You’re killing us

Joel Pett is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist of the Lexington Herald-Leader. His work also appears in USA Today.

A cartoonist spends each day in solitary disorganized protest, skewering the self-interested: pandering politicians, corrupt lobbyists, greedy corporate suits, plutocrats, autocrats, bureaucrats and just plain rats.

So what could possibly spur our disheveled ranks to organized protest? What else? ... self-interest!

The newspaper industry’s latest round of buyouts and dismissals finds stars such as the Tribune Co.'s Kevin Kallaugher (Baltimore Sun) and Pulitzer Prize-winning Michael Ramirez (Los Angeles Times) exiting stage left and right.

And so the cartoon lightbulb labeled Black Ink Monday clicked on, and cartoonists’ gloves came off. The idea was to draw attention to corporate journalism’s budget cutting, which has sliced through the skin, fat, bone, muscle and nerves of the newspaper industry and now threatens our vital organs, not to mention the stem cells that, if carefully manipulated, could spawn the next generation of readers.

You can see all 100-plus cartoons at Like our individual protests, our collective effort is just so much tilting at windbags. But it feels like the right thing to do.

-- Joel Pett