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Steve Greenberg’s cartoons now in VCReporter

Two months after being laid off by the Ventura County Star in Southern California, Steve Greenberg’s cartoons are back in Ventura County: the alternative-weekly VCReporter in Ventura jumped at the chance to “grab” him away from the competing daily after he’d approached them merely looking for a place to sell freelance illustrations.

More than that, they gave him a cover story as part of the introduction: a three-page piece about himself and the field of editorial cartooning, with a cover drawn, of course, by Steve.

Starting with the current (Jan. 22) issue, he’ll be alternating between drawing local and national cartoons for them.

Greenberg says that the Star offered to use his freelance cartoons, but Steve believed “it just didn’t feel comfortable” to freelance back, piecemeal, to a place that had just laid him off from a full-time artist/cartoonist job.

Community Comments

#1 Stacy Curtis
January/23/2009
@ 10:04 am

Congratulations, Steve!

I would love to see more laid-off editorial cartoonists take this route. You have to show your previous employer that your work has value and merit.

I applaud you for standing up to the Ventura County Star and not freelancing editorial cartoons back to them. Most papers try to get freelance cartoons for $50 – $100, if that. It’s a slap in the face. For a newspaper to say, ‘We don’t want you on staff anymore, but we’d like to give you a handful of pocket change for your work,’ it’s disgraceful and degrading.

Good for you, Steve!
You have provided a good example of what an editorial cartoonist should do when a lay-off happens.

#2 Ted Dawson
January/23/2009
@ 11:00 am

That’s awesome, Steve! Kudos to the Reporter.

This demonstrates that all these layoffs aren’t because publishers are not finding value in editorial cartoonists, but that media conglomerates are sacrificing quality for shareholder profits.

The future of newspapers is the independent publisher.

#3 Mike Thompson
January/23/2009
@ 11:43 am

Way to go, Steve! Finally some good news in the profession. Congrats.

Mike

#4 Drew Litton
January/23/2009
@ 12:28 pm

Steve,

Fantastic news. Congrats. Way to stand your ground and make the right move. It reminds me of the old Rodriguez cartoon “Out of the way a cartoonist is coming”. You’ve made my week, actually, my month with this great news. No one deserves it anymore than you do.

#5 KRANKY (JOE RANK)
January/23/2009
@ 12:41 pm

Nice!
I’m sure Steve will do even more, given his considerable talents.

#6 Tom Heintjes
January/23/2009
@ 1:10 pm

Great news! Steve is such a talented guy that I’m not at all surprised someone saw this as a golden opportunity!

#7 Rich Diesslin
January/23/2009
@ 1:20 pm

Congrats.

#8 Michael Cavna
January/23/2009
@ 2:00 pm

Congratulations, Steve. Bravo! [And I hope this means you and your wife won’t have to relocate.]

#9 Steve Greenberg
January/23/2009
@ 7:36 pm

Thanks for all the nice words, folks. Stacy, the money isn’t any better than what you cited the daily would pay — the alt-weeklies rely on advertising, which is down for them too. This is a gig, not a replacement for a full-time salary with benefits (speaking of which, I’m able to go onto my wife’s benefits plan).

But going the alt-weekly route gives me a fresh slate, which is worth something, and going back to the daily that axed me would’ve felt a bit tainted. Also, this opens the door to other alt-weeklies — most likely as places to sell freelance illustration work — since getting into this first one gives me some “street cred” for them now.

And yes, Michael, we won’t have to relocate, a consideration with a new house and elderly parents nearby.

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