Friday, March 30, 2007

Open Thread: Newspapers, etc.

Tim's excellent comment inspired me to look up an article I had read last December and to open up a discussion thread.

Some thoughts to discuss: What is the present or the future for editorial, gag, or strip artists?

What is the future of print media?

Would MORE comic strips, political cartoons, etc. sell more print media?


john_daiker said...

(reposted from an earlier post)

Tim - I've been hesitant to submit editorial cartoons to the Argus Leader for exactly that reason. The exposure gained doesn't seem to reflect the time & materials used.

I'm not about to stop creating political cartoons, but would prefer a better venue...and a different President to poke fun of. ;) Our current one is too easy...

Also, what do you think of the 'Non-Sequitur' strip from Feb. 4th? It can't show it, but here's a description from an article;

"Miller -- a former editorial cartoonist whose "Non Sequitur" feature is syndicated via Universal Press Syndicate -- drew an assistant addressing a newspaper executive in the Feb. 4 comic.

The assistant says: "There's a group of editorial cartoonists outside who are threatening to draw scathing cartoons in protest of the elimination of so many staff positions and to post them on the Internet to bring public
pressure on you."

The executive replies: "Didn't they do that last year? What did they call it ... Big Stink Tuesday?"

"You mean Black Ink Monday?"

"Whatever. So how'd that work out for them?"

"Well ... there's even fewer of them now. I guess that's why they're still upset."

"I see ... . But since a lot of those protesters have a staff position and are selling their work to me dirt cheap through syndication, what incentive is there for me to spend 500 times more in salary and benefits for the work
of just one person?"

The assistant answers: "I'll go ask, sir." She subsequently reports back to say that the cartoonists "just mooned me, then ran off giggling to the nearest bar and started drawing on cocktail napkins."

To which the executive replies: "Well, let THAT be a lesson to me."

Tim Benson said...

John, I wholeheartedly sympathize with your frustration in submitting editorial cartoons to all daily newspapers, not just the Argus Leader. Miller's take on the elimination of staff positions for editorial cartoonists by daily newspapers is accurate. However, his portrayal of cartoonists running off to the nearest bar and drawing on napkins is somewhat cynical. (Of course, syndicated cartoonists usually do partake in that sort of activity during the annual A.A.E.C.convention. I attended the one in Washington D.C. in 2002.) Make no mistake, people like Pulitzer-prize winner Mike Luckovich and cartooning legend Mike Peters are huge reasons their respective newspapers, and syndicates, draw readership. Like it or not, editorial cartoonists are in the entertainment business. You have to be a witty, humorous person with superior writing and artistic skills. For example, if you don't nail a caricature, readers will think of your cartoon as an inferior product, even if the cartoon idea itself was a success. Luchovich and Peters are top cartoonists because they are masters of caricature in addition to having great senses of humor. I agree with your interest in pursuing a venue that's more accomodating to running editorial cartoons by local cartoonists. I really enjoyed my experience with Tempest Magazine. My cartoons appeared in it in 1999 and 2000. I hope you plan to participate in the National Cartoonists' Day activities in May and, also, in the political cartooning show taking place at Falls Park this August.