To our readers — ‘Frank & Ernest’ wins comics straw poll over ‘Elderberries’

Readers were frank. They voted in earnest. And, frankly, they want the comic strip, “Frank & Ernest,” back weekdays in the Peninsula Daily News instead of “Elderberries.”

“Better graphics,” said a “Frank & Ernest” voter from Sequim, “good play on words and enough puns to keep it intellectually challenging.”

“A joy and a good laugh,” adds an “F&E” fan from Port Angeles, “[and it’s] not hurting anyone.”

To review, after “Frank & Ernest” creator Bob Thaves died last August, the PDN editors looked at other strips that might be available.

We selected and switched to “Elderberries” in late fall in the hopes that it would appeal to the older set who make up a large part of our readership.

Soon after the switch, we heard several polite requests for the return of “Frank & Ernest,” which is continued by Mr. Thaves’ son, Tom, as a “legacy” comic strip.

At the same time, we heard some not-so-polite reaction to “Elderberries.”

We ran a straw poll to gauge reader preference during the final two weeks of December.

Readers could either clip the coupon published in the PDN or vote via a special e-mail address set up for the survey.

Admittedly unscientific, the poll offers a clear and conclusive result: It’s “Frank & Ernest” by a whopping 5-1 over “Elderberries” among those who responded.

Some more comments from respondents who scribbled in the margin around the ballot coupon or commented in their e-mail:

  • “If it was legal, I would give [‘Frank & Ernest’] 1,000 votes. Their play on words is great. Makes me need to wake up and think – and then giggle!” said a Port Angeles voter.

  • “It’s so clever,” said a “Frank & Ernest” voter from Sequim. “[‘Elderberries’ has] too many words; not clever.”

  • “‘Elderberries’ is insulting to older people,” says another “F&E” Sequim voter, “and not really funny.”

  • “Many times I share ‘Frank & Ernest’ with my high school students,” added a Sequim teacher.

  • “[Elderberries] is the future – we need humor around it,” said a respondent from Port Townsend who voted for the comic strip.

  • “Elderberries,’ please,” said an e-mailer. “I was always waiting for ‘F&E’ to just go away.”

  • “Please never muck around with the rest of your comics lineup,” said an “Elderberries” voter from Port Townsend. “It is now perfect.”
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