Award-winning cartoonist Robert Ariail says he will resign rather than accept demotion to part-time status as offered by his employer, The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina.
The ever-growing ranks of out-of-work editorial cartoonists has added award winner Robert Ariail of The State in Columbia, S.C. Ariail announced on Monday that he’s resigning effective Friday.
Ariail, a Pulitzer finalist in 1995 and 2000, turned down a part-time job that had been offered in the wake of cost-cutting by its parent, The McClatchy Co., the State reports today.
The State has laid off 38 people and cut employee wages as part of the McClatchy-wide downsizing.
Ariail plans to continue his work through United Media syndicate, which serves more than 600 newspapers and magazines. His work has earned him the National Headliner Award (1990); The National Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award (1992); The Overseas Press Club’s Thomas Nast Award (1997); The Society of Professional Journalists’ Green Eyeshade Award (an 11-state Southeastern regional competition, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2007); honors from the South Carolina Press Association (2007, for three cartoons); and the Hampton Award (named for Ambrose G. Hampton, former owner and publisher of the State) in 1992.
“I hope to find another job in editorial cartooning,” Ariail told the paper. “I’m 53. It’s difficult to remake myself, and I don’t want to.” He joined the State in 1984.
When asked by the State to name his favorite caricature, Ariail named former President Bill Clinton, whom Ariail drew as overweight, wearing an ill-fitting suit, and chowing on cheeseburgers and doughnuts. “I could’ve drawn him in my sleep,” he told the paper.