Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Statistics: The Cartoons that Newspaper Editors Like … and Don’t Like

Newspaper editorial cartoonists love to draw president Trump! We make Trump fat. We give Trump a crazy, long, red tie, a bright, orange face and a grand swoop of yellow hair. Trump appears in editorial cartoons more than any other president, or anything else, has ever appeared in cartoons before. Just as Trump dominates the news on TV every night, he dominates political cartoons. Our problem is that newspaper editors don’t like publishing drawings of Trump.

I’m a cartoonist who runs a newspaper “syndicate” that distributes the work of about sixty of the top cartoonists from around the world to newspaper editorial page editors. Close to half of America’s approximately 1,400 daily, paid-circulation newspapers subscribe to my “package” service at CagleCartoons.com, where editors can pick what they like from a collection of up to twenty different cartoons on a single day. We have a broad range of political cartoons, reflecting a spectrum of content from liberal to conservative, across a range of issues, and editors are free to choose from any of it, with each cartoon presented in the same way. Subscribing editors choose to download high-resolution images of the latest cartoons to print in their papers, and I track the statistics of what the editors choose to download.

Since our our subscribing editors represent a very large and fairly random sampling of newspapers, I can safely project that the trends we see in editors’ choices are representative of all American newspapers, including those that subscribe to our competitors who offer a similar range of editorial cartoons in their syndicate packages. I don’t think anyone has ever tracked statistics like this before, and what the stats reveal about editors is surprising.

The most surprising thing the statistics reveal is that editors simply don’t want political cartoons that depict Trump. Sometimes, when Trump makes lots of news, the majority of the editorial cartoonists draw the president and editors still avoid the Trump cartoons.

The last cartoon depicting president Trump, that made our Top Ten cartoons of the week, was this one I drew of Trump and a looming COVID 19 wave, back in March.

I post a collection of the Top Ten most reprinted cartoons of the week, every week on my blog at DarylCagle.com. 20% of our cartoons get 80% of the reprints, and the Top Ten cartoons are by far the most reprinted. The last time a drawing of Trump made our Top Ten list was in March; it was a drawing I did of a tiny Trump who is oblivious to a giant wave of coronavirus that was about to hit him.

Most newspapers are small, rural or suburban newspapers in conservative areas; big city papers tend to be the liberal ones. Most cartoonists are liberal, and the conventional wisdom among cartoonists has been that conservative cartoonists are more widely reprinted because there are few conservative cartoonists and most, small and red state papers want conservative cartoons; recent stats show that this is all wrong. Even though we hear from conservative editors who complain that there aren’t enough conservative cartoons, editors from both liberal and conservative regions tend to select the same cartoons – funny cartoons about newsy topics that express little or no opinion. In fact, the more strongly an opinion is expressed in a cartoon, either liberal or conservative, the less likely editors are to choose to reprint the cartoon.


The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!


Editorial cartoonists have their own, macho culture. We like to draw strong cartoons that hit readers over the head with our point of view. We draw out of passion. We’re certainly not in the business for the money, so the choices editors make are very frustrating for us. Some strong metaphors can almost guarantee that a cartoon won’t be reprinted, no matter what the point the metaphor is used to make. Cartoonists, especially foreign cartoonists, like to draw blood in cartoons to represent terrible violence, they like images of the Ku Klux Klan to represent racism, and drawings of Hitler to depict a murdering, fascist tyrant; these cartoons rarely get reprinted.

American editors don’t like cartoons from foreign countries at all; conversely, foreign editors don’t like reprinting American cartoonists. The idea that cartoons are a “universal language” is a canard; editorial cartoons stop at national borders. Unless there is a huge foreign story involving America overseas, American editors don’t choose to reprint cartoons about foreign events even by American cartoonists.

New events find their way onto the Top Ten. We’ve had some cartoons on the Black Lives Matter protests and racist monuments show up on our Top Ten recently, but not as many as I’d like to see. There were many more images of Trump in cartoons that got ink in the early days of the administration.

What do editors like? Lately they like cartoons about the pandemic, with cartoons about families coping with shortages, masks, back to school, social distancing and sports topping the list. In normal times, editors prefer cartoons that comment on popular culture, celebrity schadenfreude, modern family dynamics, struggles with technology, the workplace and new trends.

The timid choices that newspaper editors make are disturbing enough to bring a tear to the eye of the Statue of Liberty.

This “back to school” cartoon I drew made #1 on our Top Ten list one week. This is typical of the type of cartoons editors prefer now.

Please forward this to your friends – tell them our Cagle.com email newsletters are FREE and FUN! They can join the newsletter list at Cagle.com/subscribe.


