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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 04/20/2009

Morning Quickie: Fear & Abject Terror Before Breakfast

By Michael Cavna

I had the opportunity to read today's "Pearls Before Swine" and "Dilbert" in advance, 'round midnight, and let's just say: I slept nary a wink.

In this economy, the job security for ink-stained wretches (journos) and ink-stained kvetchers (print cartoonists) must fall somewhere between Detroit autoworker and greeter at Circuit City. So I seek sanctuary in my daily funnies, only to find that Stephan Pastis and Scott Adams, respectively, have rendered eerily on-target strips that promise to haunt my waking hours and spoil my little slumberland. (Next up: "Mother Goose & Grimm" morphs into the Brothers Grimm.)

Forget tiny plastic magnifying glasses. These days, the comics should come bundled with Costco-sized portions of Ambien.

Today's "Pearls," particularly, cuts to the heart of what many journos endlessly yammer about. Everyone from Walter Isaacson to Steve Brill to Steve Coll has proffered would-be panaceas for remedying a badly broken business model for newspapers. Now comes the keen-eyed Pastis, whose commentary is so unalloyed, he practically breaks the fourth wall (if not the online "pay wall").

Ah, for relief, at least we can turn to the intergalactic adventures of "Brewster Rockit," where our favorite lunk-in-space is ... witnessing alien layoffs!!

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to flip to the Business news now. There, at least the grim news comes packaged with bigger pretty pictures.

By Michael Cavna  | April 20, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Next: Hollywood Gets It Right: "State of Play's" Absent Cartoonist


What about Wiley's Non Sequitur today?

Posted by: mjwpok | April 20, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

You know, I'm having second thoughts about demanding Judge Parker be returned...

I'm really into Agnes now...

Posted by: JkR- | April 20, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

As "mjwpok" noted earlier, you should include today's "Non Sequitur" when discussing today's "Pearls Before Swine" and "Dilbert".

Posted by: greggwiggins | April 20, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Sleep well, I hear that Sen. Kerry is leading hearings on the future of the newspaper industry next week. With any luck, you have about 10 years before any change. :-)

Posted by: MSchafer | April 20, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Wiley has been delivering piercing cartoon critiques of publishing & journalism so often and so well, he deserves his own chapter -- and his own blogpost. Since the early '90s, "Non Sequitur" has hit so many bull's-eyes about the media, these strips could fill a J-school thesis.

Thanks for noting today's "N.S." I count on Wiley to toss such darts almost weekly.


Posted by: cavnam | April 20, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Agnes has been moved to the Kids Post page.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 20, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Agnes has been moved to the Kids Post page.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 20, 2009 11:41 AM

Excellent! Out of sight, out of mind...

Posted by: JkR- | April 20, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Be sure to read the Ombudsman's column about the reinstatement of Judge Parker:

Posted by: seismic-2 | April 20, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

It's idiotic to put Agnes on Kids Post page. It's far too sophisticated. Why not put Peanuts or the insipid Red and Rover there and return Agnes to those who can appreciate her?

Posted by: marymcgrath39 | April 23, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

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