The Comic The Lakewood Observer Would Not Print

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Thomas C Wagner
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:06 pm

Re: The Comic The Lakewood Observer Would Not Print

Postby Thomas C Wagner » Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:49 pm

Letter to Mike O’Bryan from the creator of ““The comic the Lakewood Observer would not print”

As the debate became increasingly polarized I thought that - in its choice of its articles, “headlines” and positioning - the LO was revealing a pretty clear bias. I know that my friend Mike O’Bryan passionately disagrees. But at least with respect to their “backpage” comic I hadn’t seen anything that expressed what I felt: that given what the Mayor was dealt (the present contracts, financials, changes in medicine, demographics) the proposed plan was a reasonable attempt to make lemonade out of a lemon, notwithstanding mistakes made in rolling out that plan. I can’t draw but I drew a comic – a first for me – and sent it to Mike. He said he liked it and would get it in the LO, to my great delight. I asked if it needed to be resized or redrawn or whatever and he said it should be “inked” – it was a little rough - and then the LO could resize it to fit. He said they had a guy who would “ink” it - no problem. I said I would be happy to get it done myself but if they have someone who does it, that’s great and I offered to pay the artist for his work, (provided he didn’t modify it, of course).

The next LO came out and my comic wasn’t there. No problem, I am told – it had been or was being “inked” … I was assured that the artist did great work and that it would appear in the next edition – the last one before the election. I had also written a piece in support of Sam O’Leary and when I sent that to Mike he told me in an email that he had gotten “fired” - a joke - for not having articles sent through the proper channels (I presumed this included my comic) and he asked me to send the O’Leary piece to the editor via the Deck webpages. OK - I had never signed up for the Deck (frankly, not my cup of coffee) but I did it and sent in the O’Leary piece.
I was happy to see the O’Leary piece appear in this week’s printed edition but was very disappointed when my comic was not there. I expressed my disappointment to Mike in an e-mail (“You promised!’). He replied that it wasn’t in the printed LO because the artist had never “inked it”. Ouch. I don’t know why it wasn’t “inked” – was never told until after the print edition came out that there was any problem “inking” my comic or that it wouldn’t be printed. If I had been told their artist couldn’t do it – or wouldn’t do it - then I could have done it myself, as I had offered to do from the start.

In typical, generous, Mike O’Bryan style he helped me upload my beloved comic to the LO webpage. OK, but it was the printed edition I really wanted, so I thought, “Hey – if the LO couldn’t or wouldn’t do it (as Mike always says, “words are important”) then I’ll “ink it”, print it and distribute it myself. Just like the great and powerful LO does. I confess that it was kind of fun – I felt like Ben Franklin printing a “broadsheet” and then leaving my little comic - like Johnny Appleseed - in some of the great Lakewood joints along Detroit and Madison. I did it all myself, Mike -no conspiracy here. Depending on the location I either put it on top of the LO stack, or next to it, or between the individual LO editions. The intended message was, “HEY! - here’s something I think belonged in the LO – take a look at it too!“
Mike thinks by my (retitling) the comic, “The comic the Lakewood Observer would not print” (emphasis added) the message was that he personally had censured the printing of the comic. I don’t know why it wasn’t “inked” and therefore not printed, but I do believe that Mike O’Bryan would never personally have censured it and if that’s the message my title conveyed about Mike O’Bryan then I apologize to you, Mike, for conveying that. If it was a mis-communication with the “inking” artist, or someone else in the LO chain of publication –none of whom I know - then I think I should have been told in time to “ink” it myself. If that is what happened – mistake and not censure – and if I for some unknown reason couldn’t have been told that in time and had to play Ben Franklin again (it was fun!) then I guess I would re-title it, “The comic the LO did not publish”. If someone else – not Mike – decided the comic should not be printed then my title was frankly correct, although Mike passionately denies that this happened. Mike’s right, “words do matter”.

Just for the record, I will post this on the LO “Deck” (not my cup of coffee) and I will not engage in any subsequent exchange of replies or posts, be they positive or negative. I just don’t believe that process is either fun or helpful, especially in these times when we need real face to face conversations that bring us together – not emailed hand grenades and texted rifle shots. Toward that goal I will long for more interesting, animated and funny real conversations with you Mike – and anyone else – on this issue or anything else we care to civilly discuss in person, hopefully at the beloved Root. That is my cup of coffee.

With all due regards,

Tom Wagner


Mark Kindt
Posts: 944
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: The Comic The Lakewood Observer Would Not Print

Postby Mark Kindt » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:06 pm

Now we can add a fourth panel to this draft cartoon with more smiley faces:

Smiley face: Three Arches Foundation -- "Whoa, look at all this money we have!"

Smiley face: New Foundation -- "Yikes, look at all this money were gonna get!"

Smiley face: Selected Developer -- "Wow! We get the real estate for free!"

Let's add a fifth panel, too:


Smiley face: Parma --"Thank you, Metro, for our new hospital"

Smiley face: Cleveland Heights -- "Metro, we love our new hospital"

Frown face: Lakewood Taxpayers --"Tax increases coming soon!"

The public documents make it clear that Mayor Summers, Mr. Gable and Mr. Haber neglected a material bona fide proposal from Metro Health System, and steered the screwy Subsdidum proposal process to the incumbent provider all to the detriment of our community. Subsidum's written opinion of the incumbent's proposal was that it was of "no material benefit to the community".

We lost an invaluable community asset because our municipal leadership elected to ignore a serious $100,000,000 (over 10 years) proposal from the Metro Health System to operate Lakewood Hospital.


"The citizens of Lakewood rightfully expect their government of elected and appointed officials, and their employees to behave legally and ethically following principles of open government." Third Amended Charter, Article 8.1(a).

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