Saturday, July 2, 2011

What Was the Kenosha Tribune?

I've expanded my curriculum vitae at left at the suggestion of a fellow alumnus of the Kenosha Tribune who expressed dismay -- mock dismay, I presume -- at the omission of that very short-lived foray into journalism from my list of newspapers where I have worked. Of course, my reason for omitting the Tribune is precisely because, nearly thirty years later, there is very scant record of its existence -- not even a mention on Wikipedia.

Therefore I am including a couple of the news illustrations I drew for the Tribune, which I did in addition to the weekly editorial cartoon; the one above right illustrated some wire story about bobbies in London packing heat; the one below left illustrated a front page story about cross-border cooperation between Wisconsin and Illinois.

I also had to draw portraits of the editorial and feature columnists. We had photographers, but one of the columnists in particular did not photograph well, and the editors asked me to produce a more flattering likeness. That's the opposite approach from editorial cartooning generally, but my editors liked the charcoal sketch better than the photograph and had me go ahead and sketch the other columnists for consistency's sake. (Yes, I have that sketch, but no, I'm not going to post it.)

The Tribune published during the summer of 1982 and promptly folded in the fall, the victim of a dispute between the publisher, who owned 51% of the paper, and the seven staff-shareholders who owned the other 49% plus the lease on the offices. The paper got off to a bad start with a front page article written by the publisher in the very first issue, alleging certain malfeasance on the part of some Kenosha law enforcement officials -- but neglecting throughout to include words such as "alleged" to make it clear that the acts described were not proven facts. The Tribune was lucky that it never had to defend against a libel suit.

In the end, I doubt that the Tribune could have long survived without making some deal with the older and still publishing Happenings magazine -- they featured TV and movie listings and we didn't.

The story you have just read is true. Names have been withheld to protect the innocent.

And the homely.

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