Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The City Paper and Ullman - The Final Chapter

Well, sort of. See "Savage Outcry," by editor Andrew Beaujon, posted on Jan. 16, 2008 for his take on the whole "laying off illustrators" then followed unfortunately by "laying off staff." I really am not sure what the new owners are doing, but I feel sorry for Mr. Beaujon who was very nice on the phone when confirming that I actually did write a letter, and who has been stuck doing a really crummy job at someone else's behest. Read the blog post for his side of the story - a man who says, "The cause was taken up by ComicsDC" as though that means something. I'm just glad I didn't pull out Rob's new baby as a tearjerker guilt-trip (whoops, just did). But note Rob's response to the editor's post slightly further down the page too.

And then there's one last letter in this past week's paper -

Illo Talk

I am writing to express my sadness over the recent dismissal of Robert Ullman from your Savage Love illustrating lineup. I have been a fan of Robert’s illustrations for years, and it is apparent that he can bring wit, life, and interest to just about any topic. In many cases, his illustrations are what draw me to look at and read the columns.

I had seen Robert’s illustrations before he found work at the City Paper and knew that he was headed for great things with his talent. Likewise, when I moved to the D.C. area and found out his talent was being utilized by the City Paper, I was thrilled! I have seen many illustrators’ work and can tell you that it would be plain foolish to let him get away because you won’t find another quite like him. Please reconsider this decision and get Robert back.

Erin Antognoli
Germantown, Md.

Editor’s note: Thanks to all the fans of Robert Ullman’s illustrations who’ve written in. Our budget cuts don’t allow us to continue commisioning weekly illustrations for Savage Love, but we were able to hire Ullman to do a permanent illustration for the column; it debuted last week. We’re going to keep hiring him when possible; he illustrated last week’s Young & Hungry column, for example.

Shawn Belschwender and his News of the Weird illos didn't get as much attention here - probably because Rob draws prettier girls and is still localish (Richmond), but Shawn was doing a strip for the George Washington U's Hatchet in the mid-80s when I was in school there.

I really miss the comic strips too, especially Derf. Sigh. I just picked up the Baltimore CP (different owners fortunately) and they've got Lulu Eightball still AND When Will The Pain Stop by Tim Kreider. AND Perry Bible Fellowship!

And the 'no bluegrass' thing sucks too.

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