As anyone who's ever worked at a newspaper can attest, readers don't react well to changes to the comics section, which is a major reason why so many strips trudge on, zombie-like, long after the spark of life left them. So when financial or space constraints force editors to eliminate some old favorites, they expect complaints -- although not necessarily a profanity-laced tirade from an 8-year-old.
When the Herald-Times in Bloomington, Indiana, was forced to slash its comics budget, Editor Bob Zaltsberg told Jim Romenesko the newspaper negotiated new deals with Creators Syndicate and King Features, but Universal Uclick, which led to the loss of 13 comics from the Sunday edition (replaced by strips from the other two syndicates).
Unfortunately, however, those axed included Peanuts, Dilbert, Garfield, Frank & Earnest and Nancy -- all favorites of a certain outraged little boy from Bloomington, who left a message for Zaltsberg on Sunday that started out pleasant enough, but soon devolved into a chorus of insults.
"I'll give you all my money if you'll just give us [the comics] back," he says in the recording below. "Idiots, jerks, shitholes ... shitholes."
The unidentified 8-year-old may be a bit cheerier than he was on Sunday, though: Zaltsberg informed him that Frank & Earnest can still be read six days a week, and Jacq Cohen and Jen Vaughn at Fantagraphics discovered the boy's identity so they can send him volumes of The Complete Peanuts.
As for Zaltsberg? He told Romenesko, “I thought it was a very funny thing, but still an 8-year-old calling me a shithole isn’t that pleasant.”
Listen to the entire call below: