When you stay in one job for a quarter century as Comic (and Column) Confessional author Dave Astor did, it helps to have good reasons for doing so. Here are a few: Heloise, Arianna Huffington, Ann Landers, Abigail Van Buren, David Broder, Ellen Goodman, George Will, Erma Bombeck, Dave Barry, Art Buchwald, Walter Cronkite, Hillary Clinton, Coretta Scott King and Martha Stewart – among other journalistic and “celebrity” columnists.
Plus, cartoonists such as Gary Larson, The Far Side; Charles Schulz, Peanuts; Stan Lee, Spider-Man; Garry Trudeau, Doonesbury; Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes; and Herblock.
Those were among the many people Astor covered, interviewed, met and/or got to know during his 25 years as newspaper-syndication reporter for the trade magazine Editor & Publisher – as chronicled in his new Comic (and Column) Confessional memoir.
The volume is 238 pages and lists for $27.95 from Xenos Press, which published the paperback original in July 2012 (Amazon lists an incorrect publication date).
The part-humorous book includes numerous anecdotes as well as material about how the digital revolution, media mergers and the shrinking newspaper business changed journalism and Astor’s job. There is also personal content about how working at E&P helped turn Dave from a shy person into a more confident one – while he dealt with the malpractice death of his first daughter, watched his second daughter grow into a successful adult and found love in a second marriage.
Astor is now a National Society of Newspaper Columnists board member, an award-winning humor columnist for The Montclair (N.J.) Times and a popular book blogger for The Huffington Post. He has also worked as a newspaper reporter and magazine cartoonist.
From the Reagan era to the Obama era, the author has gathered facts and insights, both quirky and profound, of the nation’s top opinion shapers — communicators in text and in sketch — showing how the digital revolution, media mergers and the shrinking newspaper business changed journalism forever. Astor’s interwoven personal story reflects America closing out the 20th century and moving into the 21st.