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Answering a College Student’s Questions About Cartoons

Sometimes I get emails from college students who are studying editorial cartoons; they often ask the same questions so I thought I would post this recent response I wrote to a student.


Hi James,

Your friends who think editorial cartoons are a dying art form should be told that editorial cartoons are more important around the world than ever before, and with the internet we have a far larger audience than our predecessors who were limited to print.
1. How many hours of research go into each of your cartoons?
PencilSlingerSometimes I’ll look for photo reference for the art, which doesn’t take long. You can see the whole process in real time by looking at my videos on DarylCagle.com. I live-stream on Twitch when I draw each cartoon now. Each cartoon takes about six hours.
2. How much time do you spend reviewing the news everyday?
I usually read two or three newspapers a day and watch cable TV news. Probably three hours a day. I wouldn’t call this “research” and it isn’t related to a particular cartoon.
3. What are two things that make you different from other cartoonists?
The biggest difference for me is that I have more freedom than most cartoonists.  I own and run my syndicate (CagleCartoons.comPoliticalCartoons.comCagleWorld.com) so I don’t have an editor or a publication of record. My cartoons are distributed to about 850 subscribing newspapers, including about half of America’s daily paid-circulation newspapers. I don’t have to draw on the topic of the day as most cartoonist do, and I can maintain an irregular schedule, drawing on topics when a cartoon is needed. I don’t have to draw about the weather and celebrity obituaries as I did when I had an editor. The two differences: more freedom, no editor.
4. Who is your favorite person to portray?

Right now both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are gifts to cartoonists.

5. What experiences do you gain in traveling and how does traveling affect your work?

Editorial cartoons are much more important and more highly regarded internationally than they are in America. I am inspired by my brave colleagues around the world and it is great fun to meet them – especially those who put themselves at risk with their cartoons. In most of the world a cartoonist can’t draw the president of his own country or he’ll be fired, sued, beaten, jailed or killed. Friends of mine have been jailed by their governments and murdered by terrorists because of their cartoons.  I enjoy the best press freedoms in the world in America. I have it easy – I only get attacked by hackers.

6. If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking at a career as a political cartoonist what would it be?

It is the same advice I would give to any aspiring, young journalist. Newsroom jobs are in decline. New journalists and cartoonists need to create a place where their work is seen by a loyal audience on the Web; they need to develop a reason why their voice is important for their audience. Journalists have to be entrepreneurs now. The days of getting a job at a newspaper and having a big publisher take care of your career are gone. There are more opportunities now, and it is simplistic to look at the decline in employee jobs as a decline for the cartooning profession. It is a big, exciting new world out there.

I have more freedom and a much bigger audience now that I have not been working for a newspaper for over sixteen years. There is no single path for everyone, as there was in the days when making a career meant applying for a job at a newspaper.

About your project …  Think of editorial cartoonists as columnists who speak with images. We rarely see students analyzing columns because it is assumed that the columnist has clearly said what he meant to say. Cartoonists depend on their readers already knowing the news. Unlike columnists, we don’t convey facts; we convey simple, visual arguments. People cut the cartoons out to stick them on their fridge; they don’t do that with columns. Images are more powerful than words.

Cartoons are often analyzed by students because cartoons are on state mandated, AP Social Studies tests in 8th and 11th grade, in all 50 states, and teachers “teach to the test.” High school kids typically don’t think much about the news and often don’t have the background to understand what political cartoonists are drawing about. Cartoonists strive to make their points clearly, so the idea of editorial cartoons as puzzles that need to be solved and need an explanation or analysis is disappointing. If a cartoon needs to be explained, it is a poor cartoon or, more often, the reader is not well informed.

Good luck with your project!
Best,

Daryl

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Blog

See My Big, Long, Video Interview with Mr. Media

Here’s my long interview with Bob Andelman (Mr. Media) about my work, the editorial cartooning business and editorial cartoons around the world.

This is a cartoon I was working on when I did the interview at my drawing table.

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Blog

A New, Full Time Job for Cartoonist Bill Day

I was pleased to learn that my talented, cartoonist buddy, Bill Day, just got a full time job as an editorial cartoonist for FloridaPolitics.com. New jobs for editorial cartoonists are rare these days, and full time jobs with Web site firms are even more rare, so this is great to see!

Kudos to Peter Schorsch of FloridaPolitics.com for being a brave trendsetter who sees the need and value of having a staff cartoonist and local cartoons. Bill will be drawing about Florida issues, at least five cartoons a week, in addition to illustrations for the site.

