Unceremoniously Firing Mr. Wiggles

Unceremoniously Firing Mr. Wiggles.jpgThere’s in interesting look at the topsy-turvy world of the New York press over at The Apiary, wherein we get the disgruntled-ex-employee’s-eye-view of what’s been going on in the wake of the revolving door of editors. After five years of writing the weekly comic strip “Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles,” Neil Swaab was unceremoniously fired by most recent Editor-in-Chief Harry Siegel. OVER EMAIL. Classy, real classy.

In any case, disgruntled ex-employee though he may be, Swaab comes off as pretty reasonable in the interview, describing the parade of editors following Russ Smith (“John Strausbaugh was fired, replaced by Lisa Kearns who stepped down after only a few weeks, replaced by Jeff Koyen who in turn quit after a couple years over the Death of the Pope scandal, and then helmed by Alex Zaitchik until he was fired several weeks ago and replaced with Harry Siegel”) and ruminating on the ever-elusive editorial voice of the paper (though he was a fan of Zaitchik’s). Swaab is sad to have been axed but not surprised; he got the sense from the flourish-y Manifesto (hearsay alert: what another editor he works with called “that pretentious, wanker manifesto”). Saith Swaab: “Anyone who publishes a manifesto with no hint of irony probably isn’t going to get the humor of my comic. Apply that logic to the rest of what makes the paper great and you get what the paper is currently turning into.” SNAP! That said, there was zero warning; indeed, he only found out from fellow cartoonist Dean Haspiel that his comic wasn’t in the paper that week, and Swaab joked that “maybe they were firing me.” Er, snap.

Disclosure: I don’t know Mr. Wiggles but I do know from common courtesy and that’s a really lousy move. Swaab’s going to try his luck at the voice, and hopes that maybe his fans will rally around his reinstatement at the Press (though after this interview that might be optimistic). If you’re a fan of Mr. Wiggles, though — or common courtesy — then click through to the article and let your voice be heard! Until then, there’s always Swaab’s website, and memories.