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Yahoo adds comics to content

The search directory partners with syndicate United Media to add comics such as "Dilbert" and "Peanuts" to its content lineup.

Yahoo (YHOO), known for providing its users with information such as stocks, weather, and classified advertising, is living up to the jocularity of its name with its latest partnership: a comics syndicate.

Funnies from United Media will appear on Yahoo's new comics page. In addition to featuring a comic of the day, the Yahoo site offers links to United Media's ComicZone, which hosts 29 comic strips including "Peanuts," "Dilbert," "Luann," "Marmaduke," and "For Better or for Worse."

While Yahoo may boast that it has Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and Dogbert on its side, the new alliance faces competition from the likes of "Spider Man," "Dennis the Menace," "Hagar the Horrible," "The Lockhorns," "Popeye," and "Zippy the Pinhead," all of whom make their online home on the King Features site. The syndicates, which have been battling for prized real estate in newspapers for decades, are beginning to duke it out for space on popular Web sites as well.

If size counts, King Features is the clear winner with 67 strips, compared to United Media's 29. Universal Press Syndicate, the third major comics syndicate, counts among its 32 strips "Garfield," "Ziggy," and "Calvin and Hobbes."

Yahoo spokeswoman Diane Hunt defended her company's latest partner, however, noting that "Peanuts" and "Marmaduke" are extremely popular and "Dilbert" has a particular appeal with Web users. She also did not rule out a possible partnership with another syndicate in the future.

United Media also syndicates in the other direction: it sells content from popular literary site Salon to newspapers.