260px-Brendamessick.jpgYou know times are bad when even feisty fictional reporters are put on furlough. In a strip that will run this Saturday, the red haired newspaper vixen, Brenda Starr, will be put on furlough by her gruff boss B. Babbitt Bottomline.

“As far-fetched as some of the plots in Brenda are, I do like to keep it topical,” current Starr writer Mary Schmich told the Chicago Tribune. With the Gannett announcing on Monday that employees will be asked to take more furloughs in April, May and June&#151in addition to the notice that more cuts would take place&#151this new Brenda Starr development is about as real as cartoon journalism can get.

Hopefully the next panel will show Brenda feverishly typing away on her brand new MacBook, trying to get that blog post up just before someone else breaks the news on Twitter. At that point we’ll know our entertainment has really reached a meta state.