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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.

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Chappatte’s Brilliant Book!

Our brilliant CagleCartoonist, Patrick Chappatte, just came out with a brilliant new book, “This is the End.” Order the book!  See Patrick’s Best of the Decade here.  See our archive of Patrick’s newest cartoons here.

Patrick made cartoon news last year when he was dropped by the New York Times in response to a cartoon another cartoonist drew, that Patrick had nothing to do with.  The Times vowed not to print editorial cartoons at all, so they could be sure they wouldn’t print a bad cartoon.  Patrick’s book features his last cartoons from his years working with The New York Times.  I asked Patrick to send me some of his favorite cartoons from the book, along with his comments –here are some of Patricks great cartoons along with his comments …

 


Thanks to Facebook, we have lots of friends, everywhere. Mark Zuckerberg is our friend. Actually, when you think of it, he may know you better than your best friend…

 

Trump grabbing Lady Liberty – or American democracy – by the … : yeah, I know, it’s a classic. One of those ideas that, the moment you come up with it, you know that other colleagues will revolve around the same visual. So obvious, but also irresistible. I had a tote bag made out of this cartoon, it sold out quick. In January 2017, I took one of these bags with me at the World Economic Forum in Davos, hoping to offer it to Donald J. in person. Of course that didn’t quite work out. Instead, I the bag found a happy owner in the person of Joseph Stiglitz, the economist, Nobel laureate and a supersmart critic of the President. Months later, he very kindly accepted to sign the foreword of my book.

 

It’s always illuminating when Trump meets other World leaders. Because then, you really get to size up the man. By comparison, you get a measure of his character. When he met Pope Francis in May 2017, I did this cartoon. Do you know the actual answer to this question? Who of the two has the most followers? Which one is the largest church? Any guess?
(Answer: Last time I checked at the end of 2019, pope Francis counted 49 million faithfuls. And the cult of @realdonaldtrump?  66 million followers…)

 

Whether for Trump or against him, aren’t we all playing into his hands? If he didn’t invent the phrase “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”, he incarnates it like nobody else on this planet. From time to time, it does feel good to get him out of the picture, and just focus on the actual reality and real-life consequences of his politics. Like those tax cuts.


The guns debate: America in a nutshell. The inspiration for this cartoon came from something that happened to me in Nevada a few years ago: I was kicked out of a grocery because, having my hands full, I had asked my 18 years old son to help me carry a pack of beers to the counter. The cashier went crazy. Misdemeanor! Crime! i was obviously trying to cover underage drinking! Had I asked my son to carry my gun for me, it would all have been just fine…

This is one of my favorites. Just like George W. Bush invaded Iraq in order to impress and surpass dad, this cartoon might contain the quintessencial explanation of Trump’s main policies, when it comes to Iran, the affordable care act and some other things he’s obsessing about.


The President choosing a Supreme court candidate. Imagine what it will be like in his second term…

 

I did this cartoon at the beginning of the impeachment inquiry, in September 2019. Someone brought it back recently and told me how insightful, how prophetic it was! We like this idea, us cartoonist: to be called “prophetic”. A cool compliment. When in fact, regarding Trump’s impeachment, the writing was all over the wall already back then. I was just being lucid. Which is enough of a compliment – and could be a good definition of our job.

 

We love Patrick ––GO BUY HIS BOOK!

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Chappatte Decade!

Our talented Cagle-Cartoons-Colleague Patrick Chappatte lives in Switzerland and drew for many years for the international edition of The New York Times; his cartoons appeared prominently on The New York Times Web site and it looked like Patrick was close to getting the cartoon-phobic Old Gray Lady to embrace him as it’s editorial cartoonist for all of their editions when an obscure editor in Hong Kong selected an anti-Semitic cartoon by another cartoonist to run in the Times’ international edition. The Times over-reacted, not by educating, or firing the errant editor, but by banning all traditional editorial cartoons from all of the their editions. Patrick is the only cartoonist I’ve ever heard of, who was fired because of a cartoon that someone else drew, and because of a bad decision made by someone else’s editor.

Cartoonists are still angry with The New York Times, but Patrick has landed on his feet; he now draws for the European newspapers Le Temps and NZZ am Sontag; we’re proud to syndicate Patrick’s excellent work. Read about the NY Times dropping all editorial cartoons and read Patrick’s response. Cartoonists from around the world drew cartoons in support of Patrick when he was fired, see some of them here.

