NYT: The sports cartoon is dying

Excellent article in the New York Times about the decline of the sports cartoon in newspapers.

They blended the skills of a caricaturist and the mind-set of a columnist. They were entertainers and ink-stained jokesters. They were newsroom denizens and deadline artists who churned out five or six cartoons a week that received prominent display. If they possessed power, it was that they drew players, owners and managers in ways that reporters could not with their words.

Sports cartoons were usually more amusing and informative than critical, which reflected the times when the sports section was the fun-and-games department.

5 thoughts on “NYT: The sports cartoon is dying

  1. That’s a very interesting article, especially the comments about Bill Gallo’s passing taking the tradition of sports cartooning with him.

    But the most pleasant surprise was seeing Mike Ricigliano as the centerpiece of the article. Mike and I worked together at a crappy paste-up job on L.I. around ’74 I think. He was a hoot and was doing some very funny self-promo pieces for his cartooning work, which I still have somewhere!

    Then at some point in the ’90s I came across one of his cartoons in that racing paper (The Racing Form? Racing Sheet? something like that), hunted him down and we had a nice chat on the phone.

    Now this. I have no doubt that he’ll figure something out and land on his feet. He’s a sharp guy, very funny, and he’ll find a niche he probably never even knew about before.

  2. We still have for sports comic strips:
    Tank MacMarara
    In The Bleachers
    Girls and Sports

  3. Tank and In the Bleachers are a different genre. The local cartoonist — pure editorial or sports-editorial — gives a voice to local concerns, whether it’s the mayor’s plan for beautification or the local franchise’s plan to win the division.

    Unfortunately, while TV stations responded to the cable explosion by beefing up their local news coverage, newspapers have responded to the Internet by abandoning all identity with their own communities.

    Sad and stupid, but there you have it.

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