Not long ago, I was a zealous reader of daily newspaper comics, devouring at least a dozen strips per day, more when I had the time. But somewhere along the line, that number began to dwindle, with my enthusiasm waning each time favorites such as Gary Larson ("The Far Side"), Bill Watterson ("Calvin and Hobbes"), Bill Amend ("FoxTrot") and Aaron McGruder ("Boondocks") either quit, cut back or went on indefinite hiatus. Recently, I realized there isn't a single strip in the Denver Post that I bother to peruse anymore, and just two in the Rocky Mountain News: Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury," which remains strong more than three decades down the line, and Darrin Bell's "Candorville." Moreover, others with whom I spoke seemed similarly dispirited about the current state of comics. The only strip that stirred much commentary was Tom Batiuk's "Funky Winkerbean," because of a wrenching story line starring Lisa Moore, a longtime character who's battling terminal breast cancer. Batiuk has confirmed that Lisa will die this fall.
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