Don’t miss our most popular cartoons of the week collections:
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through August 1st, 2020
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through July 25th, 2020
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through July 18th, 2020
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through July 11th, 2020
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through July 4th, 2020
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through June 20th, 2020
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through June 13th, 2020
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through June 6th, 2020

The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through May 30th, 2020
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through May 23rd, 2020

The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through May 16th, 2020
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through May 8th, 2020
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Pandemic (as of May 4th)
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through May 2nd, 2020
The Most popular Cartoons of the Week through 4/26/20, (all coronavirus)

The Most popular Cartoons of the Week through 4/18/20, (all coronavirus)
The Most popular Cartoons of the Week, through 4/11/20 (all coronavirus)
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week, 4/4/20 (all coronavirus)
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week, 3/29/20 (all coronavirus)
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week, 3/21/20 (all coronavirus)

 

 

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Cartoon Complaint Campaigns

Tempers run short in turbulent times, so it is no surprise that provocative editorial cartoons sometimes get blowback from readers. Cartoons generate angry conversation on social media, but they seldom generate complaints to us, or to the newspapers that run them – unless there is an organized campaign to solicit complaints. These campaigns usually take the form of Facebook pages that demand that an editor or cartoonist is punished, or simply demands an apology, and newspapers are often quick to apologize.

Sometimes editors blame their choices on poor editorial cartoons in general, as when the New York Times dumped the little Cartoonists & Writers Syndicate that they hosted and announced that they would stop running editorial cartoons entirely in all of their editions. One of our CagleCartoonists, Patrick Chappatte, lost his regular gig for the International New York Times with this editorial overreaction, over a cartoon that Patrick didn’t draw.

Back in July of 2016, a complaint campaign against the St Louis Post-Dispatch targeted this Dave Granlund “itchy trigger-finger” cartoon and elicited a typical apology from the editor.

This week there was a similar campaign of complaints and demands about the “Bad Cops Under the Bed” cartoon of mine that ran in the St Louis Post-Dispatch, but this time the newspaper, to their credit, didn’t apologize and stood behind me and the cartoon in an editorial.

The offending Antonio Antunes cartoon that lost a job for CagleCartoonist Patrick Chappatte, crushed a little syndicate and lost a top venue for all editorial cartooning as the New York Times banned cartoons.

Earlier this month there was yet another complaint campaign about a Gary McCoy cartoon in the Florence SC Morning News. This longtime CagleCartoons subscribing paper prints just about every cartoon that opposes abortion rights and there aren’t a whole lot of those, so when one pops up it is no surprise that it gets ink in Florence. The abortion topic doesn’t mix well with Black Lives Matter (I thought the cartoon was offensive myself) and the paper apologized, going the New York Times route of announcing that they are no longer running any editorial cartoons at all. They still like our columnist Michael Reagan though, so they continue to be a good subscriber and we hope to woo them back with more, great conservative cartoons. (Those anti-abortion cartoons are pretty hard to resist in Florence.)

Also earlier this month, our CagleCartoonist Rick McKee suffered a complaint campaign with this cartoon in The Columbian newspaper in Washington. The newspaper took the usual route of apologizing for the cartoon, but didn’t ban all cartoons.

There are more recent examples with cartoons from cartoonists who aren’t represented by my little syndicate generating complaints campaigns and newspaper apologies, but I’m not posting them here because, well, they aren’t represented by my little syndicate.

This is the new normal:

1. A reader is offended by a cartoon she disagrees with in her local newspaper and puts up a Facebook campaign soliciting complaints demanding an apology, the firing of the editor and/or the firing of the cartoonist.

2. The Newspaper apologizes for their poor choice of cartoon; or they stop running all cartoons. No other newspapers get complaints about the cartoon, only the one paper that has a campaigning reader gets complaints.

3. Repeat.

It was nice to see the St Louis Post-Dispatch break that pattern this week, standing by my cartoon. Editors should have the guts to stand behind their decisions.

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Top Ten Cartoons of the Week – June 6, 2020

Here are the ten most popular cartoons of the week (May 30 -June 6, 2020). Our Top Ten is a measure of how many of our subscribing newspaper editors choose to reprint each of our cartoons, from the 63 cartoonists in our syndication package. Just about half of America’s daily, paid circulation newspapers subscribe to CagleCartoons.com.

There is a disconnect between what cartoonists want to draw, what editors want to print, and what readers want to see; this week that divide was plain to see again as there were no cartoons about President Trump in the Top Ten.  Cartoonists focused on Trump’s violent crowd clearing and Bible thumping, church photo op, drawing many great and passionate cartoons criticizing the president this week, but that is not what newspaper editors wanted.

