See All Topics

Home / Section: AAEC-feed

Best Editorial Cartoons Of The Year to be no more

From Steve Artley:

Pelican Publishing Company, which produced the annual collection of editorial cartoons, Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year, announced on November 18 that it has ceased production of the series, ending with the 2014 edition released last spring. The series, originally edited by editorial cartoonist Charles Brooks began in the early seventies and for many years was the only publication of its kind that showcased the year’s political cartoons from all across America, during the golden age of editorial cartooning. At the time, nearly every American city had a morning and evening newspaper, and each paper had a full time editorial cartoonist. By the mid 1980’s, with a greater number of newspapers being bought up by large news agencies that relied more on syndicated stories and art, the number began to dwindle. Now, there are less than 40 full time editorial cartoonists on staff at metropolitan newspapers in the United States. Public interest in traditional political cartooning has waned, as well. Within the past few years, online cartoon anthologies such as TIME and NPR, along with cartoon roundups once popular in the New York Times, Newsweek, and other print publications have been eliminated due to diminished ratings. While no details have been revealed from Pelican on its decision to cease publication, this action comes as no surprise amid the diminishment of the editorial cartooning field.

The book was often criticized by editorial cartoonists as being anything but the best of the year. But I don’t think anyone would argue that removing a book about editorial cartoons from bookstore bookshelves is an indication of a rebounding art form (at least in print).

Community Comments

#1 Crowden Satz
December/18/2014
@ 4:50 pm

Maybe they stopped it because with the decimation of the editorial cartoonist ranks they couldn’t get enough cartoons to fill an entire volume.

#2 mike beckom
December/18/2014
@ 5:39 pm

Crowden, that wasn’t the case. While it can be debated that there ‘were’ some questionable calls made on inclusion of some toons, for the most part, this book was full of some of the biggest names (and their art) in the business. I was lucky enough to have some of my toons featured in this cool book for the last 7-8 years, although I hardly consider myself in the same league as some of these folks.

It was chock full of toons from both ends of the political spectrum and everything in between. I have seen firsthand how the major toon syndicates are literally GIVING content away in order to hang onto their client papers. Editorial cartoons are a great source of news, debate and entertainment for a lot of papers. However, a lot of papers nowdays are going to inkslingers who can deliver more ‘local flavor content’ and less national and international news. Sadly, I am a dinosaur…..and I was born much too late to truly get to enjoy the ‘great salad days’ of editorial cartooning.

#3 Mark McComas
January/2/2015
@ 11:40 am

I am happy to say that my son, Wade McComas, is one of those “inkslingers.” He does contract Political Cartoons for the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail. The DM gets a lot of comments on his work concerning local issues and they evidently feel that Wade is a great asset to their newspaper. He does roughly 1-2 cartoons a month.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.