When I opened up my copy of the Boston Globe on Christmas Eve, I was shocked and appalled to find that the editors of that good grey sheet had seen fit to slash its daily comic strip section by half -- where the Globe once boasted two fully-packed pages of comics, it now offers only one lightly-packed page -- and two of the strips it carries are in perpetual reruns. I enjoyed "For Better or For Worse" the first time around, but I don't need to go thru the whole story again, and rerunning the daily "Doonesbury" without any of the political storylines is right up there with cutting all the witty aphorisms out of "The Importance Of Being Earnest" on the list of reading experiences that I don't find satisfying. And those current strips that remain are, for the most part, tedious "theme" comics that seem to exist to rework the same one or two jokes over and over and over again. Say what you will about Zippy The Pinhead, at least Bill Griffith was never a hack. We are not far from the time when the newspaper comic page will just dwindle and diminish into non-existance. There are still a few good strips being published today -- such former Globe strips as "Monty," "Pooch Cafe," and "Big Nate" are strongly missed in comparison to the dreary schlock that remain on the page -- but they're a fast-fading minority. Web comics have a certain vigor, but you miss out on the full experience of enjoying the funnies when you don't have your strips laid out on pages, and you can't develop the habit of scanning up and down those pages in a regular progression every day. As a kid, I always started with "Peanuts" at the top of the page, worked my way down thru "Henry" and "Archie" and "Buz Sawyer" and "The Phantom" and "Snuffy Smith," then over to the second column with "Dick Tracy," "Little Orphan Annie," and "Donald Duck," and such, to end at the bottom of the page with "B. C." and "Nancy." Some were good, some were mediocre, and some were just there, but they were all part of a cohesive whole, and you don't get that kind of organic experience flipping thru comic websites to get your funnies fix. The comic page is dying, and I grieve its passing. Do you?