Getting cartoons in front of readers is one of the goals of every cartoonist. Regrettably, many of our cartoonists get few or no reprints, especially the foreign cartoonists. 20% of the cartoonists get 80% of the sales and reprints, and most of the cartoonists never make it into the Top Ten.

Congratulations to Jeff Koterba of The Omaha World-Herald for the #1 most reprinted cartoon this week. Dave Granlund was a close second. Congrats also go to Dave Fitzsimmons of The Arizona Daily Star, and Bruce Plante of The Tulsa World, who each have two cartoons in the Top Ten. I was happy to see Milt Priggee make his first appearance in the Top Ten this week. Kudos also go to the rest of the artists with the most reprinted cartoons: Rick McKee, John Cole, and Dave Whamond.


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!


#1

Congratulations to Jeff Koterba of The Omaha World-Herald who drew the #1 most reprinted cartoon this week.

 

#2

Dave Granlund was a close second with this cartoon.

 

#3

Dave Fitzsimmons of The Arizona Daily Star, is tied for third place and has two cartoons in the Top Ten this week.

#3

Also tied for third is Bruce Plante of The Tulsa World, who has two cartoons in the Top Ten too.

#5

Rick McKee is in 5th place.

#6

John Cole of The Scranton Times-Tribune claims the 6th place spot.

#7

Bruce Plante is in 7th place with his second cartoon in the Top Ten. Editors love that weeping Liberty.

#8

Dave Whamond takes 8th place.

#9

Milt Priggee has the 9th most popular cartoon.

 

#10

Dave Fitzsimmons takes the #10 spot with his second of two cartoons in the Top Ten this week.


Please forward this to your friends – tell them our Cagle.com email newsletters are FREE and FUN! They can join the newsletter list at Cagle.com/subscribe.


Don’t miss our most popular cartoons of the week collections:

Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through September 19th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through September 12th, 2020

Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through September 5th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through August 29th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through August 22nd, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through August 15th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through August 8th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through August 1st, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through July 25th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through July 18th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through July 11th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through July 4th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through June 20th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through June 13th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through June 6th, 2020

Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through May 30th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through May 23rd, 2020

Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through May 16th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through May 8th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Pandemic (as of May 4th)
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through May 2nd, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through 4/26/20, (all coronavirus)

Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through 4/18/20, (all coronavirus)
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week, through 4/11/20 (all coronavirus)
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week, 4/4/20 (all coronavirus)
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week, 3/29/20 (all coronavirus)
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week, 3/21/20 (all coronavirus)

 

 

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Top Ten Cartoons of the Week – May 16, 2020

Here are the ten most popular cartoons of the week (May 9 -May 16).

The big winner this week is Jeff Koterba of The Omaha World Herald, who has the most popular cartoon of the week and dominates with four cartoons in the top ten – an impressive performance that has never been matched. With the #2 cartoon, and two cartoons in the top ten, is Dave Granlund.  Special congratulations to Bill Day who is making his first appearance in the Top Ten this week.

Our top ten is a measure of how many of our subscribing newspaper editors choose to reprint each of our cartoons, from the approximately 60 cartoonists in our syndication package. 20% of the cartoonists get 80% of the sales and reprints, and most of the cartoonists never make it into the Top Ten.  If you don’t like the top ten, take it up with your local newspaper editor. Just about half of America’s daily, paid circulation newspapers subscribe to CagleCartoons.com.


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!


#1

The most popular cartoon of the week is this one by Jeff Koterba, who has a whopping FOUR cartoons in the Top Ten this week.

#2

The second most popular cartoon of the week is by Dave Granlund.

#3

The third most popular is by RJ Matson.
#4

#4

Coming in at number four is another cartoon one from Jeff Koterba.

#5

At number five is Bob Englehart.

#6

The 6th most popular cartoon of the week is this one by Jeff Koterba, who has a whopping FOUR cartoons in the top ten this week.

 

#7

The seventh most popular cartoon is the unprecedented fourth cartoon from Jeff Koterba. 

#8

The eighth most popular cartoon this week is the second cartoon in the Top Ten from Dave GranlundThis is also the only Top Ten cartoon that is not about the pandemic.

#9

This cartoon marks Bill Day‘s first appearance in the Top Ten.

#10

This cartoon is from Adam Zyglis of The Buffalo News.


Please forward this to your friends – tell them our Cagle.com email newsletters are FREE and FUN! They can join the newsletter list at Cagle.com/subscribe.


