A new comic strip debuts Monday in dozens of U.S. newspapers, including The Salt Lake Tribune.
In Utah, The Tribune is the only newspaper to offer "Wumo," a strip created by Danish comedian Mikael Wulff and illustrator Anders Morgenthaler, who use the first two letters of their last names as the comic’s title.
Syndicator Universal Uclick describes "Wumo" as art "reminiscent of [Wulff’s and Morgenthaler’s] countryman Hans Christian Andersen — if Andersen’s fairy tales had been populated by sadistic pandas, disgruntled office workers, crazy beavers, Albert Einstein, Snoop Dogg and Darth Vader."
The strip has been compared with "The Far Side," and has become popular enough in Europe that it forms the core of a comedy empire its creators built that also includes a website and an animated sitcom, "The Pandas."
"Wumo" replaces "Brevity," the strip readers chose from a list of five comics we offered as potential candidates to drop to make way for "Wumo."
More than 1,500 weighed in in emails or by calling a number we set up. And while slightly more readers said we should drop "Mary Worth" than recommended we drop "Brevity," "Mary Worth," also has far more devoted fans who pleaded with us not to drop it than did "Brevity."
You can read more about the results of our survey here.
For its part, the challenge now for "Wumo’s" creators is to live up to the hype surrounding its introduction in the United States.
In an interview with The Tribune’s Scott Pierce, Wulff acknowledged differences between American and European humor.
"But what we strive to do is to create a particular sense of humor that transcends the local aspect," he said. "We have fans from all over the world — Europe, the U.S. Asia, Brazil, all sorts of places — so we wouldn’t call our strip something that is bound to a specific geographical location or culture."
Readers now get to decide whether "Wumo’s" creators accomplish that goal. Read the new strip for a week or two and let us know what you think.