If you are a reader of comics, you may have noticed we introduced a new one today. Called “Tundra,” it is drawn by Chad Carpenter, who lives in Willow, Alaska, made famous as the hometown of Sara Palin, once governor of Alaska and Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2008. Palin is on the lecture circuit now, so doesn’t spend much time in Willow, but Carpenter still works there, even though he, too, is becoming well known.
“Tundra” has a lot of admirers. Those who are old enough to remember “The Far Side” see in Chad Carpenter’s work the same kind of wit that evokes chuckles. His dominant style, like “The Far Side,” is that of anthropomorphication, which is applying human characteristics to animals. Put more simply, his characters are mostly talking animals that often turn the tables on human beings. I hope you will find “Tundra” funny.
It is in the place of “Born Loser,” which we have moved to the Leisure Page that also includes the daily TV guide, “Dear Abby” and “Our Daily Bread.” You won’t see “Born Loser” in that spot on Saturdays, though, because we run two days’ worth of television guides, which doesn’t leave room. “Born Loser” is in the color comics that day, though, so if you are a “Born Loser” fan, you won’t miss a day. I happen to love comics. One of my rewards as an editor is being able to read the comics before they wind up in the paper.
My grandfather read the comics to me before I could read. He would change his voice to become the characters. That was before cartoons on television. What a treat that was for a little boy who loved looking at those drawings.
When it comes to the comics, I’m still a little boy. I can’t get enough of them. I do hope you, too, enjoy “Tundra.”