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Mr. Fish laid off from Village Voice/LA Weekly

Mr. Fish (AKA Dwayne Booth), the alternative cartoonist for the Village Voice and LA Weekly has been let go from his position in a “cost-cutting” measure. He wrote Daryl Cagle a letter of explanation which has been posted on cagle.com. Here’s the salient part:

Haven’t we learned anything from the New Coke fiasco from the 1980s, for Christsake’s?

At one time, and not too long ago in fact, the brain of the Village Voice and the LA Weekly seemed quite capable of contributing to the national conversation about art and politics and literature and popular culture, but now, unless the word diet is affixed to the end of any of those subjects, or unless they are included as part of a movie title or bit of Hollywood gossip or a crime story, the Village Voice Media company seems as if it has absolutely no opinion to offer.

Specifically, to read the Village Voice nowadays is akin to watching somebody who you once respected and whose opinion about the culture you valued receive a lobotomy and then who, desperate not to lose your company, attempts to keep you around by offering to show you what he looks like with his pants off. It’s embarrassing.

Read the whole thing.

Community Comments

#1 Milt Priggee
January/19/2010
@ 12:18 pm

No surprise here….print is in the liquidation era.
It has been for several decades now. They realize they can no longer generate revenue and the only way they can make money is by cutting costs.
Coffin closed.

#2 Tom Wood
January/19/2010
@ 6:20 pm

And, getting back to me, where does a radically left-leaning political cartoonist go to piss off powerful people and to document the rage and contempt of liberal-minded loud-mouths and vengeful humanitarians? Where does a court jester, one who endeavors to rob just enough dignity from the king to make dissent seem possible and worthwhile to those most victimized by hierarchy, go?

That captures the whole problem now with editorial cartoons in general though, doesn’t it? If editors are afraid of reader reactions, then nothing anywhere near the edge will ever get published.

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