Paper Holds Contest to Replace Marrying Cartoonist for a Day

[E&P] With Wisconsin State Journal freelance editorial cartoonist Phil Hands getting married this weekend, the Madison newspaper is seeking an artistic reader to fill in for him this Sunday.

The paper is asking readers to vote online, through Thursday, for their favorite among five finalists for the one-day gig. The five were narrowed down from about 75 entries in the “Fill for Phil” contest.

The winner also gets lunch with Hands, a sketchbook, and State Journal pencils.

OK. I know newspapers are in dire straits. Believe me, I know.

But the prize for this thing is… State Journal pencils?

I mean, you know they’re cheap because they keep the cartoonist at freelance status instead of giving the poor sap a full-time position. That much is a given in today’s sad state of corporate affairs.

But to cheap out on the readers, too?

Sheesh. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the big lunch is out of the newsroom vending machines.