See the cartoons that Patrick selected as his favorite cartoons of the decade for USA Today where you can click on each image to see a very big, pretty view, or see Patrick’s favorites on this page by scrolling down.  See the complete archive of Patrick’s syndicated cartoons here.

Look at our other, great collections of Cartoons Favorites of the Decade, selected by the artists.
Pat Bagley Decade!
Nate Beeler Decade!
Daryl Cagle Decade! 
Patrick Chappatte Decade!
John Cole Decade!
John Darkow Decade!
Bill Day Decade!
Sean Delonas Decade!
Bob Englehart Decade!
Randall Enos Decade!
Dave Granlund Decade!
Taylor Jones Decade!
Mike Keefe Decade!
Peter Kuper Decade!
Jeff Koterba Decade!
RJ Matson Decade!
Gary McCoy Decade!
Rick McKee Decade!
Milt Priggee Decade!
Bruce Plante Decade!
Steve Sack Decade!


We need your support for Cagle.com (and DarylCagle.com)! Notice that we run no advertising! We depend entirely upon the generosity of our readers to sustain the site. Please visit Cagle.com/heroes and make a contribution. You are much appreciated!


 

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Favorite Cartoons of the Decade

Here is my selection of my favorite cartoons of the decade. See them on the USA Today site here.

I pitched the idea to Gannett of running collections of favorite cartoons of the decade every day in December, the last month of the decade, with a selection by a different cartoonist each day. We, along with USA Today, selected the CagleCartoonists we would invite to participate and we asked them each to choose their favorite cartoons from the past ten years. I submitted twenty-nine batches of cartoons, selected by each of twenty-nine of our CagleCartoonists.  USA Today plans on showcasing their own Gannett employee cartoonists, Thompson, Marlette, Murphy and Archer, through Thursday, with our CagleCartoonists finishing out the month, starting this Friday with Pat Bagley.

USA Today started off their daily, decade slideshows today with their talented cartoonist, Mike Thompson, who also did the work of laying all of these collections out for The USA Today Network sites (that includes the individual Web sites for all of Gannett’s 100+ daily newspapers). Visit USA Today’s Opinion page online to see these every day this month. Click on each cartoon in each slideshow to see a full-screen, high-resolution version of each cartoon, which is very nice.

It is very difficult to select a small batch of cartoons to represent an entire decade!!

Getting twenty-nine CagleCartoonists to each select a decade of favorites was challenging. Obama certainly got shorted as many cartoonists are obsessed with Trump now. A couple of cartoonists selected only Trump-bashing cartoons, which made for a poor representation of the decade –but hey, the fact that the cartoonists chose their own favorites made this project interesting.  Some cartoonists, who have been with us for less than ten years, had to dig into their personal archives to cover the whole decade, so some of the cartoons haven’t been seen on Cagle.com. New Yorker/Mad Magazine/graphic-novelist Peter Kuper joined CagleCartoons.com just a couple of months ago and had to dig up his whole collection from his magazine gag cartoon archives. Dave Whamond and Ed Wexler, who joined us more recently, reached into their vaults for some of their early-decade cartoons; Ed selected some from when he was regularly drawing for US News & World Report magazine. Mike Keefe and Bill Schorr came out of their recent retirements to contribute their selections of favorites.

I wouldn’t call these selections the “best” of the decade, they are just the artists’ choices. I also can’t say that they represent the decade well (but what the heck).

Look at our other, great collections of Cartoons Favorites of the Decade, selected by the artists.
Pat Bagley Decade!
Nate Beeler Decade!
Daryl Cagle Decade! 
Patrick Chappatte Decade!
John Cole Decade!
John Darkow Decade!
Bill Day Decade!
Sean Delonas Decade!
Bob Englehart Decade!
Randall Enos Decade!
Dave Granlund Decade!
Taylor Jones Decade!
Mike Keefe Decade!
Peter Kuper Decade!
Jeff Koterba Decade!
RJ Matson Decade!
Gary McCoy Decade!
Rick McKee Decade!
Milt Priggee Decade!
Bruce Plante Decade!
Steve Sack Decade!


