My brilliant cartoonist/journalist daughter, Susie Cagle writes today about her work and one of her most popular stories for The Guardian newspaper. Please visit Susie’s page on Patreon to support her and cartoon journalism. From Susie …
For the last year, I was the West Coast climate and environment reporter at the Guardian. It was an unusual mix for a staff position at a news outlet, allowing me to do both traditional written journalism as well as cartoons. My first piece for them was a huge comic exploring the massive amount of plastic waste humans have created.
This comic was exceptionally successful — shared around the world, translated into at least five languages and used in education programs in at least three countries (as far as I know). The Guardian chose it as one of their top stories from 2019.
But it’s the kind of story that’s rarely able to exist, because of the journalism industry’s constraints and expectations. Comics journalism is super popular, but also super labor intensive and super time-consuming. Even the editors most enthusiastic about this still emerging medium often don’t totally understand just how much effort it takes to do two jobs, as both reporter and illustrator. Outlets are reluctant to spend much on cartoons — and even less on comics journalism.
Now that I’m working as a freelancer again, support from readers through Patreon bolsters my ability to keep doing these kinds of projects. Thanks for learning more about my work, and I hope you’ll consider becoming a patron!