Bill is formerly the cartoonist for the Memphis Commercial-Appeal and the Detroit Free-Press. I syndicate Bill’s cartoons to newspapers and Bill’s work will continue to appear here on Cagle.com.

Correction: 4:20pm. Bill tells me he hasn’t moved to Florida, he’s still in Memphis. OK. Congrats again, Bill.

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Blog Columns

Cartoonists and Red Lines


Like blaming a rape victim for her “provocative dress,” many press pundits blame the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists (and the Danish cartoonists before them) for crossing “red lines,” and inviting trouble. In the past few days the small community of American editorial cartoonists have been getting calls from their local media, asking for comments about self-censorship and what subjects we should be forbidden to draw in a free society.

Political cartoonists have no clear red lines, but we are certainly censored. Cartoonists are a macho bunch; we want to draw provocative cartoons, bashing the reader on the head with the most powerful images possible. Editors see cartoonists as bomb throwers, to be reigned in.

There are about fifteen-hundred daily, paid circulation newspapers in America, and less than fifty cartoonists have jobs working for those papers, the vast majority of the papers use “syndicated” cartoons, culling a cartoon or two each day from a large menu of available, national cartoon options. Newspaper editors have been growing more timid, wanting to avoid reprinting anything that might offend a declining readership; they usually avoid printing the most hard-hitting cartoons. The result is that American editorial cartoons are tame compared to cartoons around the world – and in France.

Yesterday, one of the cartoonists I syndicate, David Fitzsimmons of The Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, drew a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad that we delivered to our 850 subscribing newspapers. Editorial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad are not unusual. We were flooded with calls from editors questioning our wisdom in posting the cartoon, and asking if other editors were running it before deciding to run it themselves.

Cartoons are more powerful than words. Readers don’t cut columns out of the newspaper to hang on their fridges. Editors quickly learn that cartoons generate more angry e-mail than the same ideas expressed in words. Editors prefer cartoons that are like Jay Leno jokes, about a topic in the news, but expressing no real opinion. If we want our work to be reprinted, cartoonists have to consider drawings that timid editorial-gatekeepers will let pass. This is the censorship of the marketplace.

I know cartoonists who insist on drawing offensive cartoons with four letter words; they complain that the market is unfair for rejecting them. Tame cartoonists are sometimes derided by our macho colleagues for selling-out to syndication. My French cartoonist friends joke about American cartoonists being prudes. For example, the French draw bare breasts in their cartoons frequently; American cartoonists can’t do that if they want their cartoons to be reprinted in U.S. newspapers -a bare-breasted fact that amuses my French colleagues.

Our censorship of the marketplace in a free society is nothing like government censorship, a concept that is difficult for the much of the world to understand or appreciate. Around the world editorial cartooning is a dangerous profession, and censorship is real. Cartoonists in China self-censor, never drawing the Chinese president; cartoonists in Cuba have never drawn Fidel Castro. Our cartoonists in Singapore tell me they can draw whatever they want, as long as it isn’t about Singapore. Government censorship is so common around the world that calls for red lines seem reasonable to many.

Editorial cartoons are more important around the world than they are in America. Charlie Hebdo is a top magazine in France; it is on newsstands everywhere; the top French cartoonists vie to be on the pages of Charlie Hebdo and a second, satirical paper, Le Canard Enchainé (the “Unchained Duck”). Sadly, there are no similar publications on American newsstands. Visitors to Cairo are greeted by dozens of newspapers, most with editorial cartoons on the front page. Editorial cartooning has a much stronger tradition in the romance language and Arabic speaking countries where editorial cartoonists are among the most influential voices in society. It is no surprise that editorial cartoons are the flashpoint of a clash of civilizations.

The calls for cartoonists to self-censor are absurd. In a free society we will always have a broad range of voices. Extremist cartoonists are effectively censored when there are no publications willing to convey their rants – and no audiences who want to see their offensive work. Cartoonists are constantly pushing the limits, with editors guarding the red lines, pushing back.

In France, the heroic Charlie Hebdo cartoonists lampooned issues that are important to their French audience, with Muslim extremists at the top of their lampoon-list. Cartoonists respond to intolerance with ridicule. Typically, timid editors respond to intolerance with too much restraint.

There should be no “red lines,” just good judgment. Editors should show more bravery. The cartoonists are already brave; we need more editors who cover our backs.

Stop asking cartoonists about red lines. Ask editors about red lines. Ask the editors to be more brave.