Don’t miss our most popular cartoons of the week collections:

Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through September 19th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through September 12th, 2020

Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through September 5th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through August 29th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through August 22nd, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through August 15th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through August 8th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through August 1st, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through July 25th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through July 18th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through July 11th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through July 4th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through June 20th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through June 13th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through June 6th, 2020

Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through May 30th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through May 23rd, 2020

Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through May 16th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through May 8th, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Pandemic (as of May 4th)
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through May 2nd, 2020
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through 4/26/20, (all coronavirus)

Top Ten Cartoons of the Week through 4/18/20, (all coronavirus)
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week, through 4/11/20 (all coronavirus)
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week, 4/4/20 (all coronavirus)
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week, 3/29/20 (all coronavirus)
Top Ten Cartoons of the Week, 3/21/20 (all coronavirus)

 

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

A Letter to My Congressman

Here is a letter I wrote to my congressman describing the grim situation facing Cagle Cartoons and our troubled editorial cartooning profession. You can save Cagle.com by visiting Cagle.com/heroes.

Cartoon by CagleCartoonist, Dave Whamond from Canada

May 12, 2020

Congressman Salud Carbajal
District Office
Santa Barbara, CA

Dear Congressman Carbajal,

… I run a constituent small business in Montecito, Cagle Cartoons, Inc., that syndicates editorial cartoons and columnists. About half of America’s daily, paid-circulation newspapers subscribe to our service that you can see at CagleCartoons.com.

Journalism has been in decline for years, but the newspaper industry now faces sudden extinction with the pandemic as newspaper advertising revenue has crashed. A large percentage of our subscribing newspapers have simply stopped paying their bills; a good example is our local Santa Barbara News-Press that has run our cartoons and columns on their editorial page on most days for over 14 years – they are now seven months behind in their payments.

Industry experts predict that as many as two thirds of newspapers may not survive the pandemic. We saw the stock price of Gannett, the largest newspaper chain, drop from over $10/share to under a dollar in a matter of months (USA Today runs our cartoons). The loss of newspapers would also sink the editorial cartooning profession and our small business along with it.

Cartoon by CagleCartoonist, Bill Day

Our Web site, Cagle.com, is the face of the editorial cartooning profession to the world and we suffer for that as press freedoms around the world are in decline. Humorless despots hate seeing themselves in our cartoons and our sites are targets of sophisticated hacker attacks that clearly come from state actors. Although America benefits by demonstrating our values around the world through journalism and editorial cartoons, the US government does little or nothing to support editorial cartoonists and other journalists who suffer from foreign attacks.

We received an SBA PPP loan in the amount of $10,600.00; we applied for a very much larger loan based on our expenses which mainly consist of royalties to our artists and our tech expenses that are bloated by defenses against foreign hacker attacks. Our small business is unusual in that we have only two employees, our income from newspapers is broadly distributed to our contributors and the loan amount was not based on our actual expenses, it was based only on the salaries of our two employees, me and my bookkeeper. We have over 75 great cartoonists and columnists, who depend on us, who were ignored in the process because their income is reported on 1099s. The PPP program was not designed for us.

By CagleCartoonist Michael Kountouris from Greece

For many years I traveled around the world giving lectures through the US State Department Speaker Program. In nations without press freedoms, audiences were shocked to see how American cartoonists were free to criticize their government. Well more than half of the world’s population lives in countries where cartoonists are not allowed to draw their nation’s leader. The Speaker Program was effective in spreading our values and promoting press freedom. American editorial cartoonists are seen as stars around the world where we are well respected, like American astronauts, basketball players and jazz musicians. These effective State Department lecture programs have stopped featuring American editorial cartoonists during the Trump administration.

The impending collapse of journalism is a national tragedy that threatens our democracy. The newspaper industry has been lobbying in Washington seeking government support that is unlikely to happen during the Trump administration which has shown hostility to press criticism – criticism that is strongest and most visible among editorial cartoonists. If Democrats win the White House, I fear that any support for journalism may not include small syndicates and press services because our businesses are unusual. We are likely to be overlooked, as we were with the PPP program.

When legislators think of journalists they don’t think of editorial cartoonists. Editorial cartoonists are journalists. We are important. Don’t forget us.

Truly,
Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle, Editorial Cartoonist, President Cagle Cartoons, Inc.
Syndicate: CagleCartoons.com
Site: Cagle.com
Store: PoliticalCartoons.com
Blog: DarylCagle.com


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.

We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!


Please forward this email to your friends – tell them our Cagle.com email newsletters are FREE and FUN! They can join the newsletter list at Cagle.com/subscribe.


