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Paul Conrad talks about how he fell into cartooning


The Palisaidan-Post has written a really good article on Paul Conrad (spurred on by the release of his book, I, Con: The Autobiography of Paul Conrad, Editorial Cartoonist). If you’re an editorial cartoonist, take a moment to read this article about this legend. In this article Paul talks about how he stumbled into editorial cartooning among other things.

Here’s a description of what he learned in his early youth that stuck with him:

‘My talent, my vocation, my life in Cartoon Alley began for me in the boys’ restroom at St. Augustin’s Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa.’ Conrad, 82, recalls in his autobiography. ‘It was the habit of some of the older boys at St. Augustin’s to indulge in graffiti, writing editorial comments about the school’s staff on the restroom walls. Once, when I was eight, I did illustrate someone else’s editorial comment on a restroom wall.’

As a result of that one cartoon, Conrad says that he learned lifelong lessons.

‘First, that one picture is worth a thousand words; and that, when the establishment gets mad, they always go after the cartoonist, not the editorial writers.

Second, that it takes a big man to laugh at himself; and that, tragically, many of the members of the establishment are not very big men.

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