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Animated editorial cartoons proving to be popular, laborious to produce

Dave Astor of Editor and Publisher has written an excellent article (featured on the AAEC web site) on the changing work duties of some editorial cartoonists who have added animation and blogging to their work load.  The story features Walt Handelsman of Newsday, Mike Shelton of Orange County Register, Matt Davies of The Journal News, and Clay Jones of The Free Lance-Star.
Regarding the affect of animating cartoonis:

Cartoonists usually aren’t paid for their extra work, but newspapers are certainly benefiting. Cartoonists’ blogs tend to draw a lot of traffic, as do animated creations. The Shelton/Leger animations quadrupled traffic to Shelton’s blog between May and June, and Handelsman’s animated works are consistently among Newsday.com’s most e-mailed items.

In addition, because of the multimedia and often edgier nature of newspaper animations, the audience drawn by such works tends to be younger than those who enjoy print cartoons. “I’ve showed my animations at schools, and kids love them,” said Handelsman. “If newspapers want to entice a younger readership, there’s a tremendous upside to this.”

He added that animations can have a longer shelf life than print cartoons. Since he can do only one labor-intensive animation every two weeks, Handelsman explained, “you have to look at news in a different way. You have to look at broader issues that last for weeks and months.”

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