So this is what I was alluding to last Friday: Village Voice Media is hurting in this economy like everyone else, and their corporate response is to “suspend” cartoons and (I think) all other syndicated material across the chain, said suspension to last at least through the rest of the first quarter, and quite possibly beyond.
The papers I was running in are: Dallas Observer, New Times Ft. Lauderdale, Houston Press, LA Weekly, Minneapolis City Pages, Nashville Scene, OC Weekly, Pitch Weekly, Denver Westword, Village Voice and Seattle Weekly.
This still leaves me with eighty-odd papers, as well as Salon and Credo, so it’s not a fatal blow. And believe me, I wasn’t so naive as to imagine I was going to get through this economic mess without taking some hits. Nonetheless it’s a serious chunk of major cities to lose in one fell swoop (don’t get me started on the joys of consolidation this morning). Anyway, if you live in one of those cities and think this is a bad decision, you might want to share those feelings with the local editor. Politely, it should go without saying. And keep in mind: it’s not just my cartoon, it’s all of them, so put in a kind word for my compatriots while you’re at it. The only thing any of us have going for us in a situation like this is reader support.
Update: gosh, this makes it extra special:
The belt-tightening now only affects network-wide cartoons, Hoffman says; other syndicated features — like Dan Savage’s “Savage Love” and Rob Brezsny’s “Free Will Astrology” — will continue to run at City Pages.
So. How’s your week going so far?
… one thing I want to add here: while I am admittedly less than overjoyed by this turn of events, this isn’t a “me vs. them” situation. These are in many cases people who have supported my work and given me an audience for ten or fifteen years; some are personal friends. This is just an unfortunate decision made at the corporate level in response to a very difficult time.
(slight editing for clarity)