Don’t miss my other Coronavirus posts:
Blame China! Part One
Blame China! Part Two

Blame China! Part Three
Coronavirus Graduation

The Most Popular Cartoons of the Pandemic

The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through May 2nd, 2020
Best of the Grim Reaper, Part 1
Best of the Grim Reaper, Part 2
Dr Fauci PART 2
Dr Fauci PART 1
Trump and Disinfectant PART 2
Trump and Disinfectant PART 1
Most popular Cartoons of the Week through 4/26/20, (all coronavirus)
Forgotten Biden – Part 2
Forgotten Biden – Part 1
Most popular Cartoons of the Week through 4/18/20, (all coronavirus)
Most popular Cartoons of the Week, through 4/11/20 (all coronavirus)
My Favorite NEW Easter Cartoons
The Great Mort Drucker Passes Away
Planet COVID-19, Part 4

Planet COVID-19, Part 3
Planet COVID-19, Part 2
Planet COVID-19, Part 1
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week, 4/4/20 (all coronavirus)
Toilet Paper Part Two
Toilet Paper Part One
Trump and the Easter Bunny
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week, 3/29/20 (all coronavirus)
Tsunami Coming
Pandemics Compared
See, Hear Speak No Virus
The Best Coronavirus Sports Cartoons
New Coronavirus Favorites
The Most Popular Coronavirus Cartoons
My Corona Virus Cartoons
Corona Virus Quarantine Blues in China

 

 

 

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

CagleCartoons.com Changes

We’ve made some changes to the front page of our syndicate site, CagleCartoons.com that will affect our contributing artists. Here is my latest Bloomberg cartoon that I will use an an example below.

I’ll use my recent Bloomberg cartoon as an example of the changes on CagleCartoons.com
This is the revised front page of CagleCartoons.com, our syndicate download site for editors, as it appear today.

The CagleCartoons.com site is the core of our little business. This is where our subscription customers get their cartoons and columns; these are mostly daily, paid-circulation newspapers in the USA who put our content on their editorial pages. (If you only read our blog and Cagle.com you may want to read no further, as this doesn’t affect you. This may be a bit wonky for most readers.)

–The Issues and the Changes

We’re the only syndicate that has their client download site (CagleCartoons.com) available for everyone to see. We’ve been addressing some nagging issues with how we deliver the cartoons on the site. Most editors only look for what is new on the front page of the site and don’t consider older cartoons in our vast database. Often (such as every Thursday) we had too many new cartoons for the front page and cartoons that were loaded early in the day were gone later in the day, pushed out by the newest contributions. Unless an editor visited twice a day, she wouldn’t see all of the new cartoons –and most editors don’t visit every day.

In general, 20% of the cartoons get 80% of the reprints. In other words, editors don’t like 80% of the cartoons, and with all of the cartoons rushing to leave the front page, too many editors complained that they were not seeing enough cartoons they liked.

We encourage our cartoonists to submit black and white versions of their cartoons, because cartoons designed for black and white look better than color cartoons converted to grayscale where some colors come out too dark and cartoons often flatten to a dull gray. The many black and white duplicate versions of the cartoons were taking up front page space that now goes to displaying more color versions of cartoons. The black and white images are now available on the “preview” download pages of the color “parent” cartoon.

We encourage cartoonists to upload their cartoons in a higher resolution than the cartoonists prefer, and we encourage cartoonists to save their work in tiff format, which is not “lossy” like jpg and png formats.  (Editors prefer jpg).

Cartoons should be archived in tiff format, so there is no loss to the original. We see our archive as a library and we want to treat the original cartoon files like historical documents that deserve to be preserved without loss –as high resolution tiff files.

We also encourage artists to save their work in CMYK format so their black lines are crispy and the cartoons don’t suffer from bad printing with poor registration. Editors prefer RGB. Until now editors have had to suffer from cartoons in different formats as the unruly herd of cartoonist/cats saved their work in different formats, now editors can download the tiff files as jpg files.

Trump-Friendly, Popular, and the World …

Some time ago, in response to complaints from Trump-supporting editors, we added a section near the top of the page called TRUMP FRIENDLY CARTOONS. This went a long way to dealing with the complaints from red state editors. We recently added a new section called POPULAR CARTOONS that pushed the WORLD CARTOONS section down the page below the fold; the purpose of the new section is to keep the most popular cartoons on the front page longer so editors don’t miss what they want most. The TRUMP FRIENDLY CARTOONS are often among the most popular cartoons with editors. We won’t put the same cartoons in both sections so they won’t be shown twice (or three times) on the front page, so if a TRUMP FRIENDLY cartoon is also a POPULAR CARTOON, it will appear only in the TRUMP FRIENDLY section.

The POPULAR CARTOONS aren’t really “trending” in the internet sense, because readers tend to like different cartoons than editors. In general, editors prefer funny cartoons that don’t express a strong point of view, while readers on the Web respond most to cartoons that pull no punches and reinforce their existing points of view. We still have all kinds of cartoons, strong and soft, left and right, but we’re making it easier for editors to see cartoons they prefer on our site. After all, this site is designed for ease of use by editors. (Cagle.com is designed for readers.)

