Ted Rall laid off

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Far-left-wing political cartoonist and syndicated columnist Ted Rall has been laid off from his job as acquisitions editor for United Media. (Rall's column appears in Urban Tulsa Weekly.) On his blog, Rall writes in a comment on his blog that he will continue to draw and write, but the loss of the day job will be a financial blow on top of the "political reprisals [he suffered] during the Bush years:

The cartoons and columns will go on, though they appear in far fewer places than they used to.

As for my finances, basically I used to make a great living as a cartoonist, talk show host, columnist and freelance illustrator, not to mention feature writer for magazine.

I lost the talk radio gig when Clear Channel bought my station and fired me for being liberal. I lost my feature writing gig with POV magazine when that mag went under and no other editors seemed interested in what I do. Freelance illustration dried up next. Freelance cartoons have all but gone away, especially magazine gigs like Time, Fortune, etc. That left editorial cartoons and columns, with a client list that shrunk with closures and budget cuts and political reprisals during the Bush years.

Fortunately, I landed the United Media gig in 2006. That replaced a lot of my lost income. But now that's gone.

Obviously I'll use the free time to scavenge for more freelance work, but there's precious little of it left. So I'll keep on keeping on unless and until something comes along that takes me away from it entirely. I do love cartoons so much; it would be hard to give them up. But everything ends at some point, especially if no one's willing to pay for it.

I was surprised to learn that Rall was responsible for "finding new talent--comic strip artists, columnists and writers of puzzles--to syndicate to newspapers" for one of the largest syndicators of newspaper features in the world. It may not be, as Rall notes, a good time to sell new features to newspapers, but signing on with United Media would give a cartoonist his best shot at finding an audience. It would appear that for the last three years one of the biggest newspaper feature syndicates had a left-wing extremist acting as gatekeeper.

If your aim as a syndicate is to discover new content and offer it to newspapers to help them broaden their appeal and gain readers, wouldn't you want to hire someone with mainstream views and a talent for drawing, rather than someone who equates American soldiers with suicide bombers?

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Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

I agree. It's probably not because he's simply liberal, but probably because he's a left wing nut-job (based on that foul cartoon, which is not in any way instructive, even in a comic sort of way).

Its a fairly easy distinction to make. Even Janet Napolitano might be able to do it. :)

CGHill Author Profile Page said:

He still has a page in the "Strip Club" section of Mad, though the magazine's switch from monthly to quarterly publication will presumably reduce his income from that source.

UMI is suffering the decline of newspapers. I haven't noticed a new skew to the buys over the last couple of years, at least in strips. There's a greater interest in ethic content, and that tends to be non-Republican as it always has been, but that more likely represents the fact that this is the only market left.

Seems like Rall shot himself repeatedly in the foot and was surprised when he wasn't hired for walking jobs.

Still, let's take this moment and consider how much better your corporation's communications would be (and hipper!) with an in-house Illustrator. You'd really hit your targets with someone getting those pithy cartoonist messages out there! Easy ROI on that one.

Spurwing Plover said:

Rall needs a new job as a sanatation worker after all if he can deal out trash he certianly can clean it up

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