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Robert Ariail resigns from The State

Robert Ariail, who has been the editorial cartoonist for The State (Columbia, SC) since 1984, has announced that he is resigning from the paper after his position was reduced to part-time status. The paper laid off 38 individuals last week and cut pay for others. Robert’s last day will be Thursday. The announcement posted today on the State’s website includes a quote from Robert saying, “I hope to find another job in editorial cartooning. I’m 53. It’s difficult to remake myself, and I don’t want to.”

More information is to come as details emerge.

Community Comments

#1 Mike Lester
March/17/2009
@ 7:37 am

I haven’t spoken to Robt. personally yet (he’s a friend and a pillar of S.C. opinion) so I can’t verify the story but I just left him a message. My friends in Columbia have told me that he was asked to resign. Otherwise known as “fired”. He’s one of the few reasons S.Carolinians read The State.

The handwriting is on the wall and it’s just a matter of time before the number of full time ed. cartoonists can fit in a Smart Car.

#2 Mike Peterson
March/17/2009
@ 4:15 pm

I used to do an educational feature each week that would show two editorial cartoons on the same topic or using the same sort of metaphor. It required some clarity, but I also wanted it to be amusing and thought-provoking. I often chose Airial’s work. And Ben Sargent’s, for that matter.

There are some awfully good people being kicked to the curb these days.

#3 Geof Brooks
March/17/2009
@ 10:26 pm

The State is stupid. As is the News and Observer. Arail and Dwayne Powell are two of my idols. State capitol papers must must must have editorial cartoonists. To let watchdogs like Arail and Powell go proves these papers are no longer vessels for truth, but just insertion wrappers. Newspapers are dead. These cartoonists still have a following, and I believe people will seek them out. What is the best way for Arail and Powell to reach the public, besides giving it away free on the internet? What is the business model for editorial cartoonists?

#4 John Auchter
March/20/2009
@ 9:44 am

I can’t add anything to the laments that have already been lamented (here and for the, sadly, many other editorial cartoonists), but I did want to state publicly that I’ve admired Arail’s work for some time. He has been so consistently good that I don’t think he has received the recognition he deserves. Really an extraordinary talent.

#5 charlie hyman
May/25/2009
@ 4:35 pm

shame, shame on the state paper for pushing robert ariail out the door. he is a national treasure and a south carolina jewel. he is a ray of common sense through the fog of polical duncity in one of the most lagging states. name your topic: cigarette tax, education, health care, employment. our gutless legislators have been pawns of special interest groups for years. our governor is notorious for his postions against stimulus funds. perhaps it will take the political craftiness of a new huey long or lyndon johnson to pull us out of the quagmire of social muck. sadly the good guys don’t always win. charlie hyman (please send copy to the state, columbia sc}

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