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About this blog: Clay Jones' Toon Talk blog.  Cartoons, roughs, ideas, politics, music, rants and readers get to leave comments questioning Clay's intelligence. About Clay Jones: Clay Jones draws editorial cartoons and creates caption contests for fredericksburg.com. In his spare time, he plays in the local rock band Corporate T-Shirt.  Follow Clay on Twitter at twitter.com/claytoonz and on Facebook at facebook.com/clayjones

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Mahalo And Farewell

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

RELATED: Clay says, Hasta la vista

For the last 14 years I’ve been the editorial cartoonist for The Free Lance-Star and it’s been a total blast.  I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie of the newsroom, election night pizza, breaking news, racing to the newsroom at midnight on a Sunday to cover the death of Osama bin Laden, receiving angry phone calls from readers, physical threats from a fireman, and that exasperated look on my editor’s face every time I showed him a cartoon he didn’t like.

Unfortunately all of that ends as today is my last day as an employee of The Free Lance-Star.  No, I didn’t do anything bad.  Well, maybe I did but that’s not why I’m leaving.

What’s next for me?  I don’t know.  I do know my career as a staff cartoonist, something I spent seven years fighting for before it finally happened, is over.  I do have other skills and I’m going to try to figure out what those are.  There’s gotta be an opportunity for a professional smart ass somewhere out there.

I’m toying with the idea of a new adventure. This is the time to do that. This might even be a great opportunity.  I can try something new and maybe even at a new location.  Yes, I’m thinking about leaving Virginia despite the fact over the past 14 years I’ve gained more friends here than anywhere else I’ve ever lived.

No matter what else I do, you’re not getting rid of me that easily. In a week or two I will start freelancing two cartoons a week to The Free Lance-Star.  I will still syndicate my cartoons through Creators Syndicate to hundreds of newspapers.  In the coming weeks there will be a new website for my cartoons so if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, stay tooned.

I do wanna thank The Free Lance-Star for having me.  In 1998 I had just left my job at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin when FLS gave me a shot. It’s been a great ride. I’ll forever be in the FLS family and because of social networks we’ll always stay in touch.

Most of all, I want to thank you. If I never got reactions from you I would have felt like I was spinning my wheels and not doing my job. Thank you for loving my cartoons.  Thank you for hating my cartoons. Thank you for the fan mail and the hate mail.  I know some of you will miss me but I’m really going to miss all of you.

Now today, all I have to do is draw that last cartoon and walk out of this building for the very last time.

Mahalo,

Clay Jones

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/toontalk/2012/08/17/mahalo-and-farewell/