Ed Stein Moves Out of “Denver Square”

Cartoonist Ed Stein brings his comic strip to a close at a time of crisis for editorial cartooning.

As for what's next, Stein has ideas for several new projects he isn't ready to discuss yet. But Temple hints that they'll likely turn up online and mentions the inspiration of the consistently funny and elaborate animated cartoons by Newsday's Walt Handelsman, which he says are "driving a lot of traffic to their site." Babin, too, has ventured into animation, posting items for the better part of a year. Such innovations give Stein hope that the editorial cartoonist isn't doomed to extinction.

"What's happening in this business affects us all," he says. "But you've got to approach it the same way you approach life. We're all going to die, but you have to tell yourself that today, you're not going to."

Downsizing: The exodus from the Denver Post continues apace, with recent departures including that of reporter Katy Human, bound for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Kelly Yamanouchi, the newly named airline-beat scribe for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Also exiting is eighteen-year veteran Steve Lipsher. But instead of heading to a larger paper, he's opting to get small as the news editor for the Summit Daily News, a 12,000-circulation free daily based in Frisco.

Why the move? Lifestyle is a major factor. Lipsher's helmed the Post's mountain bureau for a decade, and the new position allows him to stay in an area he loves. (He doesn't know about any Post plans to close the bureau, but with consolidation taking place industry-wide, there are no guarantees.) Furthermore, he thinks small-town papers may be better positioned to thrive than their metro cousins. "The chain I'm joining is Swift Newspapers, and a lot of their small community newspapers are actually gaining circulation and holding their own with advertisers," he says. "If you're an advertiser in places like Summit County, they're the only game in town."

Of course, Lipsher will be missed by Post readers, not to mention staffers with a morbid streak. After all, he's the so-called undertaker of the paper's internal dead pool, an annual contest in which participants guess which celebrities will expire in a given year. "Each person gets to pick ten people, and you rank them in order by points," he explains. "If you're sure this is Fidel Castro's year, you put him at ten points, and if you're going to take a flyer on someone like Amy Winehouse, you might put her at two or three." As of early May, Lipsher was actually in the lead thanks to the fatal timing of Charlton Heston, "who I had for seven or eight points," he says. If he can hang on to first place, he hopes those he's left will "grant the award posthumously."

In a manner of speaking.

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