The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


February 3, 2014

Carol Stark: New columns, new features and the winter Olympics

— This is about the time of year that I suggest tossing out a couple of cartoon strips or a puzzle or something, just to see if you are paying attention.

In fact, I’ve already been receiving suggestions from some readers who have been anticipating a change.

Not this year. The only comic strip change will be an addition to our Sunday comics section. Later in February, look forward to a new single strip called WuMo. Named after its creators, comedian Mikael Wulff and illustrator Anders Morgenthaler, WuMo is a celebration of life’s absurdities.

And get this, it isn’t about politics.

Those of you who like your humor slightly offbeat will find this one funny. As with all things, let me know what you think.

And while you’re waiting for the arrival of WuMo, here are some other new additions:

Niche interests

I told you a few months ago about a trade article I read suggesting that it was newspapers’ own fault that some readers had sought greener pastures. Newspapers, for many years, were the only social media game in town.

It’s where you went if you wanted to read more about gardening or arts and entertainment or the outdoors.

But over time, newspapers ditched the special-interest features and also lost the attention of some of their readers.

After considering the wisdom of the article, we’ve been filling some of those voids. What has been really interesting is that we don’t have to look too far for talented experts in our own community.

Ann Leach, a Joplin grief counselor, is now writing for our Saturday Faith page. Her column alternates with Craig Tally’s and has been well-received by our readers.

Longtime gardener Sandy Parrill recently began contributing a treasure chest of information that she calls “Speaking of Gardens.”

If you haven’t discovered this jewel, take a look in today’s Real Estate section. She provides simple instructions on how to grow your garden in a straw bale.

While she may be new to some of our readers, Marta Churchwell is a familiar face to many in our newsroom.

A reporter some years ago, Marta is back in the paper. She is writing a weekly column about the area art scene for our Friday Enjoy section.

With a full month of columns under her belt, I think it is safe to say that Marta’s column has already given me something to think about.

I particularly liked her column on graffiti.

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