KFnet in T-Town

Jun. 10, 2009 at 11:10am

Weekly Volcano, Spew No More?

Source of magma cut off

Holy nuts, just heard that the print and web edition of the Weekly Volcano is closing up it's shop to focus on the Fort Lewis Ranger. Spew will also disappear. Word came from Izenmania via RR Anderson that the Tacomic will no longer be showing because the paper will no longer be printed. Likewise, the last update on Spew was June 4 and we all know they were cranking out content far more regularly than once every 6 days.

Though not usually my cup of tea they provided a worthy service to the area and will be missed. Sad to see declining ad revenue shudder yet another local publication.

R.I.P. Volcano and Spew.

Thanks Izenmania!

Update: Guess it's just the news section that's going away, along with the Tacomic. With that I'd ask, what news?

comments [35]  |  posted under closing, newspaper, spew, tacoma, weekly volcano


by Erik on 6/10/2009 @ 11:16am
Holy nuts, just heard that the print and web edition of the Weekly Volcano is closing up it's shop to focus on the Fort Lewis Ranger. Spew will also disappear.

What? Where will the restroom documentaries be published?

I had thought the papers were going to be combined.

by KevinFreitas on 6/10/2009 @ 11:37am
According to a post on their Twitter, it's just the news that's getting axed. And the Tacomic. And Spew? So it'll basically be ads and events listings?


by Ron on 6/10/2009 @ 11:38am
The Weekly Volcano is not dead. It will go back to being the South Sound's entertainment rag. For a while it will be combined with the Fort Lewis Ranger until the economy turns.

by KevinFreitas on 6/10/2009 @ 11:40am
Thanks Ron -- so printing of the Volcano will stop and that info will show in the Ranger instead for now? Will the purple Volcano boxes disappear or will they be re-purposed to serve up the Ranger?

Whatever the case, much luck to everyone involved and thanks for keeping us posted!

by ixia on 6/10/2009 @ 11:45am
This would explain the military focus in the last issue....that was plain strange!

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 6/10/2009 @ 11:48am
Recession proof advertising. Would it hurt the Stranger to have a south sound section? I've been noticing the Stranger has been getting pretty thin page count wise these days. I was no fan of a Ranger run Volcano but I do see the need for having a print publication for getting the word out on local Pierce County activities and events. This is not good for Tacoma.

by Heather on 6/10/2009 @ 11:55am

by Ron on 6/10/2009 @ 12:07pm
The Volcano will run in the back half of the Ranger and include a Volcano cover story, Ragnet, predictions, arts picks, dining reviews and news, the same music section and arts features and reviews. The Volcano will have the same distribution with the Volcano cover hanging in all the boxes and the exact same distribution locations from Tumwater to Federal Way and Gig Harbor to Sumner as it is now.

by Dave_L on 6/10/2009 @ 12:11pm
(Checking calendar to make sure it's not April.)
The Volcano's (I refuse to use it in the past tense) where it's at as far as coverage of local bands, venues, festivals, etc. In my limited experience, if a show got mention in the 'cano, it usually got a nice bump in attendance. Especially if it was a feature article. No matter if it was a touring band, established local band, or start-up band. Plus, the staff is out and about town, and it was always nice when the Volcano was in the house. The arts reviews are some of my favorite features.... At least they didn't move to Bellevue, but what a loss to the community.
[In Frenchie Cousteau-voice: "Two...minutes...later..."]
Well, now that I read Swarner's explanation, I guess it's not as bad as I had feared. I grew up with the Stars and Stripes, so I have no problem picking up the Ranger. (Maybe do the back Volcano-section upside down so either the Volcano or the Ranger is in front, depending on how you hold it, lol). Glad the purple boxes will still be around. (There's one P-I box I'd sure like to snag.)

R.R. - Maybe time to publish the "CLAWcano.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 6/10/2009 @ 12:11pm
So if the Volcano lives as the back half of the Ranger there must be room for Tacomic, good news for us comic fans.

by NineInchNachos on 6/10/2009 @ 12:19pm
The Tacomic has been cut. The Volcano cannot afford my $2,600.66 a month cartoon syndication fee.

It was either keep Matt Driscoll or my Tacomic and Matt Driscoll won the coin toss. Damn his eyes!

by izenmania on 6/10/2009 @ 1:08pm
R.R. - Maybe time to publish the "CLAWcano.

One step at a time. First start using legal paper in the CLAW 'zine, then amp up to 11x17.

by Matt Driscoll on 6/10/2009 @ 1:17pm
For what it's worth, I was hoping they'd choose the Tacomic. Damn my eyes!

