Oslo Davis sacked by The AgeMelbourne’s visual bard, Oslo Davis, has been relieved of his scribbling duties on the back page of The Age. The news, broken by Davis on his Facebook fan page today, has been greeted with dismay by readers who began their mornings with his wry musings.

On Twitter, Davis said he had been moved on because of “page redesign and editor cuts. Us cartoonist[s] were at the end of the food chain.” Crikey cartoonist First Dog on the Moon slammed the decision as “fucking crazy” today.

Lorna Edwards, who edited the “Melbourne Life” section encompassing the ‘toon, departed the company in the latest redundancy round. During the Olympics the page was re-jigged with stories from London appearing above the fold with the “Postcode 3000” gossip column shifted from column 8 to the bottom half. This week, Davis appeared twice on the back page, in a space he shares with Andrew Weldon and occasionally Judy Horacek. His swansong effort, titled “The Wisdom of Youth”, mocked the recent outbreak of shorts in the CBD when Melbourne’s temperature is still hovering in the mid-teens.

Davis told Crikey this morning that “there’s no ill feeling from me to The Age. There’s people worse off. And also a great bunch of talented people still there.” Fans will still be able to catch Davis in another Fairfax forum — he will continue to contribute his popular “Overheard” illustration to The Sunday Age‘s M Magazine. — Andrew Crook

Battle of the right-wing mags. God bless the American Conservative, the best political magazine in the US, which spares nothing in its war on … National Review, the other conservative magazine in the US. Here’s Am Con taking the piss out of the NR‘s new cover, which features Romney and Ryan in an Ayn Randesque Fountainhead-style rendering.

The weirdness is multiple. The NR intended it to summon up the image of Randism, the promethean masculinist, essentially neurotic hardbodied ultra-individualism that passes for strength these days — but of course, the style had been taken from New Deal neoclassical imagery, with which FDR’s government illustrated its promethean activities — dams, bridges, buildings etc — and which was taken in part from the Soviet neoclassical style with which Stalin had replaced avant-garde art. Funny old world, but not if you didn’t build that. — Guy Rundle

Front page of the day. Horrific news from the French Alps overnight as three members of a family — and what appears to be an innocent bystander — were murdered in their car, with a seven-year-old girl surviving the ordeal with a critical gun shot wound and her four-year-old sister also surviving by hiding under her dead mother. News services are reporting:

A French police source named the dead driver as Saad al-Hilli, a 50-year-old born in Iraq but resident in Surrey, south-east England.

Neighbours said he was an engineer and identified one of the women, who was carrying an Iraqi passport, as his wife Iqbal. They identified the other woman, a 74-year-old with a Swedish passport, as his mother-in-law and the couple’s daughters as Zainab, aged seven, and Zeena, aged four.

Authorities in France identified the fourth victim, a cyclist who arrived at the scene by chance, as local man Sylvain Mollier.

Here is today’s UK Independent (compare with the front pages of the Daily Mail and The Sun):

The Oz wins PANPA newspaper of the year

The Australian won the top prize at the PANPA Newspaper of The Year Awards.” — mUmBRELLA

Optus TV Now appeal rejected by High Court

“Optus have been denied leave to appeal its TV Now case in the High Court, ending the legal battle against the Australian Football League (AFL), the National Rugby League (NRL) and Telstra.” — The Age

NI tries to block Elle aide’s phone-hack lawsuit

“News International is trying to have a phone-hacking damages case involving Elle Macpherson’s former adviser thrown out of court, 18 months after her claim was launched.” — The Guardian

US court ruling may spark eBook price war

“In a decision that could start an e-book price war in the publishing industry, a federal judge on Thursday approved a settlement between the Justice Department and three major publishers in a civil antitrust case that accused the companies of collusion in the pricing of digital books.” — The New York Times