It’s at times like these, after that Circus story that in Itchy Oliver style I “scratch” my head wondering just what jinx has beset Dick Locher ? Even curious to know, if one Joe Btfspik is camping out in the wooded area behind Dick’s property ? Perhaps, Jeff and Mattie could keep an eye peeled the next time they get an “invite”.
I’ts no secret that these guys (to use a Jamaican expression) have Locher on their “head-tops”! But I’m sure they’re honest and will report back on the subject.
Here we have an Author /Artist with the enviable advantage of working beside Gould as an art assistant for 4 years 1957-1961 (contributing to group planning discussions), then another 10 years with writer Max Collins 1983-1992, followed with a 12 year collaboration with writing partner Mike Kilian. That’s 22 years of being in a priviliged seat of “learning”, fully “exposed” by discussion and association, to (handed over) the succesful writing “techniques” which had breen honed over the previous successful 61 years. You’d think by then, they’d be grafted into him ! What a gift of experience, it doesn’t get better than that !
But to use his new expression - what happened ? Overconfidence ? It’s hard to understand but he must have realized Kilian was failing to use a number of the winning ideas Gould and Collins successfully utilized - (circulation actually grew well under Collin’s writing) and as the senior and more “experienced” DT partner, Locher failed to intervene, A serious practitioner “pays attention” to these things. In addition, he embarked on a facial change program to all of Gould’s HQ characters save Sam. His action suggested they had oulived their usefullness and that the strip needed a fresh “make over”.
No one can deny that this happened or that on the heels of this new, alien writing style and morphed art, circulation took a horrible beating. They lost 83% of the newspaper circulation he inherited.
When the taste of a cooked dish starts coming out with a bad taste, first thing you do is check what part of the “recipe” you had inadvertently changed.
But not our pal Dicky in Napperville, he continued his focused transformation, and like in the “Light Brigade”, Cannon in front of him, cannon from the left and right, with his 300 newspapers flawed he charged forward, and he blundered, and then they rode back, without the “hat”, but not
Not the 300 !
Deep inside he knows. His was a failed end game. Some will try to shield him, fob off blame on TMS restrictions, changing reader taste, or market condtions. If* partly *SO, a compliant Mr. Locher’s “contribution”, flavored with stubbern attitude assisted them immensley.
July 27, 2017
September 11, 2017
October 25, 2017