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St Just le Martel, the Euro-Editorial Cartoonists Convention in France

I had great fun at the European editorial cartoonists convention in St Just le Martel France the last two years and I’m going again this year. It is a public event in the small French town, and any fans who would like to visit with the scores of attending editorial cartoonists are welcome to come. The cartoonists often sit at drawing tables and are happy to chat and do drawings for visitors.

The ancient and charming church in St Just le Martel that houses St Just’s bones.
This is an adult St. Just breaking his dinnerplate halo with his martel, in an image that the town seems to have adopted as a logo (I don’t know who the artist was on this one).

St Just le Martel is the patron saint of a little French town near Limoges; his bones are housed at an ancient little church in town.  The story goes that little St Just was walking along one day when God asked him to throw his hammer (martel); when the hammer landed, water squirted out of the ground. God told little St Just to build a church on the spot, founding the little town. That’s an adult St. Just (right) breaking his dinnerplate halo with his martel, in an image that the town seems to have adopted as a logo (I don’t know who the artist was on this one).  That’s the church that houses his bones at the left.

The tiny town opens itself up to editorial cartoonist from around the world every year at the end of September.  The townsfolks put the cartoonists up in their homes and get together to prepare giant meals for the cartoonists and what looks like the whole town through the “Salon.” And the little town has built a big, nice cartoon museum (below). It is hard to imagine any little town in America doing something like this (although it looks like Kenosha, Wisconsin and Marceline, Missouri may be headed in that direction).

Here’s an aerial view of the cartoon Museum in St Just le Martel, France. For scale, those are three colorful, life-size, cow sculptures on the roof, over the entrance to the museum.

 

 

This is my poster for the exhibition this year.

 

 

There is a contingent of Australian cartoonists attending this year, along with six American cartoonists that are coming with me:  Steve Sack, Rick McKee, Adam Zyglis, Monte Wolverton and Nate Beeler. We’re doing exhibitions of American Views of Putin and Ferguson Missouri; I expect the Australian cartoonists will have an exhibition of Aussie cartoons.

I did the poster for this year’s Salon (right, click here to see the sketch and a large version of the poster). The Salon/festival runs over two weekends from September 27th through October 5th. The first weekend they give their “Humor Tendre” (tender humor) award to someone like a children’s book illustrator who draws nice, sweet cartoons; the award consists of a live sheep.  The week between the weekends can be a bit slow, but some cartoonists hang out for the week between the two weekends.

The second weekend, when most of the editorial cartoonists attend, they give the “Humor Vache” (cow humor, or harsh humor) award to a more satirical, caustic cartoonist. I won the cow last year, which is why I did the poster this year; there seems to be a tradition of the cow winner doing the poster for the following year.  See me with my charming prize, Josette the cow, at  last year’s event here.

St Just le Martel is way out in the French boondocks, cow country, and they are proud of their cows. The cow has become a symbol for the Salon/festival – the Limoges cow is always brown, like Josette.  Here are some more posters from recent Salons …

 

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Daryl Has a Cow

MeandJosette400wide Daryl Has a Cow cartoons

Here I am with my cow, Josette. I’m holding the St. Just porcelain statue depicting their logo that they give to grand prix winners.

I just got back from the grand editorial cartooning festival in St. Just le Martel, France where I won the grand prix, the “Prix de l’humor Vache” award, which was an actual cow, named Josette.

The “Salon de St. Just, ” in its 32nd year, draws cartoonists from around the world to a tiny town near Limoges.  The townspeople have adopted the cartoonists and hold a party that stretches over two weekends, in a grand cartoon museum they built in the middle of cow country.  Most of the cartoonists stay in the homes of volunteer villagers – the entire event is put together by townpeople  Cartoonists usually come for only one weekend of the festival, splitting the crowd between what becomes two different weekend groups of roughly 120 cartoonists each.

This was my second “Salon,” last year I went with our knuckle-dragging, conservative, “Tea Party” cartoonist, Eric Allie, who was a strange beast to the French.  This year I went with three liberal cartoonists, Pat Bagley of the Salt Lake Tribune, Steve Sack of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and Bob Englehart of the Hartford Courant for three days of open bar and schmoozing with our international colleagues.

Cowboys400wide Daryl Has a Cow cartoons

Here I am with my Cagle Cartoons colleagues, dubbed “Cagle Cowboys”, from left, Josette, Pat Bagley, Me, Bob Englehart and Steve Sack below.

