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To Whom It May Concern:

I have enclosed two comics from the Sunday Union, along with the same comics from two other Sunday papers that I read. Please note that the local paper doesn't have as many panels as the other two. Why aren't we getting the full strip in the Union?

-- From Whom It May Concern

In some secret back room of the U-T lurk thousands of clipped-out Sunday-comic panels that never saw print. Is that what you're proposing? If you demand full cartoon value for your Sunday buck, from time to time you are definitely shortchanged. According to United Features Syndicate, newspapers have different space availabilities for multi-panel comic strips. Rather than ask a cartoonist for two or three renditions of each Sunday strip to suit these formats, the artist includes a drawing that in the funnies biz is called a throw-away panel. It's a panel that can be eliminated without ruining the joke -- usually just one character striking a pose or some such, without dialogue. Space-challenged papers dump the throw-away and run the rest. And I'm amazed that a guy who reads three Sunday papers has time to notice stuff like this.

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