I’ve Been Laid Off

Since 2006 I’ve been working three days a week at United Media as Editor of Acquisitions and Development. My job was finding new talent–comic strip artists, columnists and writers of puzzles–to syndicate to newspapers. Needless to say, this was a difficult time to pitch new features to papers.

Considering the circumstances, I enjoyed remarkable success. My first feature was a daily newspaper version of “Diesel Sweeties,” by R. Stevens. If not the first transition of a webcomic to daily form, it was certainly the most successful. Unfortunately for print readers, the artist decided to focus on his online work and ended the strip. After that came Tak Toyoshima’s “Secret Asian Man,” the first daily comic strip about Asian-Americans by an Asian-American cartoonist. It remains in syndication today, and continues to garner attention. I recruited Signe Wilkinson to draw “Family Tree,” a family strip with an ecological bent filtered through Signe’s uniquely jaundiced eye, and “Family Tree” keeps getting sales as comics pages get slashed. There was also Keith Knight’s “The Knight Life,” in which Keith transitioned his autobiographical alt weekly strip “The K Chronicles” to the daily form. It is a success. Most recently were the daily comic version of Stephanie McMillan’s political cartoon “Minimum Security” and “Rip Haywire,” an updating and parody of adventure comics by Dan Thompson.

I am proud of what I accomplished. Not only did I bring some smart, cool cartoons to wider audiences, I also breathed some life into the daily comics pages, which most readers agree are horribly moribund. I found that I am made to be an editor, helping creators realize their own voices more efficiently and effectively.

Unfortunately, my position as acquisitions editor has been eliminated, and I am out the door–like so many Americans these days, with a mortgage I have to pay somehow.

So if you’re a creator who was hoping to pitch me something, I’m sorry–I can’t help you anymore. If you need a cartoonist, a writer, or an editor, or anything else, please drop me a line. I need work, and fast.

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