We love the world cartoonists, but American editors don’t, and these are the least downloaded cartoons by our newspaper subscribers –so we’ve pushed the WORLD CARTOONS down the page they are still there, and there are just as many of them displayed.

The black and white versions of cartoons are no longer taking up spots on the front page, they are displayed on the preview pages of their accompanying “parent” color versions that editors see when they choose to download cartoons after logging in. Cartoons that exist only as black and white will still appear on the front page.

This is an example of an image preview or download page on CagleCartoons.com today, this is our syndicate download site for editors, as it appear today. This is what editors see after they log in, giving them options to download the high resolution version of the cartoon in different formats.

Preview Page Changes

Clicking on any thumbnail image on the site brings up a “preview page” that looks different for editors who have logged in. An example of what editors see is at the right.

Editors have many options for downloading cartoons, they can download the high resolution images to their device, or email the cartoon to themselves, or to another email address. They can also choose to receive different versions of the cartoons. I upload my cartoons in CMYK tiff format, which is “non-lossy” and best for some kinds of printing. Editors prefer RGB jpg format which is what they are used to getting from photo services like AP. Now editors can download in tiff, jpg and png formats, as CMYK or as RGB if the cartoonist saved her cartoon in CMYK format, as we recommend and as few cartoonists do.

When cartoonists prepare a separate black and white version of a color cartoon, it now appears as a “related variation” only on the preview page for editors to download, rather than with the thumbnails on the front page and in searches. In general, when a black and white version of a cartoon is available, one third of the downloads for the cartoon are for the black and white version.

In the future we may make other variations available to editors on the preview pages, such as foreign language versions or different dimensions that cartoonists may want to do, or such as a taller version or wider version.

Newspaper editors hate when cartoonists use dirty words, but many cartoonists love dirty words which are commonplace on the Web. We’re considering allowing cartoonists to do “dirty word versions” of their cartoons that would be available as variations since there is so much demand for that among the cartoonists. We haven’t quite convinced ourselves do that yet, since most of our subscribers are traditional newspapers. Maybe we will.

We’re also considering adding a feature that will allow editors to select the resolution of the cartoon they download. For now, the resolution of the cartoon is displayed on the preview page. Sometimes we get complaints about cartoons that artists uploaded in low resolution (this is more often a problem with the world cartoonists who have a harder time accepting higher resolution). Unfortunately, it does no good to try to increase the resolution of a low resolution original; this option is only good for resizing cartoons to lower resolutions or dimensions, which would be helpful for Web clients.

Editors can see the resolution on the preview page so they won’t be surprised after downloading the cartoon. There is more demand for higher resolution cartoons now as new devices have higher resolution displays and as better printing processes demand more from cartoon files that are blown up as illustrations.

That’s it for now. More changes will be coming soon!


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Mike Lane Remembered

I was saddened to learn that Mike Lane, the brilliant cartoonist who drew for The Baltimore Sun, has passed away. See our archive of Mike’s cartoons on Cagle.com.

Nearly twenty years ago I started my CagleCartoons.com syndicate; Mike was one of the first cartoonists to join our group and Mike’s brilliant work was a very important boost for us as we were starting up. Mike had a unique, expressive style and I really appreciated his support in our early days. Mike drew for The Baltimore Sun from 1972 to 2004. He joined CagleCartoons in 2002, drawing for syndication for seven years after he left The Baltimore Sun.

Mike pulled no punches in syndication, blasting George W. Bush from the left. Mike drew with a profound sense of morality. His art is bold and funny. Mike was a liberal champion of the downtrodden. He was an all-around great cartoonist!

Mike retired from editorial cartooning in 2009 and we’ve kept his cartoons in our PoliticalCartoons.com store, where reprints from his seven years with us continue to sell.

Here’s a quote from Mike, from an obit in the Baltimore Sun, “It’s not enough to simply depict opposing factions. It’s good to pick a fight. But it’s not noble or courageous; it’s just my job. Any less is pandering to popular opinion. Too many cartoonists value popularity over doing their jobs. I have a long history of angry letters to the editor. One of my proudest is from the general counsel to the National Rifle Association.”

Here is another nice obituary from The Baltimore Sun.

I’m proud to have called Mike my friend. Here are some of Mike’s outstanding cartoons from the archive of Mike’s years with us –the first batch is about newspapers …


This second batch is about Thanksgiving, just because Thanksgiving is coming up this week and there are so many, great Mike Lane cartoons to choose from on all topics …



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Why does The New York Times keep breaking my heart?

This post is by my buddy, Jeff Koterba –Daryl


By now, even many who don’t normally pay attention to inside-journalism stories, have taken notice of the recent decision by The New York Times to cut all editorial cartoons from their international edition. In recent weeks, friends and strangers have messaged, and have even stopped me at coffee shops in Omaha, the city where I draw cartoons for The Omaha World-Herald, to express their frustration at the news.

