E&P reported that Kansas City Star editorial cartoonist Lee Judge will be speaking at the National Conference of Editorial Writers on September 29th. The topic of his speech? “Making the Case for an Endangered Species: Political Cartoonists.”
When I wrote last week that today’s editorial cartoonists are “infatuated by their own victim status” this is an example of what I mean. It’s becoming an incessant whine that their profession is in decline – but it’s been that way for over 50 years and I’m starting to gloss over on the message. It’s not new, and it doesn’t tell me (if I was a newspaper editor) why in this changing environment I should keep the cartoonist other than to continue the grand tradition. Does the AAEC have a positive message that might inspire editors that editorial cartoonists are evolving as well – doing SOMETHING DIFFERENT to warrant their continued existence? I got to assume editorial cartoonists would get more milage out of a positive campaign rather than the tired and so far unsuccessful, self-destructive woe-is-me path that they’re currently on.
I apologize (somewhat) if I’m coming across as a back street driver (one that is no longer in the car itself). I have a great passion for editorial cartooning and it would be a tremendous travesty if the art was to disappear completely – but looking in from the outside, the messaging that has come from the community is reminiscent of the Debbie Downer character on Saturday Night Live. Always negative. And who wants to associate with someone always bringing things down.