No Jokes: Newspapers Cutting Comic Strips

"Today, new comics, nobody has a clue," he said. "We have a very solid following. But it is more niche than it has ever been."

In search of new audiences, the newspaper comics are now posted online. But the cartoonists do not make nearly as much money from the Internet as they do from newspapers.

"Cartoonists, in general, are looking to other avenues, other ways to get their products out there -- licensing, movies, television, things like that," Mason Mastroianni said.

"Putting them online is great for exposure, it's great for readership. It may help with licensing or merchandising at some point. But as far as making money directly from online, I am not sure if it can be done or it will ever be done," he added said.

The Mastroiannis have been trying to get a new comic off the ground, the "Dogs of C Kennel." They have drawn a new "C Kennel" strip every day for two years.

So far, the strip can only be viewed online. Newspapers, they said, have been unwilling to embrace new strips at a time when they are cutting back.

"We're waiting for the climate to get a little better, Mason says.

Asked if he thinks "B.C." will be around for his grandchildren, Mastroianni said, "That is a very difficult question to answer.

"I wish I had a crystal ball," he said. "I don't think that comics will ever disappear. But comics in the form they are now, syndicated in the newspaper, might disappear at some point."

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