s characters appears in the strip. For that matter, Cathy, For Better Or For Worse, and Peanuts are in officially announced perpetual reruns, with Schulz even dead for quite some time now. The Family Circus is in unofficially announced perpetual reruns. I don’t know what to make of this set of characters, other than that perhaps they reflect creators Lazarus considered particularly good friends.

Is the comic strip leaving syndication? I haven’t seen any announcement the syndicate means to drop it, although it’s hard to suppose there’ll be any more new strips. But the perpetual-rerun is now a tolerated part of the syndicated comic offering: besides the above-mentioned strips Doonesbury and Get Fuzzy are new only on weekends, and there are many minor strips that are new only on the weekends or not at all. And Momma hadn’t offered a new daily strip since February.

What I gather is that Momma is still being offered to newspapers, but that might reflect Creators Syndicate not having decided what to do after Lazarus’s death. If I hear of anything more I’ll say.

According to posters on the Usenet group rec.arts.comics.strips, Jok Church’s feature You Can with Beakman and Jax is ending this week. And according to the strip itself Kevin Frank’s Heaven’s Love Thrift Shop is ending at the close of the month. The past twelve months have been a brutal one for syndicated comics and related features.