Bucking the trend of recent newspapers who have cut ties with their once prominent cartoonists, the Chicago Tribune has hired Scott Stantis, currently the staff cartoonist for The Birmingham News, as its new staff editorial cartoonist. This fills the vacancy left by the death of Pulitzer-Prize winner Jeff MacNelly in 2000.

“The Chicago Tribune is bullish about the future of newspapers, and so am I,” said Stantis, the creator of the syndicated comic strip “Prickly City and a former president of the AAEC. “The Tribune believes that editorial cartooning is an integral part of that future, and I am therefore thrilled and humbled to be given this opportunity.”

“Competing with the Internet requires newspapers to showcase their editorial pages and to use edgier, more graphic content,” said AAEC President Ted Rall. “Editorial cartoons are a vital part of that formula, especially the local- and state-issue cartoons that only a staff editorial cartoonist can provide.”

The Birmingham News has said that it intends to fill the vacancy left by Stantis.

View Scott’s terrific cartoons here.