Pibgorn lives! April 22, 2007Posted by Jeff in Art, Cartoons.
One of my first non-posts on this non-blog was about one of my favorite comics, which contrary to recent rumor has not been discontinued and will live on in what its author calls “the digital ether”.
Brooke McEldowney, best known for his 9 Chickweed Lane newspaper strip, started posting Pibgorn on comics.com in 2002. He originally drew it as a standard-format black-and-white daily strip with some wonderful Sunday pages, hoping for a standard syndication deal. He then attempted for a while to do it as a daily color strip, but the art was so spectacular (and complicated) that the story and characters suffered.
In February 2006, McEldowney cut back the frequency of Pibgorn to three times a week, while at the same time embarking on an ambitious series in which he staged Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the casts of both of his strips (Pibgorn as Puck, Edda Burber as Hermia, Geoffrey as Oberon, Amos as Quince, etc.) Shortly after the end of that series last month, Comics.com announced they would no longer be carrying Pibgorn as of April 13.
Here’s an e-mail McEldowney sent out a few days ago:
With United Media’s announcement that “Pibgorn” is to be discontinued, I have been inundated with e-mail, much of it agitated and distressed. I’m very sorry you had to get the news in this rather dispassionate way. That I may answer your central question forthwith, I’ve composed this response for everyone – so please forgive me if I seem impersonal.
“PIBGORN” WILL CONTINUE.
There. That is the main thing I wanted to say. Comics.com, however, will, as they have announced, no longer be the source. Nothing dramatic happened, really. I simply came to feel that the editorial needs of comcs.com and those of “Pibgorn” were becoming more and more divergent and incompatible. For this reason I asked to be released from my contract with United Media in order to secure a new online home for “Pibgorn.” United Media most graciously, and reluctantly, agreed. In short order I hope to get Pib back up and flying.
Meanwhile, you have seen the most current installments of “Pibgorn.” Hold that thought. We’ll be back.
All best wishes, and thanks so very much for writing.
I have Josh, the renowned Comics Curmudgeon, to thank for the news that McEldowney has started a a LiveJournal page to help people track “Pib’s next flit through the digital ether”. Based on the hints, the new Pibgorn may be even more uninhibited that the Comics.com version. Stay tuned!