My festival friends tell me that a cow is usually a placid animal, but sometimes the cow will get annoyed and give a swift, painful kick as a surprise to an unlucky bystander; this contributes to the idea that the cow is a little sneaky, nasty and unpredictable.  The “Prix de l’humor Vache,” the grand prize they gave me, is described as an award for “caustic humor.”  “Humor Vache” (funny cow) rhymes with “Amour Vache” (love cow, or more accurately “rough love”) a French idiom for a love affair that is nasty, consisting of harsh words and arguments.  In France, to refer to someone as a “vache” (cow) is a little bit nasty.  In contrast, on the first Saturday of the Salon, they give out the “Humor Tendre” (Tender Humor) award, which is a sheep, given to a sweet cartoonist such as a children’s book illustrator.

The Limoges area is proud of their cows, which are raised for beef and are all a warm brown color.  The cow is the symbol and mascot of the Salon.  Every year, the “Prix de l’humor Vache” cow is named “Josette” and is actually given to the winning cartoonist.  At the ceremony, the mayor of St. Just, Gerard Vandenbroucke, awarded Limoges porcelain cows to my three American compatriots, dubbing them “Cagle’s cowboys.” Bob, Pat and Steve, who can also claim to have won cows (although, not real cows) took their little cows around to all the other cartoonists at the Salon to sign; it was charming.

StJustPosterforBlog Daryl Has a Cow cartoonsTypically, the winning cartoonist is expected to take a cash award (I still don’t know how much) in lieu of actually taking delivery of the real Josette, who would be difficult to check on a plane and would likely be an unpleasant roommate in my tiny, Nashville apartment.  But, they make it clear that the cartoonist really won a cow and could actually take the cow if he or she chooses to, and there are stories of cartoonists in past years choosing to take the cow.  I’m told that are some amusing movies of a past winner taking his cow to Paris, trying to bring the cow on the Metro, and taking the cow up the Eiffel Tower.  If anyone can find these movies online, I’d love to take a look.

Part of winning the grand prize cow is the obligation to do the art for the poster for the next Salon.  The poster this year featured a lovely Degas-like ballerina cow. The festival people then dress a cow sculpture, in the entry to the museum, to match the cow on the poster.  My plan is to give the cow on next year’s poster a very elaborate costume that will be a unique challenge for a St. Just volunteer to create for the cow statue.  Right now, I’m thinking of doing the poster cow as Marie Antoinette with a huge, elaborate, flowing gown.

 Daryl Has a Cow cartoons

Here’s Bob Englehart with the cow statue at the entrance to the exhibition. The cow is dressed to match the poster which is a ballerina this year. Next year I’ll be doing the poster and I plan to put the cow in a very elaborate costume that will be a challenge for St. Just’s volunteer seamstresses.

The whole event in St. Just is a lovely boost for our beleaguered editorial cartooning profession which is suffering in France as it is here and around the world with newspapers declining everywhere.  I’d love to see some of the great French attitude about the value of editorial cartooning rub off on other parts of the world, like America, which treats cartooning as a second class art form.  I can’t imagine a whole town in the USA choosing to build a municipal cartoon museum, opening their homes, and pitching together to cook dinner for hundreds of editorial cartoonists – and, of-course, a nine day open bar would be unthinkable in America.

1375278 10151580985341735 237710961 n Daryl Has a Cow cartoons

From left to right, Bob Englehart, Stave Sack, St. Just’s Mayor Gerard Vandenbroucke in the red shirt, me holding my “Prix de l’humor Vache” porcelain statue, Josette, and Pat Bagley in the lower right corner.

Below is a scan of the Limoges newspaper front page and interior story from the day after I had a cow.

FrontPage600Wide Daryl Has a Cow cartoons

Page7 600wide Daryl Has a Cow cartoons

 

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Columns

Miranda Rights and the Cartoon Police

Now I know how Mitt Romney felt when he was dogged by complaints about his “flip-flopping”. Nothing makes editorial cartoonists angrier than another cartoonist who changes his mind.

There was a short lived debate about whether a Miranda warning should be given to Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who had been questioned without being given the warning. I drew a cartoon featuring Dzhokhar with two other, famous killers, and a caption that concluded that “none of them” deserved a Miranda warning. I got no response from editors or other cartoonists to this cartoon, but I got such a strong reaction from readers against the cartoon, with many well reasoned arguments, that I changed my mind — something that doesn’t happen much in the editorial cartooning profession.

I remember when the Miranda decision came down in the 1960’s, on a 5-4 vote. It was controversial for a long time. Liberals liked it, conservatives still don’t like it. The Miranda debate resurfaced when Dzhokhar was questioned without being given a Miranda warning, a topic that filled editorial pages for nearly a week.