The fact that readers, even in the Midwest, are vexed about what’s going into the pages of an international newspaper is somehow heartening. But angst, alone, won’t bring back cartoons to countless readers abroad.

Not all that long before this latest unfortunate news, the U.S. edition of the Times would run a weekly roundup of editorial cartoons in their Sunday Review section. In the years before my work was picked up for syndication, I would submit to The Times my latest work. Much of my excitement came in anticipation of going to a local convenient mart to pick up the Sunday Times. But, of course, nothing compared to the exhilaration I felt on those rare occasions when I would open the paper and discover that the editors had chosen one of my drawings. I felt validated, but more so, I felt connected to something bigger…to the “Great Conversation,” as a friend of mine likes to say about weighing in on current events.

The weekly roundup would eventually go away, replaced by a long-form editorial comic. It broke my heart to know that I would never again see my work reprinted in the Times. But I moved on and eventually moved—to Austria. It was during a nearly two year stay in Innsbruck, while drawing remotely for my newspaper in Omaha—that I fell deeply, madly, in love with The International New York Times. Founded in the late 1880’s as The Paris Herald, the newspaper changed owners and names several times before settling on its current moniker in October of 2013. A few months later I found myself drawing from the Alps, a guy from Omaha who had never lived elsewhere and knew almost no German.

The International New York Times allowed me to once again feel connected to something greater than myself. As I took trains throughout Europe, I always—ALWAYS—made sure I had that wonderful friend along for the ride, with its broadsheets like a large bird’s wings, it’s news from around the world, and yes, with its own editorial cartoons.

What a joy to visit an old-fashioned newsstand in Paris and find that beautiful, familiar, New York Times logo peeking out beyond all the French-language publications! Or to linger over her pages at a café in Rome, sipping espresso. And again, to read those cartoons.

Those cartoons were my dessert. And I savored every inked line.

Back stateside this past spring, I was on an early flight from Tucson to Phoenix. Before taking off I’d already spread open that day’s New York Times. Next to me, a young lady began laughing and pointing at my newspaper. I studied the page facing her trying to figure out which article she found to be so funny. Perplexed, I finally asked.

“That,” she said, motioning to indicate the entire newspaper. “You’re reading one of those.”

The young lady in question was smart and well-spoken. When I asked if she reads newspapers, she again laughed and said, “Never.”

“Have you ever even held a newspaper?” I asked.

“Nope.”

“Would you like to try?”

I handed her a section of the newspaper, and after she fumbled around, trying to figure out exactly how to fold the pages to make it more convenient to read, she fell silent. For a moment I thought perhaps she’d fallen asleep. Instead, she was deeply immersed in…reading. I almost told her that I was a cartoonist, but didn’t. I did, however, imagine her one day traveling abroad, perhaps stopping by a newsstand at a train station in Berlin, and noticing The International New York Times. Maybe she would pick up a copy, and just maybe she would read an editorial cartoon and feel connected to something greater.



Jeffrey Koterba’s
award-winning cartoons are distributed by Cagle Cartoons. In 2010, two of his original drawings flew aboard space shuttle Discovery. In his TEDx talk Jeff discusses the link between Tourette Syndrome, vulnerability, and creativity.  E-mail Jeff.


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Gatehouse Guts our Guys

Editorial cartoonists losing their staff jobs has become old news as staff cutbacks at newspaper chains continue, but yesterday was an especially bad day. The Gatehouse chain laid off three staff cartoonists, Nate Beeler of The Columbus Dispatch, Rick McKee of The Augusta Chronicle and Mark Streeter of The Savannah Morning News. They have been regular contributors to our Cagle.com site for close to fifteen years. Gatehouse’s fourth cartoonist, Dave Granlund, was not laid off, apparently because he works under a freelance contract and was not an employee. Beeler and McKee are part of our CagleCartoons.com newspaper syndicate and are among our most popular cartoonists.

Gatehouse is America’s largest newspaper chain in terms of number of newspapers. (Gannett is the largest newspaper chain in term of number of readers.) The three cartoonists who were laid off were part of Gatehouse’s “More Content Now” shared services, distributing their work in internal syndication to all of the Gatehouse newspapers, so their loss will be felt by a large number of newspapers. Even though the value of the creative contribution of the three cartoonists’ work was multiplied across all the newspapers in the Gatehouse chain, making them much more valuable than the other employees laid off in this round of cuts, this cost-cutting move by Gatehouse doesn’t come as a surprise.

