News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


New comic strip Lio begins Monday

Believe me, the new comic strip Lio that begins Monday is not part of our redesign of The Daily. And I have not been messing with your favorite comics again. I quit doing that because it upsets readers when we replace a long-running strip.

This is a change I canít stop.

Starting Monday, Lio will take the place of the popular FoxTrot each weekday and Saturday.

But FoxTrot will continue in the Sunday comics section.

Why the change?

Bill Amend began drawing FoxTrot in April 1988. Now, he says, it is time to get out of the house more and try something else. But remember he plans to stay in-doors enough to get the Sunday strips ready.

FoxTrot runs in more than 1,000 newspapers.

Lio is a hybrid: Heís Calvin without Hobbes, but with disgustingly creepy animal and insect friends; and heís The Far Side without Gary Larson.

Like Calvin, Lio lives in a fantasy world. Like Calvin, Lio should appeal to readers of most ages.

There is no dialogue in Lio. In creating the strip, Mark Tatulli wanted to do something different so he uses pantomime, but with a modern twist.

Some of the sample strips of Lio are easy to figure out; some Iím still working on.

Iím going to miss Jason and his sister Paige and older brother Peter, and their parents, Andy and Roger, every morning. So, I, too, am a casualty. FoxTrot is one of my favorites.

But about the daily comics pages Ö

Our redesign of the newspaper is continuing to evolve after the massive makeover that we rolled out Nov. 13. Our consultants are currently helping us repackage the comics to make them more convenient for readers.

We havenít agreed on the final look for the comic pages, so I canít be specific about the changes.

But Lio is the only change in comic strips.

Happy New Year.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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