Friday, January 16, 2009

Great Depression Hits Troubletown Newspapers

I've been meaning to give a special welcome to all the readers who come here to see Troubletown because your local weeklies have shit-canned it. When you're a syndicated cartoonist and you lose a paper it's like losing an arm in a meat grinder. It's terrible for the ego and distressing for the soul.

But all of us self-syndicated cartoonists are losing papers left and right, even Tom Tomorrow, the king of the weeklies, lost a big chunk of his syndication when Village Voice Media instituted its chain-wide suspension of cartoons. Some of the papers who dropped me said that they might bring Troubletown back when things get better, but for newspapers, I don't know anybody who thinks it's going to get better.

So this is it! Troubletown still appears in seventeen papers and here on the web. If you see it in the local paper and like it, please send in an email to the editor onced in a while and say so. Even though it's an inconvenience, I'm still fond of depositing those small weekly newspaper checks.

But more and more, just like public radio, Troubletown cartoons will have to be supported by Viewers Like You. That's why I've added the DONATE BUTTON. Drop a few nickels in my bowl. Go to my store and buy some books, T-shirts, and stuff so I don't have to start holding pledge-a-thons.


Blogger Joe said...

I've regularly read "Troubletown" in San Jose Metro. I can confirm that they have problems; Metro is a lot thinner than it used to be, there just aren't as many people buying ads. I can write to them and ask them to put it back, but I doubt if it will help. Sorry.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous David Harmon said...

And the really pathetic thing is that they think ditching the comics won't hurt their circulation....

I mostly read you in The Funny Times, which I not only subscribe to, I gave gift subscriptions!

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Drawmark said...


I feel your pain. The Stranger also ditched my strip American Affairs Desk which they have been running for over two years. You are right it is a blow to the ego, even if you understand the economics involved. I must say that Troubletown was the first thing I read in The Stranger, so I certainly miss reading it on the crapper. I will read it on the website, but it just ain't the same. I will write to the paper to ask that the strip be returned to it's rightful place…in newsprint.

AND, I am gonna make a donation just to thank you for all of your hard work and enjoyment I have gotten from troubletown over the years.


1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lloyd, your cartoon has made me laugh over the years. I met you a long time ago, when you were hanging out with that group the Loonies in SF, having just arrived from the Midwest. I can remember looking at your portfolio on this bar on Clement Street. Anyone could see your talent. I knew you'd go far, and this wretchedness is only going to be temporary. I hope.
Cutting the comics is classic penny wisdom and pound foolishness, and the only justification I can see for it is that it allows the papers to go to shorter editions. The syndication fees are insignificant.
There's got to be a new model for getting this work out there, but where the hell is it, that's my question. Anyway, good luck.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Lloyd Dangle said...

Thanks, you guys are awesome. If you can write to the editors, that would be fantastic. These comments are a little worrisome, though. Where are my anonymous detractors to give some balance?

11:46 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Hi there Lloyd; we met when I lived in Marin. I'm very sorry to hear about the cutbacks in alt-weekly cartoons, yours and everyone else's. I just got into the Ventura County Reporter as their cartoonist when the daily here laid me off, and it doesn't look promising that I can expand on this. And these weeklies are the very place where cartooning SHOULD be thriving, expanding and bringing new readers to those papers.

Steve Greenberg

11:13 PM  

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