Farewell, Glenn McCoy. Editorial cartoons rarely saw a sharper pencil

After 22 years of Bill Clinton with his fly open, taxpayers sitting on the sidewalk with a tin cup and MidAmerica Airport failing to take off, editorial cartoonist Glenn McCoy is departing.

The tough decision resulted from two major shifts: one in the news business and one in society.

The news industry is shifting from a focus on its print products to its digital products. Digital products require subscribers so we can pay for the breaking news coverage and the watchdog journalism that has been the core of the News-Democrat for decades.

The News-Democrat was always an anomaly by being a mid-sized daily newspaper with its own staff editorial cartoonist, and we held on to that tradition at the peril of other coverage for as long as we could. But we must be conservative with our resources until digital subscribers foster new growth. We remain a thriving business, and these economic decisions are intended to ensure we protect the local journalism at the heart of our business.

Glenn is not only departing from the News-Democrat, he is putting away his pencil. His newer ventures and the shift in society made his decision easier.

Political discourse is no longer a battle of ideas, but is now filled with personal attacks. Those attacks too often progress beyond character assassination to actual threats to livelihood and people.

Glenn has been successfully pursuing a career in animation, most notably his work with the "Despicable Me" series and the minions. That part of his career is taking more of his time and concentration.

While we no longer will have Glenn's editorial cartoons to publish, we still carry two of his creations. "The Duplex" and "The Flying McCoys," that are drawn in collaboration with his brother Gary McCoy, will continue as part of our daily print and E-edition offerings.

No doubt we're sad that this day came. We were lucky to have a Belleville boy with so much talent share it with us for so long.

So we say, "Thanks, Glenn." Best wishes for a safe flight to an amazing destination, but if you fly MidAmerica just make sure the pilot's name tag doesn't say "Kern."