Seriously, though, I know we've all had our differences, but this is sad and unfortunate for Tacoma for a number of reasons. Words really cannot express the emptiness I feel.

And, if anyone happened to read my editorial a few weeks ago about combing the two papers and living to fight another day, I apologize for being misleading. That was the information I had at the time. I really wanted to keep our news section (whether you call it "news" or not), and I deeply wanted to keep the voice we'd been developing. I think it was getting there. Things have been changing rapidly, and it's been quite a rollercoaster. These are very difficult times.

For those that have offered kind words, I (and all of us) truly appreciate them. I know for a fact we worked our asses off - because I was there.

by NineInchNachos on 6/10/2009 @ 1:17pm
speaking of CLAW zine, issue 002 should be hitting the streets relatively soon.

by Erik on 6/10/2009 @ 4:17pm
Ok. Looks Matt Driscoll via Amy McBride is weighing in on the issue via the Tacoma Art List Serve.

The Tacomics look to be eliminated. It appears the Tacomics "Who Controls Local Media" and the Watada Tacomic were two Tacomics too many.


"Who Controls Local Media?":


Watada Tacomic:



The truth of the matter

Rumors regarding the Weekly Volcano�s demise have been greatly exaggerated � almost to the point of absurdity at this point.

In the name of accurate information, here�s the scoop on what�s going with the South Sound�s premiere source for arts and entertainment coverage, which is still the Weekly Volcano:

The economy is in crummy shape. We all realize this, and I�m sure we�ve all felt it. So has the Weekly Volcano.

In an effort to cut costs and avoid layoffs, the decision has been made to stop distributing the Volcano separately of the Fort Lewis Ranger � another paper owned and produced by Swarner Communications, Inc. The Weekly Volcano started as the arts and entertainment insert of the Ranger, and has always remained part of that paper, so this change really isn�t as drastic as it may sound to some. When you pick up the Ranger you�ll get the Volcano � it�s a package deal, and it always has been. This is the plan moving forward. It�s a cost cutting measure that will save us significant money on press runs and inserting costs. In times like these such actions are necessary. With this change our finances are extremely sound.

The decision has also been made to focus on our strength � which is arts and entertainment in the South Sound. The music, arts, film, dining, film and theater coverage you�ve come to expect out of the Weekly Volcano won�t be going anywhere.

We have, however, decided to cut the news section of the Weekly Volcano � including the Tacomic, which has obviously led to some of the misinformation that�s been floating around today. It�s a decision that pains me greatly � as I know it does our entire staff. We would have loved to keep the news section, and I (personally) feel like we were just picking up steam, but given the aforementioned circumstances the decision to drop news is the best course of action possible for our family-owned company.

We appreciate this chance to clarify the situation, and look forward to continuing to serve the South Sound with top-notch arts and entertainment coverage.

Matt Driscoll
Weekly Volcano

Amy McBride, Tacoma Arts Administrator
Community Economic Development Department
747 Market Street, #900
Tacoma, WA 98402
www.tacomaculture.org or www.cityofdestiny.com

Join the TacomaArt listserv and 'get connected'!
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by Matt Driscoll on 6/10/2009 @ 4:26pm
Um... I wrote that. I love Amy to death, but she didn't have anything to do with the statement above.

And to clarify, we have decided to stop running the Tacomic in the Weekly Volcano because it no longer fits inside a paper that's arts and entertainment based. Believe me when I say the situation makes me sick, but the decision has been made. We plan on focusing solely on arts and entertainment until the economy allows us to do otherwise.

by NineInchNachos on 6/10/2009 @ 4:45pm
Hey kevin, Can you add the fort lewis ranger blog to the feed homepage?

else people missing out on things like flickr post of the day

by marumaruyopparai on 6/10/2009 @ 8:31pm
we have decided to stop running the Tacomic in the Weekly Volcano because it no longer fits inside a paper that's arts and entertainment based

Because let's face it, there's nothing artistic or entertaining about the Tacomic.

by marumaruyopparai on 6/10/2009 @ 8:36pm
Where will people without computers go now for their Tuesday morning dose of illustrated no nonsense objective, non-biased news coverage?

by Matt Driscoll on 6/10/2009 @ 8:49pm
I realize this is a losing battle, but that's not at all what I meant.

I just meant that without any stories or coverage of local news, issues, politics or controversy - or any of that good stuff RR touches on regularly and so expertly with Tacomic - it would seem out of place. This whole thing makes me incredibly sick to my stomach, but I suppose there's probably no way to adequately express that. Backlash is unavoidable, and I'd probably be wiser to spend my time getting used to it.

