The dearth of magazines buying gag cartoons does not bode well.
‘Nightmare!’ is how The Spectator’s cartoon editor Michael Heath has been describing cartooning for at least 30 years, but it’s truer now than ever. Eighty years ago, cartoonists were so celebrated that waxworks of Low, Strube and Poy were displayed in Madame Tussauds. Today, all that remains of Low is a pair of waxy hands in Kent University’s British Cartoon Archive. We are a vanishing species.
Cartoonist Nick Newman on the dire straits faced by gag cartoonists.
And while the article is from Great Britain it applies to the U.S. too.
July 24 update:
Cartoonist Terry Anderson has responded to Nick’s Death of the Gag Cartoon article:
…the single panel or pocket gag, perhaps more than any other form of cartooning, has perished in the teeth of the meme-driven internet.
…editors in print media can’t/won’t use them. Q: is that a problem, really?
I’d say no. Newsprint is walking dead, God knows I wish it weren’t but we must cut the chord..
Rear Terry’s entire Twitter thread here.
2 thoughts on “Magazine Cartoonists Going the Way of The Dodo? – update”
“So why the dearth of new cartooning talent?” I think the question should be, “So why the dearth of new cartooning outlets?”
There are thousands of new cartoonists and most are published online these days. I follow so many great cartoonists on social media – Instagram has a plethora – really great stuff, most published daily.
The cartoonists are there, there are just aren’t many outlets for them other than a few social media sites and their own websites.
It’s true while there are more strips and long form comics being created, there are still many single panel comics, the type I enjoy the most.
Just like every other discipline in the field, panel cartooning finds itself in existential crisis. Sadly, cartoonists’ expectations have to change. This article mentions reported payouts from the NYer, which on the face of it seems substantial, but when you consider the hours spent creating a batch of cartoons where most if not all will be rejected, that pay breaks down to pennies per hour at the most. Gone are the days of the full time cartoonist. The reality is, that if you want to be a professional cartoonist, you’re going to need another job.
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