We need your support for Cagle.com (and DarylCagle.com)! Notice that we run no advertising! We depend entirely upon the generosity of our readers to sustain the site. Please visit Cagle.com/heroes and make a contribution. You are much appreciated!


 

 

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Troubled Cartoonist Stew –And YOU!

I wear three hats, as a cartoonist and as the leader of a “syndicate” that resells a package of editorial cartoons and columns to over 800 newspapers in the USA –my third hat is running our big Cagle.com Web site. I love editorial cartoons. I do what I love. But, love can be painful …

Our troubled editorial cartooning profession has been losing employee positions in roughly the same proportion as all newsroom jobs lost over the past couple of decades. Journalism has become a freelance profession, and so has editorial cartooning. Three of our CagleCartoonists recently lost their jobs, Patrick Chappatte with The International New York Times, Nate Beeler with The Columbus Dispatch and Rick McKee with The Augusta Chronicle. Bad news for editorial cartoonists seems to be coming in at a faster clip.

Conservative editors don’t like the liberal cartoons; angry readers demand retribution from newspapers and cartoonists who offend them; timid newspapers fear losing readers who are easily offended; all are just spice in our complex stew, which started brewing when newspapers lost their the bulk of their advertising revenue to the internet, and began a slow decline in circulation.

Online clients haven’t replaced print clients for us. As print declines, online publications don’t hire cartoonists and have not developed a culture of paying for content, and few of them purchase syndicated cartoons.  We have some great online clients, like FoxNews.com and CNN.com, but they are the exceptions.
There are now between 1,300 and 1,400 daily, paid circulation newspapers in the USA. Thirty years ago there were over 1,800 dailies and over 130 employee editorial cartoonists –only a very small percentage of newspapers ever hired staff cartoonists. The vast majority of American newspaper readers have seen editorial cartoons through syndication. The number of syndicated editorial cartoonists hasn’t changed much in the past 50 years.

In recent years as newspapers continue to struggle, rates for syndicated cartoons have declined, but cut-rate deals for packages of syndicated cartoons have driven rates close to zero. Larger syndicates “bundle” editorial cartoons with their comics, essentially including the editorial cartoons for free. Editorial cartoons are thrown into packages with puzzles and advice columns, in cheap weekly, college and specialty offerings.  Editorial cartoons are sometimes sold in group deals for “pennies per paper.”

In general, 20% of the cartoonists get 80% of the reprints, so the majority of editorial cartoonists have always struggled in a difficult profession and have never earned a lot. The same percentage still applies to slices of today’s smaller pie.

American editorial cartoonists are mostly liberal, and most American newspapers are rural and suburban papers serving conservative readers, so there is a supply and demand disparity. Liberal cartoons don’t get reprinted as much, because there is an over-supply of liberal cartoons. That said, conservative cartoons expressing strong opinions also don’t get reprinted much. The cartoons that are increasingly the most reprinted are the funny cartoons that express little or no opinion at all.

One of our clients, The China Daily, is owned by the Communist government in China; they asked me, “Daryl, how many of your cartoons express no opinion? Those are the cartoons we want.” The Chinese aren’t much different from American editors in this regard –except that they are more blunt.

When Trump was elected we were flooded with calls from unhappy editors complaining that, “all the cartoons I like have stopped!” The problem was that cartoonists stopped drawing the Hillary and Obama bashing cartoons that conservative editors preferred. We put up a selection of “Trump Friendly Cartoons” near the top of our CagleCartoons.com site that helps conservative editors find the cartoons they like in a sea of liberal cartoons they dislike; this helped to stop the hemorrhaging of conservative subscribers.

Cartoonists don’t draw for their clients, we draw whatever we want. We’re macho like that. Clients be damned. Sometimes that attitude comes back to bite us. Everything seems to be biting us these days.

We’ve also seen a continuing trickle of newspapers drop their entire editorial pages, including the editorial cartoon. I’m told that editorial pages make readers angry and don’t bring in income. And, of-course, newspapers are going out of business.

Cartoon by Robert Rousso!

I’m often asked about whether Trump and our polarized political environment are behind the decline of editorial cartoons. There is plenty that is wrong in our troubled profession, but it isn’t as simple as editors rejecting the Trump-bashing cartoons. This stew was brewing long before Trump.

Editorial cartoons are an important part of journalism. Don’t let editorial cartoons disappear!

