Seated at his desk at The Houston Chronicle in July 2017, Nick Anderson was neck-deep in research, searching for the subject of his latest cartoon, while mentally packing ahead of his family’s impending move to the Riverside Terrace house he’d closed on only six days prior when the phone rang: his boss needed to see him in his office.
Anderson was the very last of the Lone Star State’s once formidable cadre of staff editorial cartoonists. His abrupt pink slipping marked the end of an era, and left Anderson himself adrift. The Pulitzer Prize winner’s dream job, spending his days drawing sharply observed cartoons poking fun, pointing out failings, and puncturing hubris on all sides of the political arena in local, state, and national politics, was gone. “My entire identity was wrapped up in being a journalist, being a cartoonist, and working in newspapers,” he says. “Having that suddenly taken away, it was like part of me had died.”
The Houstonian profiles Nick Anderson and his rise from job loss (“freelancing syndicated cartoons didn’t come close to covering the bills“) to creating the uncensored editorial cartoon site Counterpoint (“liberated from a media enterprise’s strict guardrails“).
Nick Anderson is happy with his Act 2 of Counterpoint, Patreon, the City of Houston, and syndication.