Of-course Dzhokhar doesn’t personally deserve any special consideration, but the American people deserve to have civil rights that are applied consistently to all, including the most heinous killers. Most of the reader responses to my cartoon conflated reading the Miranda warning to Dzhokhar with Dzhokhar’s overall civil rights; I have come to the conclusion that this is a good thing. I see now that the Miranda warning has become a part of our national fabric and I changed my mind. I really read the arguments that readers send to me. I drew a new cartoon that showed a revised conclusion that “all of” the killers deserved to be read their Miranda warning.

Then I learned that, as I was drawing the revised cartoon last Monday, Dzhokhar was read his Miranda warning, so I doubt that my second cartoon got reprinted much. Even so, the talking heads on TV were engaging in renewed debate about the wisdom of giving the Miranda warning in this case, which caused the suspect, Dzhokhar, to stop “talking.”

I’ve changed my mind before, not often, and usually over a longer period of time, but I won’t go back into my online archive to delete my regrettable old cartoons. I posted them, I should live with my history. So both versions of my cartoon are still posted on my web site. (My old cartoons supporting the run up to war in Iraq are still posted too — I’m more embarrassed by those.)

I got almost no response to the second version of the cartoon from readers or editors, but there was an angry torrent of responses from my fellow editorial cartoonists. Some of my colleagues blogged that I had a new, insidious business plan to make more money by offering two versions of the same cartoon, for both liberal and conservative editors — to sell twice as many cartoons with only one drawing. Others agreed, adding that I was cheapening the profession with this crass, two-faced commercialism.

One political cartoonist blogged that my cartoon was no editorial cartoon at all (and by extension, that I am no editorial cartoonist) because editorial cartoons must, by definition, express only one opinion. Another editorial cartoonist raged at my cartoon in his blog by calling me the “Osama Bin Laden” of editorial cartooning.

Some cartoonists wrote that I must surely be lying about my reason for changing the cartoon, because the idea that I would change my mind was simply not credible. Others called for me to be punished for my breach of the unwritten laws of cartoon ethics. Some demanded that I be thrown out of our professional organization.

Other editorial cartoonists demanded that I remove the old version of the cartoon from my archive, as I would do with a cartoon that was revised to correct a spelling error. The idea that an editor could purchase and print both versions of the cartoon, with two different opinions, was repugnant. Bloggers and journalism sites reported on the cartoon controversy.

Yes, the cartoon police really do exist.

I know this all sounds unbelievable, but I’m not exaggerating. It is fascinating that editorial cartoonists have such a different perspective on their own work than editors and readers do. We editorial cartoonists take ourselves far more seriously than anyone else takes us.

I’m tempted to resist this cartoon police brutality. When I’m arrested, I hope they read me my Miranda warning.

Daryl Cagle is a cartoonist who runs the CagleCartoons.com newspaper syndicate distributing editorial cartoons to more than 850 newspapers around the world including the paper you are reading now; he is a past president of the National Cartoonists Society. Comments to Daryl may be sent to [email protected] Read Daryl’s blog at www.cagle.com/daryl.

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What’s Up With Those Cagle Post Ads Everywhere?

FacebookAd What’s Up With Those Cagle Post Ads Everywhere? cartoons

This is what the Cagle Post/Mediapass ads look like on Facebook, in the column on the right.

This weekend, visitors to our site probably noticed that there are ads for Cagle Post appearing on web sites everywhere – even on Facebook.  What’s up with that?

We’ve been trying some new things since our partnership with msnbc.com was dissolved recently – trying some because we can now, and couldn’t before, and trying others things because we no longer have the income from our nice, former partners at msnbc.com so we’re forced to make some tough choices.

We’ve redesigned the site to optimize ad revenue and social networking; part of this change was putting many cartoons onto single pages so that we can have comments and permalinks with the cartoons. This change has resulted in better ad revenue and SEO, even though I, and many of our readers preferred multiple cartoons on the pages, multiple cartoons on a page is a lousy layout for SEO – and without our traffic-heavy partners at msnbc.com, we have to pay attention to SEO now.

Another thing we’re trying, which has bothered some of our readers, is a paywall. Everybody hates paywalls, and many of our readers tell me that all content on the web should be free – and until recently, our site has been totally free because msnbc.com wanted it that way.

728 What’s Up With Those Cagle Post Ads Everywhere? cartoons

I see this banner ad frequently as I browse other web sites. It shows up for users who have a cookie showing that they have visited Cagle.com in the past.

