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CHUCK ASAY

After 21 years with the Colorado Springs Gazette, staff editorial cartoonist Chuck Asay announced his retirement on Friday, March 2. His retirement was part of a general cutback on staff: the paper slashed 33 positions, Editor & Publisher reported, leaving 475 full-time staffers. Although the reduction seems a little drastic, 10 of the 33 positions being eliminated were “empty,” unfilled job descriptions. But not the editoon slot: it was more than filled. Asay drew charming and profusely elaborated albeit simple funny pictures that were both vintage and modern in style and appearance, and he specialized in multi-panel format -- comic strips -- for his cartoon commentary. He is such a staunch conservative that I very often couldn’t decipher his cartoons, but I have always admired Asay’s drawings. Whether I understood his point of view or not,  I’m sorry to think that we may see less of them. He’s still syndicated by Creators, but whether he’ll do as much work now without a daily deadline remains to be seen. It’s not clear whether Asay’s retirement was encouraged as part of the paper’s over-all staff reduction; but it’s not likely that the staff cartoonist position will be retained. The position was part of the budget; the cartoonist was part of the staff. Asay’s editor at the Gazette bid the cartoonist a fond and personally heartfelt adieu: “Saying Chuck will be missed is too trite. His departure leaves a hole in the heart of this page and this newspaper.” And it leaves editor Sean Paige sadder, clearly. You can read the whole thing, which I recommend, here

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