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Admyering the View: ASU's Far Side

F-Minus came and left ASU, but we'll never forget it

 by Amanda L. Myers  published on Thursday, April 14, 2005

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I don't quite recall when I read my first F Minus.

Like a movie you watch over and over again or a book you re-read until the spine gets so crinkled, you can turn it to any page and it will stay open, F Minus just seemed like it had always been there. Had always been in that top spot of the comics page in The State Press.

And then, out of nowhere, it was gone. Sure, I work at The State Press and knew F Minus creator and cartoonist Tony Carrillo was graduating in December, but the news didn't quite sink in until I turned to the comics page the first time this semester, and it wasn't there.

I was bummed out. This was the end of an era.

No more F Minus equals no more funny in The State Press, as far as I was concerned.

But after a while, I became used to not reading F Minus. I still went to Tony's Web site to reminisce about the good old days, but for the most part, I was over it.

And not long after I was over it, I was proud.

Tony had won a national comic strip contest that would give him a shot at syndication.

For those of you who don't understand exactly what this means, syndication is the first step to becoming a famous cartoonist. If you're not syndicated, you're unknown.

And syndication is no easy goal. New York-based United Feature Syndicate, which is paying Tony to develop F Minus for possible syndication, receives more than 5,000 submissions from cartoonists every year.

And every year, they only decide to develop two.

By winning the contest, Tony skipped all the hurdles to getting his work looked at, and now has the top experts in the cartooning field considering and enjoying his work: People like Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams and Jake Morrisey, who edited Dilbert, Calvin and Hobbs, and The Far Side, and wrote the introduction to one of Gary Larson's compilation books.

So, while I thought and still think there is something missing in The State Press without Tony Carrillo and his witty cartoon, I am proud of him.

Just think, an ASU student who could become the next Gary Larson, a feat his fans and bosses at United say is a strong possibility.

And while ASU will continue to mourn the loss of F Minus between its pages, its students will remember the cartoon and its creator as the University's very own The Far Side.

To read more about Carrillo and his cartoon, read this week's cover story, "The Cartoonist." And don't miss "The stories behind the cartoons.". We've reprinted five of the best F Minus cartoons with commentary about them from Carillo.



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