Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

August 18, 2009

Chicago Tribune Hires Scott Stantis


Standing against a trend of wave after wave of editorial cartoonist position eliminations, the Chicago Tribune, one of the country's leading newspapers and a publication without a full-time editorial cartoonist since Jeff MacNelly passed away in 2000, has announced its hiring of Scott Stantis of the Birmingham News. Stantis is one of the few cartoonists -- maybe the only cartoonist -- to be widely praised as working in the same general territory as the much-respected MacNelly: a mostly conservative cartoonist capable of self-criticism better known for working to a high standard than for his political views.

Like MacNelly, Stantis is also a syndicated comic strip creator, having launched Prickly City in the summer of 2004. I believe that the Tribune dropped Prickly City at one point -- I don't remember why -- although I also think Stantis has been a constant presence on the Tribune on-line collection of work by various prominent editorial cartoonists.

The press release issued by the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists -- a group for which Stantis is past president -- tie Stantis' hiring into the Tribune's public effort to become a crusading newspaper and add value to the print edition in tough times for all such publications.

In more good news, the Birmingham News has announced its intention to replace Stantis with another full-time staffer.
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