Our Iconic Cartoonist Back in the Saddle


(Our content writers and staff sheepishly admit we were fooled into believing Keith Bell had been rehired by the local newspaper as he SHOULD have been I would like to emphasize)

Many of you inveterate RDR readers in Roswell,NM have missed Keith Bell’s drawings for around two months now. I was concerned that his absence was permanent until yesterday when, as a third party contractor, his cartoon graced the pages once again with a tribute to Ginsberg Music Company.

The newspaper editorial piece laments the loss of a 97 year old full-line dealer of instruments who had skilled musicians offering their services as music teachers at reasonable rates. Cutbacks in school music programs and high rental prices are among the reasons Ginsberg chose to shutter their windows. And, of course, mom and pop businesses struggle mightily against the scale of online competitors.

I hope Keith continues his unflinching commitment to uncovering hypocrisy, fraud, and misappropriation/misuse of public money in his “freelance” position with the RDR. His last effort as a full time employee of the RDR(I guess I really mean an employee with an RDR email address) took full aim at the top dog in the RISD addressing the social promotion issue which troubles our great nation as a whole.

I think it is safe to say that HE IS BACK! due to popular demand and the torrent of phone calls protesting his hiatus from our early morning breakfast rituals.

Beloved Roswell NM cartoonist back in the saddle
Beloved Roswell NM cartoonist back in the saddle

9 comments on “Our Iconic Cartoonist Back in the SaddleAdd yours →

  1. Hi, Jackson–

    Glad you have this new way of leaving a message. I have been trying to log in for some time, without success. I wanted to tell you that I had discovered the RDR was getting many letters about my termination and refusing to publish them.

    THIS IS NOT MY WORK! A window painter in town named KEVIN Bell (no relation) has been signed to do cartoons for the RDR. I don’t know him and have never met him. Note the disclaimer below the cartoon about living in the county and having seven kids. I live in the city and have three kids.

    The RDR first tried playing down my termination and is now trying to lead people to believe I am back doing cartoons for them by not addressing the confusion created by the similarities of our names (the disclaimer was removed from Kevin Bell’s cartoon that ran the next day). Based on the two cartoons published by this other fellow, I think it’s safe to say that we don’t share the same politics or artistic sensibilities (I thought the cheap topical humor in a tribute cartoon inappropriate).

    Again, not Keith Bell but Kevin Bell. Accept no substitutions (unless you want to!).

    Thanks, Keith

    1. My apologies Keith! I should have been more sensitive to the difference in the cartoon styles of the two K Bells. That caption about replacing defunct music store with pot farm did not sound like you…..That is pathetic how they created a “name collision” to dupe public into thinking your employment had been reinstated. Fooled me and I feel bad I was not more discerning. Absolutely reprehensible how RDR conducts its affairs and treats their employees!

  2. Thanks, Jackson. I feel terrible about how people are being misled by this “name collision,” as you very adroitly put it. Right after I notified you I was approached in a hardware store by another fan who was excited I was “back” at the paper. I explained to him, too, that it was a bit of a bait and switch. His reaction was similar to yours: indignation at the paper’s management and his saying the signature fooled him despite noticing a sudden decline in draftsmanship. Sadly, word is getting back to me that many others were taken in as well. Friends are setting the record straight however (pun intended) and once more the facts of the matter are spreading despite the efforts of our local “news source” to confuse and mislead. My sincere apologies to those who followed the cartoons and who are now disappointed once again by the RDR’s callous handling of this matter.

    1. The sad part about “setting the record straight” …… clever play on words from the deposed cartoonist is that even if all the pissed off people cancel their newspaper subscriptions, liberal ownership does not give a shit!!!!! Why? Print newspapers have a revenue model that is 10% circulation and 90% ad driven so they don’t give a damn if subscriptions get cancelled and Bell is left in the cold. This really sucks!!!!

      1. David,
        Respectfully, what in the hell have you been drinking friend?! Sure they may lose a scant amount from declining circulation, but like Keith said advertisers want bang for their buck by having the paper reach as many eyes as possible! A better tack may be a group effort to “serial call” the RDR voicing your opposition to Keith’s absence although that probably would not amount to much unless matched by cancellations of subscriptions.

        1. I do NOT know any Jackson Daniels in this area. I also dont want you to get me wrong. I totally miss Bell’s level headed presence as a voice of the Pecos Valley. I will be glad to be the first signer of petition demanding they put Keith Bell back on board as cartoon drawer.

          1. David Jimenez

    2. Dear Keith,

      I know you have uncovered negative things about RISD. Do you know about the RHCA 1% payroll deduction from teacher paychecks for retiree health care. So we are paying 1% of our hard earned paychecks from a low paying job to enable us to buy low cost insurance when we retire?! What a crock of shit. We are losing money now to protect us from unfair high priced health insurance during our golden years. Do a cartoon on that dude.

  3. Taking my children trick-or-treating yesterday was a revelation. I heard several unsolicited comments about this cartoon controversy from friends and from people I’ve never met before, but who recognized me. The feedback I got was people DO notice the difference in the cartoons, and are insulted that the RDR is trying to put one over on them. Heard lots of talk about cancelling subscriptions and writing letters to the editor in protest. Very gratifying to know people miss seeing a kindred spirit on the editorial page.

  4. Former Ginsberg Music Company manager John Escobedo has taken his talents to NMMI as a technology expert according to Bill Moffitt of RDR. Chad Patton is helping the new civilian employee with tasks like sound and lighting in Pearson Auditorium. It’s rather odd that the very technology that caused the demise of Ginsberg is helping the pencil sketch artist put food on his table now along with his gigs as a drummer with local band.

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