1. Fun

Sherman's Lagoon will replace Non Sequitur in the Tampa Bay Times comics pages after reader vote

Sherman's Lagoon is a 7-day a week comic strip that is the brainchild of Annapolis-based artist Jim Toomey. He has been drawing the inhabitants of a fictional lagoon for more than 20 years.
Published Mar. 25

Want even more evidence that people care about comics?

Nearly 10,000 readers completed our survey to help find a replacement for Non Sequitur. That's more than the number of people who cast ballots for the runner-up in the Tampa mayoral election.

And the big winner of our comics survey is … Sherman's Lagoon with 42 percent of the vote.

Rubes came in second with 28 percent. Candorville finished a distant third at 13 percent. And Nancy landed in last place.

Poor Nancy. Our temporary Non Sequitur replacement actually trailed the category "No Favorite/Can't Decide" which earned 841 votes, slightly more than 8 percent of the total. Nancy got 803 votes.

And so the people have spoken.

Sherman's Lagoon, which we have featured for the past three years in the Sunday paper, will begin running seven days a week starting March 31 — permanently replacing Non Sequitur.

If you're just joining us, yes, we dropped the popular strip after creator/artist Wiley Miller tucked the words "Go F--- yourself Trump" into one of his drawings. The fallout has been painful for Miller, who has now twice publicly apologized after scores of newspapers across the country canceled his daily comic strip.

Miller claimed that in a fit of disgust he inserted the vulgar language weeks beforehand and just forgot to erase it when he submitted the finished comic strip to his editors.

I don't buy that explanation, especially since Miller tweeted to his followers before the avalanche of criticism that he had left an "Easter egg" for them to find. He sounded pretty proud of himself until the cancellation notices began piling up.

The decision to drop the comic may have been unfortunate to Non Sequitur's many fans. But it was not a complicated one from our vantage point. Miller's actions sealed his own fate. We wouldn't tolerate that kind of behavior and poor judgment from our staff. And we weren't about to tolerate it from a paid contributor.

I've responded to many of our readers who have written to me. Our decision wasn't about politics, though many readers have wanted to make it into that. And it wasn't about press freedom or censorship. Instead it came down to what the artist did. Plain and simple.

When we first announced that Non Sequitur would no longer appear in the Tampa Bay Times, I asked readers for recommendations on how to replace the strip.

I logged more than 50 different comics from hundreds of readers who had an opinion. We narrowed the list to the four finalists and published a week's worth of their material. Readers could vote online or clip the ballot from the newspaper, circle their favorite comic and mail it in.

It's not hard to see why Sherman's Lagoon prevailed. It's an endearing, topical comic that focuses on the inhabitants of an imaginary lagoon. Creator Jim Toomey has been writing and drawing his sea creatures from his Annapolis studio for more than 20 years. The strip appears in more than 250 newspapers across the country, according to Toomey's website.

We have more good news if you were one of the thousands of voters who supported Rubes. The strip did so well in our survey that we're going to find a spot for it, too. It will appear seven days a week at the end of this month, replacing Herman, whose creator died seven years ago.

Thanks for all the feedback. We were happy to let you decide the winner.

Contact the Times' executive editor at


  1. Dressed in their holiday finest, the Seven Dwarfs parade down Main Street, U.S.A., at Magic Kingdom during "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade." Walt Disney World
    Christmas is looking classier as two Disney parks get a holiday makeover this year.
  2. USF student Gabriela Young is the owner of Earth and Ivory, an online jewelry business with items made out of clay.  [Special to the Times | Sarah Foster] SARAH FOSTER  |  Special to the Times | @sarahtheartiste
    Gabriela Young went from selling bracelets to friends to making clay wares for customers with her business, Earth and Ivory.
  3. Third Eye Blind will perform at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Thursday. Courtesy of Danny Nolan
    Jannus Live welcomes a performance by Third Eye Blind, watch ‘Signature Move’ in Gulfport and the Gallery at Creative Pinellas brings the Arts Annual.
  4. Kevin Smith, left, and Jason Mewes pose during an interview on Sept. 25 in Los Angeles to promote "Jay and Silent Bob Reboot." WILLY SANJUAN  |  Invision/AP
    A daylong music festival aims to preserve a Tampa landmark, Jay and Silent Bob visit Tampa Theatre and Christmas Town at Busch Gardens opens.
  5. Theo Tamborlane's oil on canvas, "City Scape XII," is one piece of art that will be shown during the Studio Waltz in Dunedin and Palm Harbor on Nov. 16. Theo Tamborlane
    Tour some art studios, gaze at the stars or cuddle puppies while you get a firefighter’s autograph.
  6. Pieces of jewelry by Cindi Samaha, who will be a featured artist at the Tampa Museum of Art's Holiday Shopping Event. Courtesy of Cindi Samaha
    Plus, the Dunedin Arts and Crafts Festival, Tampa Bay Holiday Market and Booze and Boutiques shop hop.
  7. Julie Andrews will appear in conversation at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall on Wednesday. Courtesy of Andrew Eccles
    Julie Andrews pays a visit to Ruth Eckerd Hall, a St. Petersburg pool hosts aqua yoga and Sustainable Buzz takes over the Tampa Riverwalk.
  8. On Tuesday, the Straz Center will host the Super Scientific Circus. Times
    The Super Scientific Circus visits the Straz, plus Titus Andronicus perform at Crowbar and Vintage Trouble at Ruth Eckerd.
  9. There will be numerous salutes to the military today and Monday for Veterans Day.
    Veterans Day, Julie Andrews talks about her practically perfect career and country stars line up for Q-105′s Guitar Pull.
  10. Two Disney employees and a former middle school assistant principal are among the 17 accused of possessing and sharing child porn. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Polk County Sheriff’s Office charged more than 600 felony counts of child pornography possession to the 17.