Blondie is back! So are Family Circle and Dennis the Menace (in the Classified section Monday through Saturday). And Rose is Rose. And Doonesbury.
The reader survey of the comics in January was interesting. We had double the participants that we had in the 2012 survey (thank you very much if you participated) and there was clear evidence of spamming and repeated voting from one terminal (it's not very nice to try to game the system, folks).
But our market researcher, Judy Greenley, filtered out the spam, weighted the results by intensity of like, and then weighted them to mirror the demographics of our readership.
So we accounted for the cheaters, acknowledged the passion of comics readers and made sure we gave more weight to our older readers, our most loyal and largest group.
What struck Judy most was looking at the results by age groups: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64 and 65 or older. There were lots of differences in the top five, even the top 10.
But, interestingly, when I went past the top 10 in each age group to the top 15 in all age groups, I found that there was a lot of similarity with the weighted list that mirrors our readership.
The top 9 in the weighted list were in the top 15 for all age groups. The next 4 were in the top 15 for 5 of the 6 age groups. Two more were in the top 15 for 4 of the 6 age groups.
It's important to select comics that most readers like AND that appeal to folks of different age groups. So 15 comics worked well for most of our readers in most of our age groups. We have only a few slots after that and I aimed those for top 15 choices of specific age groups.
So we're bringing back Family Circus and Dennis the Menace for our readers 65 or older. Those two comics ranked in the top 15 for only that age group. We previously had them in the Classified section so we put them in the same place. Dennis will start Monday and Family Circus will start Tuesday. I also found room to keep Family Circus in the Sunday comics.
Doonesbury was in the top 15 for only the Baby Boomers, but it's back in the lineup now.
Get Fuzzy was in the top 15 for only our youngest readers, but we're keeping it for that generation.
So not a lot of change, but we did bring back some old favorites. And we still have a few new ones for you to try: Frazz in daily; Herman and F-Minus in Sunday.
So take a look at the new lineup - and enjoy!
Vicki S. Gowler is editor and vice president of the Idaho Statesman. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 377-6403.