Rick tells me he hopes to continue drawing cartoons for the approximately 850 newspapers that subscribe to our syndicate, and I hope the same will be true for Nate. My sincere condolences go out to all three, and I am confident that they will continue to have successful cartooning careers as their work turns in new directions.

Here are the most recent cartoons by Rick McKee of The Augusta Chronicle, Nate Beeler of The Columbus Dispatch and Mark Streeter of The Savannah Morning News.

 

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Rare Cartoon and Big Dark Cloud

Here is my cartoon as it appeared today in the Los Angeles Daily News.  It is rare for me to see my cartoon in the local newspapers in the vast editorial cartoon desert that is Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Times, a newspaper with a rich history of editorial cartooning, doesn’t run editorial cartoons and has no staff cartoonist anymore (occasionally they will run a commissioned illustration from a freelancer with a political theme). The larger daily newspapers surrounding The LA Times are part of the Southern California News Group (SCNG) which includes my local Los Angeles Daily News, The Pasadena Star-News, The Riverside Press-Enterprise and The Long Beach Press-Telegram among others; these papers sell advertising more effectively as a group and prepare their editorial pages centrally from The Orange County Registera practice that is becoming more common. The same is true with the Bay Area News Group (BANG) up North, with their central editorial page staff at The San Jose Mercury News.

The SCNG group subscribes to our Cagle Cartoons package but only prints one traditional editorial cartoon per week, on Sundays; they dropped daily editorial cartoons to run the comic strip Mallard Filmore. The strip takes half the space of an editorial cartoon and is reliably conservative compared to liberal-leaning editorial cartoons, making Mallard a more attractive alternative from the newspapers’ point of view. SCNG also dropped their editorial pages entirely on Mondays and Saturdays; sadly, this is also common. (Fortunately, SCNG runs many more editorial cartoons on their Web sites.) Since only one cartoon per week can make it into print, it is rare for me to see my own cartoon in the local newspaper – of-course, one spot per week is much better than The Los Angeles Times with no spots per week and no editorial cartoons on their Web site.

Newspapers are shutting down editorial page staffs faster than they are dropping editorial pages and this sometimes works to our advantage. When SCNG and BANG consolidated all of their newspapers’ editorial page staffs, we picked up newspapers in the groups that we hadn’t been able to sell to before, so that all the papers in the groups could run the same content. A similar thing happened recently with McClatchy in North Carolina and we picked up two new papers, The Richmond News-Leader and The Durham Herald-Sun so that they can run a common weekly round-up of cartoons, prepared centrally by our brilliant cartoonist Kevin Siers at McClatchy’s The Charlotte Observer.

I’m often asked what the trends are with editorial cartooning, and my rare cartoon in my local newspaper led to this long-winded answer. We will continue to see newspapers dropping their editorial pages, sometimes dropping only two pages per week, and sometimes dropping the editorial pages entirely. I’m told that editorial pages make readers angry, and papers don’t sell advertising on the editorial page, so editorial pages can be viewed as a costly hassle. Editorial cartoons will continue to lose their newspaper homes.

Newspapers will also continue to consolidate and we’ll see editorial page staffs continue to be cut, with regional groups consolidating their editorial staffs from multiple local papers into central locations; ironically, this is good for Cagle Cartoons as our content is so much better than competing syndicate packages that we continue to pick up more papers than we lose to the consolidation trend –which is a little silver lining on a big dark cloud.

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Welcome Whamond

I’m delighted to welcome a new cartoonist to Cagle.com and our syndication package. Dave Whamond is a brilliant gag cartoonist and children’s book illustrator; he draws the syndicated panel Reality Check and has won a boatload of NCS “Silver Reuben” Awards.

Welcome aboard, Dave! Go kick some cartoon butt!

 

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Media Bopper

The White House Correspondents Dinner was even more of a show this year as President Trump chose to have a competing rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Trump seemed to pull out all the stops on bashing the press, so I decided to pull out the bopper clown.

I almost did two versions of this cartoon, one with a media clown, and another with a normal looking reporter as the bopper. A few years ago I drew conservative and a liberal version of a cartoon because I changed my mind about the issue and I was assailed by some of my cartoonist colleagues who accused me of creating a new business plan to get twice the value at half the cost, by drawing two versions of cartoons while abandoning my principals.  I was tempted to do two versions of this one, to annoy my colleagues, rather  just for fun – but the clown version was better.

I’ve also been rethinking the way I draw Trump to be more how I feel Trump than how I actually see Trump, so I’m making him fatter, with a longer, bigger, bottom of the face just because the bottom half of his face is more interesting and when cartoonists find something interesting, we make it bigger. Big hair. Big bottom of the face. Big poochy lips.

Boxing with an inflatable bopper character is a standard editorial cartooning cliché. Here’s another one of mine from ten years ago …