04/27/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bleak Media Economy Now Affecting Cartoon Journalists

It's getting so hard out here for print journalism that now even our beloved intrepid fictional reporters are feeling the pinch. So says Editor and Publisher's Greg Mitchell, who's got tomorrow's Brenda Starr strip, in which the comic's heroine is made to take a furlough. "What's next?" Mitchell asks, "Beetle Bailey revealing post-traumatic stress disorder?" Either that or Mark Trail will have to gun down a crazed, face-eating chimp, and then have to live with the pain of having inspired a racist Sean Delonas cartoon!

Starr scribe Mary Schmich tells E&P, "As far-fetched as some of the plots in Brenda are, I do like to keep it topical...But even fantasies need some grounding in reality, and right now, economic crisis is the reality that colors everything else at pretty much every newspaper." Her heroine leads a life of "fantasy with nuggets of reality," which I guess means that Starr will return to work on the micropayment model, or something.

Preview: Brenda Starr Furloughed!
[E&P Pub]

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