160 What’s Up With Those Cagle Post Ads Everywhere? cartoons

Here is the Cagle Post/Mediapass Donkey Skyscraper.

I’d like to see paywalls work. As a content creator and syndicator, the idea that readers should pay a little for content is how I make a living, and advertising on the internet doesn’t pay much. If paywalls could work, it would be great for newspapers, magazines and cartoonists. I’m trying it because I’d like for it to work, but the jury is still out on paywalls.  I remember the feedback from when I was with Slate.com, about when they tried a paywall – it worked, and they made more income, but their traffic fell to a tiny fraction of what it had been, and their underpaid writers were no longer interested in contributing for poor pay plus a poor audience.  Slate gave up the paywall.

300 What’s Up With Those Cagle Post Ads Everywhere? cartoons

Here’s another one I see often around the Web.

Most of our readers probably haven’t encountered our paywall, because most readers just look at the current cartoons, which don’t trigger the paywall.  Right now, if you look at ten pages of archives, you’ll hit the paywall.  We’re asking for a small payment as a “premium subscriber” to keep looking at our hundreds of thousands of cartoons in the database on cagle.com. We’ve chosen settings for the paywall that are very generous to the free content audience. The new way of looking at paywalls is to leave a generous amount of content available for free, and apply the paywall to only the most ardent fans who want to stay on the site for a long time.

We’re using Mediapass.com for our paywall.  So far, they have been nice to work with. They are prodigious advertisers and, as our paywall partners, they have started advertising on our behalf.  Their ads look for cookies in a user’s browser; if the user has visited Cagle.com in the past, it displays the ads for Cagle.com shown above, linking to our e-mail subscriptions page. We have one free daily e-mail newsletter and other newsletters for premium subscribers who can subscribe to individual cartoonist feeds as well as our special “premium” e-mail newsletter, and who, of-course, have unlimited access to the archives behind the paywall.

So, if you are reading this, you probably have cookies on your browser that bring up the Cagle post ads on lots of different sites, and Facebook. It may seen like we’re advertising everywhere – but we’re not, it just looks that way.

Hopefully we’ll stumble our way into finally finding a plan for making the Web work for us. Our little business still depends on print customers who have a tradition of paid content and of paying their bills, and the mortgages of cartoonists. That is a big difference between us and Slate; our cartoonists and columnists are with us because of our 850+ subscribing newspapers, and not because of our audience on the Web, so we can afford to lose some audience to the paywall, without losing our contributors, as Slate did.  That said, so far we haven’t lost audience with our new paywall and layout changes, so I’m hopeful.

And I enjoy seeing the Cagle Post ads everywhere I go on the Web, even if it is only a cookie-driven illusion and everybody isn’t really seeing them.

 

 

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Farewell to NBCNews.com/msnbc.com

For the past six years we’ve enjoyed a partnership with msnbc.com (which recently changed its name to NBCNews.com) and for six years before that, with Slate.com when it was part of the Microsoft Network – all in all, twelve years with Microsoft and MSN.com.  I regret to write that our partnership has come to an end.

nbcnews Farewell to NBCNews.com/msnbc.com   cartoonsI was the official “editorial cartoonist” for Slate.com, msnbc.com and NBCNews.com.  Of-course, all of the cartoonists that work with us through our Cagle Cartoons syndicate and Politicalcartoons.com were featured on the MSN.com sites, including slide shows on news topics of the day on msnbc.com, the Today Show site and NBC Sports; we did a cartoon week in review and maintained a “CartoonBlog.”

Recently, msnbc.com changed ownership to be run by NBC, and NBC itself recently changed ownership.  It isn’t usual these days for cartoons to be cut to save costs, but we were cut for editorial reasons. The reason I was given for our departure was “the new management wants nothing to do with cartoons.” Msnbc.com/NBCNews.com has never had an opinion section, or other opinion content, so it is disappointing, but not entirely unexpected.

Readers of our Cagle.com site will see very few changes – the NBCNews.com logo is gone from our header and will be gone from my attribution in my future cartoons.  Our site will look the same as always; we’ll continue our syndication business as always at CagleCartoons.com and Politicalcartoons.com.

Our editors at MSN/Slate/msnbc/NBCNews were wonderful to work with all these years; I’ve appreciated their support for our cartoonists and our art form.  They loved what we did, let us do what we wanted and were happy with what we wanted to do – the perfect editors!  They were great.  I miss them already.