But the loss of the Volcano's news section really, truly crushes me. For folks to somehow think we're doing this because we're just pricks, or assholes, or didn't fight tooth and nail before it came to this, well, that's just icing.

That's all I've got. Fire away.

by marumaruyopparai on 6/10/2009 @ 9:20pm
Yeesh. . .put that way it all sounds so damn depressing, I guess that's because it is. Here in Oregon where I live the newspaper belonging to the largest city I live near just laid off 21 people, and this is not a huge newspaper. Deep cuts are being made in the staff of pulp media outlets all over cause of the economic mess.

RR is a rugged survivalist, I'm sure he'll weather the storm. His loss of legitimate pulp syndication will just reinforce his status as an underground freedom fighting cartoonist and folk hero.

by NineInchNachos on 6/10/2009 @ 9:43pm
I'm no hero.

i'm just a guy.

The true heroes are the (wo)men who ___________ everyday without _________ themselves for little or no _________.

by Erik on 6/10/2009 @ 10:04pm
And to clarify, we have decided to stop running the Tacomic in the Weekly Volcano because it no longer fits inside a paper that's arts and entertainment based.


The Tacomic is one of the most popular artistic and entertaining productions in Tacoma.

Isn't the reason that the Tacomic is being removed because it is perceived that the Tacomic "no longer fits inside a paper" that's distributed primarily to the military?


Just asking.

by NineInchNachos on 6/10/2009 @ 10:39pm
oh lord. I'm going to go hide now.

. . . (ok one last gripe then i'm gone)

(get the reference to the TNT logo? i suppose they get the last laugh)

by morgan on 6/11/2009 @ 6:25am
Ok, help me out here - I'm just trying to figure out who to blame. Is it RR fault for creating anti-military propaganda? Or was it Electric Elliot's now hugely successful War on Tacoma Media campaign?

by izenmania on 6/11/2009 @ 8:45am
"I love Amy to death, but she didn't have anything to do with the statement above. "

She had to do with it inasmuch as she decided to send it out to the Tacoma Arts Listserv.

by thriceallamerican on 6/11/2009 @ 8:57am
I gotta say, it's one thing for the Volcano to shrink and share a form factor with the Ranger, etc., but it seems like a big mistake to cut back on or get rid of Spew. New media, peeps. Hope that Spew is just on a hiatus while they get their ducks in a row and we count on it coming back in the near future...

by izenmania on 6/11/2009 @ 9:01am
It's going to require more money rolling in, basically. Before the whole misunderstanding on the fate of the Volcano, I was inquiring after Spew, and got this response: "Shut down due to lack of advertising support. Time and energy have been redirected here: www.fortlewisblog.com/\"

So it sounds like as long as the other outlets (Fort Lewis Blog, Ranger Volcano combo) are doing better for advertising than Spew was, its chances of return are slim. But I could be wrong. Hard to believe, I know, but it happens.

by Steph DeRosa on 6/11/2009 @ 9:17am
No one is to blame, so I'd really wish readers, who have no idea what goes on behind Volcano doors, would stop trying to point the finger at someone or something at the Volcano. It's nobody's fault. If you really want point blame, just look in the general direction of the economy.

Swarner Communications and all employees closely involved did everything they could to keep things rolling as car dealerships closed, thus pulling major ads - housing developers went into bankruptcy, thus pulling their ads as well. And let's not mention the poor indie shops whose sales were crushed in this economy - you think they're going to pay for ads? Some did, and for those we're grateful. But remember - the Volcano is FREE. That means the paper, it's distribution, and the Volcano's families are supported by these ads. Once they're gone, the 11X17, 20+ page paper can only go on so long.

People keep pointing out the old Volcano billboard ads. Is that a sense of comedic grandeur for some? Those were times when Swarner Communications was trying to give the community the coverage it deserved. The columns so many of you keep saying this city needs. The Volcano employeed more people, added more content, and ramped up distribution. For that, Tacomic never would've been in the paper in the first place. So is it possible to be grateful that we had a good run, we had fun, people had jobs, and now we must cut back?

I'm fucking sick to death about it, as is Matt and other Volcano employees. Not because of money, but because this paper meant so much to us. Matt and Ron put in countless hours in the office, away from their families, and with lilttle pay - just to keep the paper going - and giving you guys what they thought you deserved. I hardly think they need to be bashed for what they've accomplished. I'm simply in awe of their work ethic and passion.

