Gene W from the March 23rd chat:
Silver Spring, Md.: Re: Doonesbury CPOW - that's one thing that has always impressed me about that strip - he always seems to have a character already in place for any news event or trend or whatever that comes up. He can pick up a character and put he or she in the event without any problem or stretch. He has Joannie working on the hill, BD was set for any "hostilities", Bernie was perfectly positioned to be a high-tech mogul, Boopsie ended up in the movie industry. I loved it when Mike's youngish techie-wife turned out to be the Vietnamese orphan who had been adopted into the US years before.
Gene Weingarten: Obviously, this is not coincidence. Garry has more active characters than any strip ever, probably by a factor of five.
The strip my son and I are working on -- look for it soon, I hope -- is going to start with about 16. Absurdly high for a new strip, nowhere near Dbury.
New strip: When your new strip debuts, can it replace Peanuts?
If you were able to, say, accidentally slip the email address of the comics editor, perhaps it may result that he or she is bombarded with enough requests to get rid of Peanuts repeats that his or her loins will be girded sufficiently to withstand the few complaint letters that will be mailed (from people who I don't think would folow through on their threat to cancel their subscriptions).
Gene Weingarten: I am beginning to think that no one will ever have the courage to replace Peanuts.
Washington, D.C.: AAAAAHHHHH! According to the notice on today's Style section, they're schwacking both "Pooche Cafe" and "Brevity" from the comics section. What's wrong with these people? They'll keep stale stuff like "Blondie," "Peanuts," "Mark Trail," "Family Circus," and "Dennis the Menace" but kill two of the comics that are actually, you know, funny? Isn't there anything we can do to stop this? AAAAAHHHHHH!!!
Gene Weingarten: They are also keeping Hagar the Horrible.
Alex., VA: Do readers actually write in and support Peanuts?
Gene Weingarten: I don't know, but I doubt it. I think that newspaper comics deciders are loath to get rid of any strip so old that old loyal readers would miss it.
Very, very bad decisionmaking.