Here at CagleCartoons we syndicate a package of great cartoonists to more than half of America’s daily, paid-circulation newspapers; we’re an important source of income to our struggling cartoonists. Our Cagle.com Web site is free and runs no advertising –the site is entirely supported by contributions from our readers. We need your support. Cagle.com is an important resource for editorial cartoonists around the world and is used in Social Studies classrooms throughout America. Help us survive!

Please visit Cagle.com/Heroes and make a contribution to support our art form and to keep our site online and free, with no advertising!

–Daryl Cagle

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More NYT and We Need Your Support!

The cartoons bashing The New York Times for banning editorial cartoons continue to come in. The foreign press seems to be picking up steam on the issue also. This article is one of a nice batch from the current French news magazine Liberation which did a cover story with art by Chappatte. They include an interview with Antonio Antunes, who drew the cartoon that started all of this – and here is a nice editorial.

The cartoon museum at St Just le Martel will be doing an exhibition of cartoons about The New York Times banning editorial cartoons. I wouldn’t be surprised if they also do a book. We’ve collected over 40 cartoons just from our CagleCartoons group to contribute to their show that will be up for their “Salon” this Fall. The cartoons keep pouring in. Some of my newest favorites are displayed below.

The New York Times isn’t alone in being timid about editorial cartoons. Cartoonists are buffeted on all sides by: timid liberal editors who don’t want to offend anyone; by conservative editors who say “we don’t like any of the cartoons anymore;” by offended readers who demand retribution against cartoonists and their timid publishers; and by cost cutting accountants at newspapers who see editorial cartoons as a troublesome expense that isn’t bringing in any advertising revenue.

We’re doing another fundraising push for our Cagle.com site – notice that we don’t run advertising on Cagle.com; the site is supported entirely by contributions from our readers. Cagle.com is the face of editorial cartooning to the world; we offend despots; we defend free speech. Editorial cartoons are important and endangered – we would really appreciate your support at this important time! Please visit Cagle.com/Heroes and consider making a donation to the cause.

My old buddy Jeff Parker retired from editorial cartooning some years ago, but came out of retirement to draw this one …

 

This one is by my pal, Steve Sack

 

This one is from the brilliant John Darkow

 

From my buddy and conservative, press-freedom loving pal, Gary McCoy

 

From French cartoonist, Robert Rousso

 

From our frequent blogger, Randy Enos

 

Here are new chickens from Milt Priggee

 

This one is by Portuguese cartoonist, Cristina Sampaio …

 

And Bulgarian virtuoso, Christo Komarnitsky …

 

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NY Times and Dachshunds!

Cartoon protests continue to rage around the world, in response to the New York Times” decision to drop all editorial cartoons after they were criticized for for choosing to publish an anti-Semitic cartoon. Here’s another one from me …

You may notice that this blog and Cagle.com don’t run advertising. Cagle.com is supported entirely from reader contributions –you make the site happen! Cagle.com is the face of editorial cartooning to the world. Please support us and our endangered art form with a contribution to keep our site up and keep our cartoonists drawing! Visit Cagle.com/Heroes, even if you’ve contributed before, even if you can only afford a tiny donation, we can’t let our important graphic voices go silent! Editorial cartoonists face extinction now more than ever before!

For more about the New York Times vs. Cartoonists, visit these past posts:

From 2019: More New York Times Cartoon Blowback

From 2019: Cartoons About No More New York Times Cartoons

From 2019: The New York Times Trashes Cartoonists

From 2015: The New York Times, A Student Contest and Editorial Cartoons

From 2012: The New York Times Cartoon Kerfuffle

From 2012: The New York Times Cartoons Kerfuffle Part 2

From 2007: The New York Times and Cartoons

Here’s a great column by our own Brian Adcock for The Independent.

Here’s an excellent column by Martin Rowson, for The Guardian.

Here are some more New York Times bashing favorites that came in after my last post. This one is by Angel Boligan from Mexico City.

This one is by Nikola Listes from Croatia …

 

This is by Joep Bertrams from Holland …

 

This one is by Hajo de Reijer from Holland …

This one is by Tchavdar Nicolov from Sofia, Bulgaria …

 

This one by Dave Whamond sums it all up …

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More New York Times Blowback

The New York Times’ stupid decision to stop publishing editorial cartoons is generating more articles around the world, and the world’s cartoonists are responding with lots of cartoons on the topic – some of the cartoons are more offensive than Antonio Antunes’ cartoon, and I won’t show them here, but I’ve posted some new ones here.

