Comics Kingdom (Again!)

"There's no such thing as a free lunch". 

That's a pretty old saying, and I'm not really sure where it originated, but it's still true. Pretty much nothing is free. It may be free for you but someone, somewhere is paying. You may not personally pay for every meal you eat, but someone else is - either your parents or your spouse or your employer or even your local charitable community if you're eating at a homeless shelter. If this is not true for you and you really are eating for free and not through the charity of someone else, I can only assume you are stealing food to eat.

The same is true of your entertainment. Unless you are deliberately stealing the movies and TV shows you watch, you have two choices: either pay for the content directly through a subscription service like cable (or even go straight to the movie theater) or else watch network or public television, both of which are subsidized - one by supporters and pledges, one by advertising. Even if you are watching things on Youtube or the internet, I challenge you to find much entertainment out there that doesn't come with advertising. 

So how does this tie in to Comics Kingdom? I'm getting to that. For years both cartoonists and the public have lamented the small number of comics in newspapers, not to mention complaints about size and legibility, which are ever shrinking in an effort to reduce costs. Many papers engage in comic polls to help them decide which comics to run as they try to please readers without spending too much money on the comics page. For years, folks have told their newspapers they not only don't want to drop any comics, they would actually like to have more comics in the paper. Whatever newspapers would like to believe about which section of their product is most important, comics still draw readers more than anything else. 

So here's your chance. If you still prefer to read your newspaper in print, go ahead and keep doing that. (I love the portability of my paper, as well as how easy it is to cut things out and save them - without using up  my own printer paper and ink) But if you are one of those people who now gets all their news online, please consider clicking one of the links below and checking out the papers who are carrying comics kingdom. And if you find that you really like being able to read every comic king features carries (while having the expense of producing the comic supported by advertising) while also being able to get to the host newspaper's other content as well, keep going there daily. And, if you like what you see but would rather read your own local paper online instead, contact your paper and ask them to sign up for comics kingdom. And if you really want to support the comics, be sure to click on some of the ads on that page. (Remember, it's not readership that's so down right now, it's ad revenue. Clicking on these ads will encourage future advertising on these sites - allowing you to continue to view content) Now is your opportunity to show papers how readers start their day reading comics and then turn to other sections of the newspaper.

One disclaimer: So far, the revenue for artists from comics kingdom is more mysterious than the revenue from dailyink. This means that the best way to support the comics you like directly is to continue to subscribe to dailyink. The fee is small, (I mean, come on, $15.00 for a whole year of as many of King's comics as you like!) the feature is convenient - delivered to your emailbox every morning, and revenue is directly shared between the distributor (King) and the creator.

So here are links for all the comics kingdom papers of which I am currently aware. If you know of others, pass them along and I'll add them to the list, as I intend to update this post regularly. In the spirit of brazen self promotion, these links will take you directly to Edison first - after you arrive you can browse to your heart's content. And please take a minute to vote for your favorites using the stars in the lower right hand corner. You do not need to be a registered comics kingdom user to do this. 

The Oregonian (Portland)
Times Picayune (New Orleans)
News Leader (Springfield MO)
Birmingham News (Alabama)
Spokesman Review (Spokane WA)
Post Standard (Syracuse NY)
Patriot News (Pennsylvania)
Journal News (Hamilton OH)
Western Star (Lebanon OH)
Oxford Press (Oxford OH)
The Republican (Massachusetts) 
Longmont Call (Colorado)
The Monitor (McAllen TX)

One more quick note - some of these sites seem to work better with firefox than they do with safari. If you experience problems accessing the site, it may be your browser. I'm sure either King Features, or the paper in question, or both, would be interested to hear about any difficulties accessing their content.

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