by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Life has some comic reliefs

Whenever I pick up the morning newspaper, the second most important page for me is the comics section after the headlines.  Over the years, while sailing, sitting on a Mumbai local or on the morning milk stroll at Chennai, I've noticed that a lot of (sane) people have the same habit of flipping to the comics section right after browsing the front page.

Digging a little deeper around in the neighbourhood reveals that the kids have a slightly different order of importance.  For them it is the sports page first and for some the last.  Others say they jump next to the comics section, right after sports and never look at other pages.  A couple of teens said they also glance at ‘cinemas’ to see what movies are on or about to come up.

Not bad as there is scientific proof that reading comics is as good as reading  books as far as children are concerned.

While at Mumbai, there would be a mad scramble for the afternoon English papers like Midday and Afternoon, again for comics and crosswords.  Thus it always struck me that whether it is kids, teens, tweens or adults, everyone loves comics.

The problem was not every paper had every strip and more time was lost in hunting around for a particular newspaper to read a particular strip.

After graduating to the digital age and discovering RSS feeds, it became something of a whizz to tap into the comic strip feeds and read them on FeedDemon or Google Reader.

But during the early years there were some problems.  Not all comics were offered in RSS feeds and even within feeds weren’t offered in full - you still had to visit the website to view them, which is kind of stupid.  I mean, if I want to visit the website everyday, I’d rather bookmark it than subscribe to a feed. 

(Which is also the reason why this blog’s RSS feed offers the full post, not the first few lines alone;  You don’t have to visit the site to read the post, if you subscribe to the RSS feed or podcast).

Even more stupid is for the comic strips to offer an email subscription.  Believe me, some still do; and offer to send you daily comics as an email.  What nonsense!  Email should be restricted to professional or serious personal communication, invitations, and possibly some announcements and intimations, with the RSS feed meant for news and entertainment.

Please tell me why should Helga occupy my email space with her ‘bingo’ moment?


If this has piqued your own interest and you too would like to enjoy the comic strips with your morning cuppa on your PC or mobile, here are the RSS links in an OPML file for the famous cartoons:
Andy Capp
Animal Crackers
Beetle Bailey
Dennis the Menace
Dogs of C Kennel (thanks bro! sure love them)
Hagar the Horrible
Wizard of Id
Also available as OPML file: here 
Or if you are interested, you can download the OPML file from my Google Docs page here [] and import/add it to your favourite RSS reader. 

*Just make sure* you rename the file extension to ‘opml’.  As GDocs will not allow me to upload OPML file, I’ve renamed it with ‘txt’ extension.
Sadly could not locate an RSS feed for Beau Peep - an all time favourite.  Did I miss anything else?

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