Stegelin Marks 18 Years at 25 Year Old City Paper


Steve Stegelin’s illustrations have appeared in City Paper’s pages for 18 of its 25 years. You can see some of his best cartoons here.

Each week, his award-winning editorial cartoon and Blotter drawings elicit laughs, prods and probably a few nods or head shakes, depending on whether you’re being lampooned by the city’s resident newspaper caricaturist.

Celebrating its Silver Anniversary, The Charleston City Paper
interviewed their resident editorial cartoonist Steve Stegelin.

CP: What’s your timeline like each week for the editorial cartoon?

Steve Stegelin: With the editorial cartoon, it’s more timely. That’s one thing that’s changed over the years: Used to be, I could work a week in advance with ideas and it would still be timely. But I think with the 24-hour news cycle and because of social media, the news cycle is a lot faster-paced.

I kind of keep an eye out for stories that are going on, and one of those stories has to have a decent kind of opinion and a decent kind of riff to run with for the joke, in a cartoon perspective. Basically I will sit down on Friday and start really kind of deciding what story I want to tackle. And by Sunday, have the cartoon knocked out.

CP: You also do the Blotter cartoon each week. What’s your process for that?

SS: I do get recognized more in public for the Blotter than from my political cartoons. It’s like this unifying thing that everyone reads the Blotter — only a subset seem to pay attention to the news side as much.

I usually tackle the Blotter illustration almost like an improv exercise. Usually I’ll get the material on a Wednesday or Thursday and try to knock it out that evening. Really try to keep it loose and spontaneous.

I’ve been very impressed/amazed at how consistent Charleston is in providing drunks or petty thieves.

Full interview here.

Steve easily segues between comic panels and comic strips. With a great style.

© Steve Stegelin

Each time I sit down at the drawing board, my goal is to create a cartoon that makes the reader think, if even for a second. That said, if I manage to elicit any response — a head nod, a begrudging chuckle, an angry Facebook post — I take that as a win. So in celebration of the City Paper keeping me around this long, enjoy this sampling of cartoons that “won” by doing just that over the years.

Steve picks some of his favorite editorials from years past.