The State's great political cartoonist is leaving (updated)

Image by The StateImage by 20090318-ariail.jpg

Update March 20: Well, it's a done deal. Ariail has a fun parting cartoon and Brad Warthen has written a parting column about Ariail and what he meant.

Go take a read.

First reporting:

After he was told they'd have to cut him back to part-time, Robert Ariail has announced he's leaving The State.

I can't really fault either party for the economic realities of newspapers just being less profitable, but it's really a shame to see Ariail go. He's done some fabulous work, a fact that I called attention to just a few weeks back.

That being that case, the truth is I still wrestled with whether or not I should mention his departure, but today's little gem about Sanford's "Stimulus Dept." tipped the scale.

You can read more about his decision to depart over at Editor and Publisher.

Oh, and check out this old video interview with Ariail while it lasts.

His last day is to be Friday.

Hopefully it won't be too long until Internet revenue models get to the point where someone as talented as Ariail can start working for himself. But, until then, if you've got an opening for a political cartoonist, well, I'm sure he'd listen.