New neighbors arrive on The Bee’s comics pages

Bee Staff ReportsFebruary 16, 2014 

Readers of The Modesto Bee’s daily and Sunday comics will see a change today, and another coming soon.

Beginning today, we bid farewell to one family and welcome another. Our pages now carry “Take It From the Tinkersons,” a strip by Bill Bettwy, who draws inspiration from his wife, daughter, twin boys, two cats and a dog. It takes the place of “For Better or For Worse,” Lynn Johnston’s long-running strip, which has been in reruns since August 2008. Sunday’s appearance was its last in The Bee.

Bettwy’s timely strip is about the hopes and dreams of a modern family, working together to keep its collective head above today’s choppy economic waters. Ted and Tiff Tinkerson are a happily married couple with two children: charmingly naive son Tillman and moody tween daughter Tweetie. And you can’t leave out Tubby, their overweight but lovable dog.

We’re sure you’ll enjoy getting to know them, and if  you want to get up to speed  quickly, go to http://

The next change comes March 3, when “Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau takes another long break from writing his daily strip, in order to continue writing and producing “Alpha House,” an Amazon Instant Video comedy starring John Goodman.

Trudeau took an extended leave from “Doonesbury” last year to launch “Alpha House,” and he said in a news release last week, “To my delight, Amazon Studios has recently decided to move forward with another season of ‘Alpha House.’ It’s a wonderful opportunity, but as I discovered last year, the demands of producing the show are considerable, and my efforts to return to the daily strip while we were still in production had to be abandoned.”

While not creating new daily strips for the indefinite future, Trudeau will continue his color Sunday strip, which The Bee will carry. “There’s no way of knowing how many seasons of ‘Alpha House’ lie ahead,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist said in his announcement. “I could be back drawing ‘Doonesbury’ full time in the fall. In the meantime, I’m grateful for the forbearance and past support of our longtime newspaper clients.”

In place of “Doonesbury” reruns, The Bee plans to publish “Candorville,” a Washington Post Writers Group- syndicated comic by Darrin Bell. The syndicate says of the comic: “Through the eyes of its main characters – Lemont Brown, a young aspiring writer; Susan Garcia, a young woman working in the corporate world; and Clyde, an angry young man who makes the wrong choices in life – ‘Candorville’ explores issues such as bigotry, poverty, homelessness, biracialism, the culture of victimhood, youth and personal responsibility, along with politics and current events. But in an upbeat way. Honest.”

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