I cancelled our local paper. A couple of Saturdays ago I opened up the morning edition and headed straight to the third section, where the funnies always are. Except they weren’t. In fact, they weren’t in any section and I know because I spent a good couple of minutes frantically searching for them. Instead, I found a whole page of puzzles. Word games. Sudoku, even.
I don’t want to preserve my brain. It’s not worth the effort. Never was much to begin with. Sure, I aced English in high school but flunked History, Science, and Math. Had to go to summer school for math, if the truth be known, so why revere the organ that gives me the most problems? It’s my imagination that I value, that I want to exercise and cherish. And you know what else I want? Senselessness. For five minutes a week, the length of time it takes me to read the funny pages, I don’t want to think about how screwed up is the world outside my yard. I want bright coloured paper with funny cats and silly dogs. I want someone to at least make an effort to make me smile. The rest of the news certainly doesn’t.
Thing is, our paper is not that big. It’s not like the editor-in-charge had to cut the cartoons out because they were taking up space needed for much more vital news. Not a lot happens in our town. So, the only other conclusion I can come up with is, it must be money. Coloured cartoons are expensive to publish? Sad.
When the paper called to ask why I wasn’t renewing my subscription, I told them; no funnies, no monies. I don’t think the girl who called realized I was serious, at first, but it must have dawned on her during my two minute tirade on how hard it must be for a cartoonist to make a living at what they love to do, and how it may be the only thing they are good at, and newspapers may already be a dying media but part of their problem could be they’re taking out the only interesting part of reading the Saturday edition and keeping the crap that makes us grumpy. What will the kids, the young ones and the old, have to look forward to, if there are no Saturday funnies in the paper and the television cartoons are replaced with reality shows? Blah. Don’t even want to think about it.
Cartoonists are a dying breed and the world will be a dull place without them. Berk Breathed, Bill Watterson, where are they now? What are they doing? I sure hope they haven’t got desk jobs. I miss them.
I must go and Google. Meanwhile, support your local cartoonist. Give him, or her, a hug.