This week, we bid farewell to Lloyd Dangle's "Troubletown," which has been a part of the Tucson Weekly for many, many years.
Dangle has decided to retire the comic strip after 22 years. Why? Well, you can examine his final strip for clues; check it out at http://blog.troubletown.com/.
While I don't know Dangle's exact reasons for ending "Troubletown," I do know the last several years have been brutal for syndicated comic-strip artists. Max Cannon (the legend behind "Red Meat") is a friend, and we've often discussed how the number of papers running his strip—and, therefore, his income—have declined precipitously.
I get it: Comic strips are easy things for space- and cash-strapped editors and publishers to cut. Comics are often not locally produced, and they take up a fair amount of valuable print real estate. In fact, I nearly cut "Troubletown" a couple of years ago, during the darkest hours of the Great Recession, when I was required to trim the Weekly's editorial budget.
However, I fully appreciate the value of comics as part of the alternative press; that's why the Weekly runs more of these strips than almost any other alternative newsweekly. Comics often times carry important messages; other times, they're simply entertaining. Always, these comics are art.
Next week, "Hoopleville," a strip done by Tucsonan David Kish, will take the place of "Troubletown." We ran "Hoopleville" on a space-available basis a few years back, but could never find a regular spot for the strip, even though I was always a fan. Now, of course, we'll have that regular spot.
Thanks for the 22 years, Lloyd.