When you throw stones here in the Internet, you're not hurting some inanimate object, you're hurting many people whose hearts were invested for many years. You're hurting your community. Are you going to go around bashing every store that closes due to lack of customers? That would be a sad, sad state of affairs. You really want Tacoma to turn that way? It makes me sick. And yes, I speak with biased opinion. These people are my friends.

This is a time when we need to rally together and support each other. The Volcano is not going away, it is simply cut back.

Thanks for lending me your eyes for a short while. I held back as long as I could, but I had to chime in.

Next time I see any of you, I'll buy you a beer and we can moan about how shitty things are together.

PS - toilet references are old news, Erik ;)

by thriceallamerican on 6/11/2009 @ 9:18am
I'd like to at least see them use Spew to help funnel people towards the A&E content they're still writing (and presumably posting online). I'm fine if they decide to drop some of the more bloggy features like pic-o-the-day, or whatever, but I rarely remember to pick up the print edition so it's nice to not miss out on what they're writing on via the FeedTacoma syndication. The content can be cross posted at the Ft. Lewis Blog, or whatever, but it seems like a step towards extinction to lose the power of Spew to bring readers their direction...

by izenmania on 6/11/2009 @ 10:47am
Agreed, Jamie. Even if the blog entries were just opening blurbs from the print articles, and the blog-only material was cut, I think there would be a significant benefit. Maybe even more so than the glut of posts that was coming through before which, frankly, had some people I've spoken to avoiding Spew on the feed altogether.

Steph - I know. I think we all know. More than once you and Driscoll and Ron and everyone else have jumped in to defend against anti-Volcano snarking, serious or otherwise, which speaks to how much you care about not just your paper, but the community at large. You could easily have just ignored the talking heads and gone about your business, but you stepped up and made the effort to be community members. You apologized for your mistakes, you informed us when we were being dicks. And what are friends for, really?

Though most of it is based on uninformed wrongitude, what I said in my post yesterday rings true: I am disappointed to see Spew grow. I am disappointed to see the Volcano shrink. Some of the people in that group are my friends. Some are people with whom I started on the wrong foot, but eventually found a common respect for. It is also annoying as always to see Erik fall into his usual habit of trying to manufacture controversy and conflict where there is none. But I don't see that changing anytime soon.

The Tacomic didn't somehow kill the Volcano. And hey, guess what: shrinking the Volcano won't kill the Tacomic. It was cool to see it in print, but it is not a requirement. I doubt that RxR was relying on that syndication to keep his family from starving. The Tacomic lives, and hopefully the Volcano will live, and find a way to return to its solo publication glory in the future. And hopefully everybody that loved working on it will get to keep doing so, in one way or another.

by NineInchNachos on 6/11/2009 @ 12:05pm
This is somebody's idea of a sick joke really... like not having enough automobile dealership and condominium/sprawl advertisements is a bad thing for humanity. like it is a tragedy that local businesses cant afford to pollute our environment with god awful billboards and funnel local dollars into the pockets of evil corporations like clear channel. The fact that these things are tied to the financial well being of our friends and loved ones only illustrates the extent that THE CONSPIRACY has gone to sap away our god given holy SLACK.

Young people are waking up to the LIES fed to us... that spending money in bars, getting drunk and barfing is what you're supposed to do with your limited existence on this planet. BUY AN AUTOMOBILE to COMMUTE 3 HRS in traffic to your SUBURBAN OASIS SECLUDED from your MISERABLE FELLOW CONSUMERS! Escape the PAINFUL REALITY THAT IS YOUR LIFE by viewing a FAKE HOLLYWOOD WORLD approved by a NAME BRANDED MOVIE CRITIC!

Army suicides? For-Profit Prison Industry? Plight of the Unemployed/Disenfranchised? This is news that won't upsell strategic business partnerships!!! Behold this shiny object! Look Colbert is getting his head shaved! LOL LOL!

(sorry for the inconvenience)

by Mofo from the Hood on 6/11/2009 @ 1:39pm
Personally I thought the trashy Tacomic was a good fit for the Volcano or Spew, or whatever it's called.

I really got P.O.'d when the feature "Leap of the Day" was dropped.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 6/11/2009 @ 3:57pm
I'm with MFTH, I miss the leap of the day.

by Erik on 6/11/2009 @ 4:29pm
For a while it will be combined with the Fort Lewis Ranger until the economy turns.

We all look forward to that day Ron!

Hang in there.



Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.

So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.


Hey Clear Channel, Clean Up Your Crap!

Advantage: Tacoma

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