The quality of my local Los Angeles Times has sunk so low that I’ve switched to reading the competing Los Angeles Daily News, which employs a full time cartoonist (Patrick O’Connor) and runs great editorial cartoons every day of the week. The LA Times now goes without any editorial cartoon three days a week, prints only one cartoon three days a week, and no longer employs a cartoonist. The Times even dropped their Sunday opinion section and runs Editorials and Op-Ed in the back of the front section on Sundays, like they do on weekdays.
On Sundays, the LA Times runs three cartoons and a little blurb by cartoonist Joel Pett describing the cartoons. The Times calls it "Toon-Op." The competing Daily News has copied the "Toon Op" format and runs the same thing, in the same format, with a similar blurb by Patrick O’Connor describing his three cartoon picks. The Daily News‘ "Toon Op" ran at the top of the page today, and the Pett "Toon Op" ran at the bottom of the page.
Both run the cartoons too small, and both apply a halftone screen to cartoons that are delivered in perfectly good, crisp, line art, degrading the print quality of the cartoons. (Newspapers often do this because they give the layout work to careless, low-paid, graphic-grunts who treat all images as though they were photographs from wire services.)
Which is better? Patrick’s choices today included three Cagle Cartoonists (Fairrington, Cardow and Beeler) while Pett’s included only one Cagle Cartoonist (Beeler) – so I’ll go with the Daily News – yet another reason not to read the LA Times.
Patrick O’Connor’s "Toon-Op" in the LA Daily News:
Joel Pett’s "Toon-Op" in the LA Times: