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Jon Penfold Folds, Lays Down His Pen

I’m hanging up my hat. Or perhaps it would be more appropriate to say, I’m putting down my pen. Either way, I have decided to retire. But not from this column. Don’t worry about that. I still plan on contributing rants, musings, guidance and advice on the topic of writing for the foreseeable future. No, I have decided to retire from my other job at this paper.

Author Jon Penfold, who also writes a column for the East Aurora Advertiser,
has been the editorial cartoonist for that weekly newspaper for four years.

For those of you who don’t know, up until this week I have also been the editorial cartoonist for this fine publication. Over the past four years, I have submitted over 200 drawings. Together, they illustrated my unique view of this experiment we call society. Individually, they tackled a range of topics, from climate change and technological dependency to crooked politicians and the Buffalo Bills.

© Jon Penfold

Jon admits his entry into editorial cartooning was prompted by the Trump presidency.

It would take a con man being elected president before I had the urge to draw cartoons again. I wanted to be part of the resistance and cartooning seemed like the best outlet. I would sketch a cartoon, post it to social media, and watch the reactions trickle in.

Then one day I received a strange email with an offer to be the editorial cartoonist for this newspaper (a reporter had seen my cartoons on the internet and recommended me). I took the job. And I enjoyed it. Until I didn’t.

But now:

It’s easy to convey an idea when you have an unlimited word count, but trying to express something with as few words as possible can be quite challenging. I simply don’t feel up to the challenge anymore.

When an artist isn’t passionate about their art, it usually shows. It’s not fair to the artist or their audience. Perhaps one day I’ll be passionate about cartooning again, but until then, I’d rather focus my creative energy on the projects I truly care about (like this column).

Read Jon’s farewell to cartooning here.

An archive of Jon’s cartoons.

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