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Anderson Answers – A Counterpoint Debriefing

The news of Counterpoint Media creating a new syndication division brought some questions with it. Counterpoint founder Nick Anderson was kind enough to answer a few of the questions we had.

Foremost among concerns was, with this added to Nick’s schedule, it would slow his cartoon output.

Said Nick:

I will absolutely continue cartooning. I’m doing three cartoons per week right now, which still leaves room for my other duties and obligations. I drew my first editorial cartoon when I was 14 years old. I’ve been in love with it ever since. It has been an animating passion in my life, and it’s heartbreaking to see it fall on hard times. More than ever, I want to continue creating editorial cartoons. But even more, I want to do whatever I can to help improve the business model for this rich American tradition of cartooning.

So, with a very talented crew at the helm (Amy Lago-editor, Ron O’Neal-sales, Rebecca Palkovics-pr) this is just a baseball introduced into Nick’s juggling act, not a bowling ball thrown into the rotation.


© Nick Anderson

But then if Counterpoint is starting a syndicate, why not with the cartoonists already contributing?

We plan to launch with the former Washington Post cartoonists [Clay Bennett, Lisa Benson, Tim Campbell, Jeff Danziger, Jack Ohman] … as well as Pedro X. Molina, a current contributor to Counterpoint. Editorial cartoonists often have existing obligations through other licensing and distribution agreements, but we would be honored to take on current Counterpoint cartoonists in the future…[T]hose cartoonists represented by other syndicates will continue to be available through their respective syndicates.

So the majority of current Counterpoint Newsletter cartoonists

Counterpoint’s resident cartoonists include Lisa Benson, Ted Rall, Chip Bok, Darrin Bell, Kevin KAL Kallaugher, Scott Stantis, Mike Lester, Chris Britt, Michael de Adder, Nate Beeler, Rob Rogers, Rick McKee, Patrick Chappatte, Nick Anderson and Michael Ramirez.

… have obligations to other organizations outside their freelance work for Counterpoint, and their freelance work for Counterpoint is not available for the new Counterpoint syndicate.
(Lisa Benson’s obligations to WPWG transfers to CL&S in June.)

With the Washington Post Writers Group “winding down” their cartoon and comics distribution business, everything came together to keep that group together and become the foundation to build the Counterpoint Licensing and Syndication system.

Here is a set of related questions:

Will this be separate from Counterpoint?
The syndicate will be a separate entity from the newsletter, but will exist under the same umbrella of Counterpoint Media.

Who owns the syndicate and what is its name?
The syndicate will be a part of Counterpoint Media. The name will be Counterpoint Licensing and Syndication. I’m an owner and founder of Counterpoint and Amy Lago will be brought in with an equity stake as well. Our primary investor in Counterpoint is Vivek Garipalli. You can read more about the development of Counterpoint here.

Is there a website set up yet?
We have three, one for Counterpoint Licensing and Syndication, a substack for the Counterpoint Newsletter, and one for Counterpoint Media Group, the parent organization for the syndicate and the newsletter.

When will the syndicate go active?
Counterpoint Licensing and Syndication will begin representing the cartoonists on June 1, 2022.

Will cartoonists own the copyrights?
Yes.

Have you contacted and lined up clients?
We are just beginning that process in preparation for our upcoming launch in June. Our biggest priority is ensuring continued coverage for our cartoonists and their current media clients.

Is WPWG willing to share their client list?
While our agreements are directly with the cartoonists, The Post has generously offered to introduce us to their current clients so that we can arrange new agreements with those that are interested.

It is our understanding that The Washington Post has been very helpful in facilitating the transfer from WPWG to Counterpoint. (aside: The WaPo reaffirms that it will honor all existing comic contracts.)


Will you be taking submissions from cartoonists for ed-op cartoons and comic strips?
Yes. More information will be available on our website in the near future.

Are future plans to get to Creators, King Features, Andrews McMeel size?
We are going to focus on providing the best service we can to our creators. If we find that we can scale up without losing effectiveness, we will entertain those possibilities. But we are content to be a boutique brand, if that means we can deliver the best service possible and it furthers Counterpoint’s mission to support independent political cartooning.

We thank Nick for his indulgence.

 

Community Comments

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#1 Bob Brenner
May/6/2022
@ 5:49 am

They should also take on some new cartoonists for daily strip/panel syndication. That would be totally cool to see some new material and characters that are not 80 years old. You know, fresh material.

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