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Clay Jones cartoon featured on Rachel Maddow

An editorial cartoon by Free Lance-Star editorial cartoonist Clay Jones was prominently discussed on a recent Rachel Maddow program discussing reaction to who gets credit for Osama Bin Laden’s death. You can see the segment below. When I contacted Clay for reaction, he mentioned the cartoon was rejected by his editor for the paper but he was allowed to post it on his blog and it was distributed by Creators syndicate.

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Community Comments

#1 Pat Bagley
May/10/2011
@ 11:43 am

Great cartoon, Clay.

#2 Milt Priggee
May/10/2011
@ 4:13 pm

Clay’s rejected (for print) cartoon just might be a reason the print platform is dying.
Why are the visual image commentators best work being kept out of the print world at the same time it’s going viral on two different electronic platforms (Internet and TV)?
Why are newspaper managers allowed to kill the print platform…?

Nice to see Maddow mention the author’s name.

I’d really like to know the reason WHY the cartoon was rejected.

Great cartoon, Clay.

#3 Matt Bors
May/10/2011
@ 6:27 pm

I was also excited to hear Maddow say Clay’s name (as gross as that may sound). They almost never cite cartoonists by name.

As for the editor, I guess the cartoon appearing on national tv was a nice answer to them.

#4 Clay Jones
May/10/2011
@ 8:45 pm

Thanks guys.
It was good to be recognized. After I was told my cartoon was on Maddow, I had low expectations. When she credited me, TWICE, my paper and city I was shocked and very thankful.

Editor didn’t like the viewpoint of the cartoon, but there were other options for him. I showed him four roughs and he picked what he thought was funniest. I was comfortable with that as I liked the really funny one too…but I did like the “Cheater” cartoon more because it was a statement I really wanted to make. I knew I’d do it anyway. I get a lot of freedom with my blog and my editor doesn’t pay attention to it anyway.

Print isn’t entirely dead as the Washington Post ran it Saturday (and lately they’ve been using only gag cartoons). But Maddow had to find it on Slate.

I don’t want to bust my editor’s chops too much as he didn’t really spike it as much as he passed it over. He wasn’t a jerk about it. We didn’t even talk about it. I knew I was doing it anyway. I draw one or two a week (usually) that don’t run in my newspaper and sometimes I don’t even show them to my editor.

#5 Dave Stephens
May/11/2011
@ 1:00 am

Interesting insight into the picking and choosing of political cartoons… I used to think a strong viewpoint was the lifeblood of a newspaper editorial section, but now I think those days are long gone…

#6 Mike Peterson
May/11/2011
@ 3:46 am

There’s a difference between not picking a particular cartoon because of not agreeing with the viewpoint, and not wanting to run strong viewpoints at all. If you follow Clay’s work, you’ll see he gets to land a lot of solid punches.

#7 Milt Priggee
May/12/2011
@ 1:10 pm

THANKS Clay for the clarification….there is a difference between killing and passing over.
AND for pointing out that the editor chose the funny option versus your best work that raised the visibility of his newspaper that pays him.
SO your paper didn’t pay for the production of that cartoon…wow, now even staffers are working for free.
Yeah- print is only a little dead.

#8 Clay Jones
May/12/2011
@ 2:21 pm

Milt, I didn’t think of it that way…I don’t even think of the balance of what I do and what I’m paid for anymore. But hey, I used the paper they paid for…and the pen and ink they bought…so yeah!

I believe most papers, and websites, go for funny over strong viewpoints. That really bugs me because you can have both. Matt Bors, Mike Lester, Matt Davies (that’s a shorter list from the real short list)…they’re all usually funny with a very strong viewpoint.

#9 Mike Lester
May/12/2011
@ 5:13 pm

So, you can distribute cartoons that your paper refuses? With THEIR name on it? Are you compensated by secondary mkt./buyer? (pls. say “yes) I don’t quite get that your paper turns down a cartoon but allows it to run ANYwhere other than your personal blog.

Clay, you work hard for the money my friend. Kudos.

fwiw: Matt Bors is only funny to look at. Ditto Davies.

#10 Clay Jones
May/12/2011
@ 10:57 pm

Mike, they leave me alone when it comes to the website, the blog and my syndication (knock on wood). I’ve enjoyed a lot of freedom lately.

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