Courrier International, the great French news magazine that reprints lots of editorial cartoons by international cartoonists, asked me a bunch of questions for an upcoming article; I thought I would post my responses here.

1) As a cartoonist and founder of Cagle Syndicate Cartoon, what do you think of the incriminated cartoon by Antonio Moreira Antunes?

This is the famous, offending cartoon by Antonio Antunes.

I would have killed the cartoon if it came in to us. I can also see how the cartoon could have slipped through, without notice, since the cartoon didn’t feature an obvious, anti-Semitic, Der Stürmer cliché like depicting a Jew as a rat or spider.

The Antonio cartoon illustrates the trope that Jews manipulate the world’s non-Jews, with yarmulke-wearing Trump blindly following Jews, which are broadly indicated by the Star of David the Netanyahu-dog wears on his collar, rather than having the dog wear an Israeli flag which would indicate that Trump is led by Israel. When cartoonists mix anti-Israel and anti-Jewish metaphors, the cartoons should be killed. It isn’t about the dog, although the choice of a German Dachshund is provocative; the most common anti-Semitic cartoons depict Jews as Nazis.

This cartoon is by French cartoonist, Pierre Ballouhey. “Teckel” is French for Dachshund.

When we get an anti-Semitic cartoon from one of our cartoonists, I email the cartoonist letting him know why we killed his cartoon, and usually the cartoonist will say, “OK, I get it.” Over time, our cartoonists have learned where we draw the red lines and it is less of a problem for us. Anti-Semitic cartoons are so common around the world that the cartoonists are usually unaware that their cartoons are offensive.

2) Did the decision made by the NYT surprise you (that is : did you see it coming?)? What’s your reaction?

The Times doesn’t run editorial cartoons in their USA edition and has a long history of being cartoon-unfriendly, so their decision to stop running cartoons in their international edition didn’t surprise me.

Cartoon by Pat Bagley of the Salt Lake Tribune.

I was mostly surprised that the Times suddenly cut off their relationship with their partner, Cartoonarts International Syndicate, because of the poor decision of a Times editor. Cartoonarts is a family business that has worked with the Times for nearly twenty years, with the Times handling all of Cartoonarts’ sales and online delivery services, which were suddenly cut off. The announcement that the Times would “stop using syndicated cartoons” didn’t describe how brutal their reaction was to a small business that relied on their long-running partnership and support from the Times.

Cartoon by Milt Priggee.

3) Many cartoonists (Chapatte and Kroll, among others) reacted to the NYT’s decision saying : it is a bad time for cartoons, caricature, humor and derision. Do you agree with this appreciation?

Yes, jobs with newspapers are mostly a thing of the past for editorial cartoonists. Outrage is easy to express on the internet and often takes the form of demands for revenge on the publication and the cartoonist who offended the reader. Newspapers are responsive to organized online outrage and shy away from controversy. Cartoons draw more response from readers than words, and responses are usually negative as people who agree with the cartoons are not motivated to email the newspaper.

Cartoon by Hassan Bleibel from Lebanon.

When did things begin to turn ugly, and why?

Editorial cartoonists are in the same, sinking boat as all journalists. Things turned ugly when the internet took the advertising revenue away from print.

Is there a US specificity in this context, especially since Donald Trump was elected president?

Not regarding Donald Trump. I’ve drawn Trump as a dog, and I’ve drawn Netanyahu as a dog. Cartoonists love to draw politicians as dogs. Anti-Semitic cartoons are common around the world but are not common in the USA where editors do a good job of recognizing and killing offensive cartoons.

Cartoon by Neils Bo Bojesen from Denmark.

4) Why is it important to defend cartoonists and press cartoons, according to you? (or: do you think a world without cartoons and caricature has become a serious eventuality? Can you imagine such a world?) What should be done to defend this form of journalistic expression?
5) As a cartoonist and founder of Cagle Syndicate Cartoon, what would you say about the role played by social medias? Do you see them rather as a useful tool or a threat to a good and sound public debate? Or somewhere in between?

It is troubling that so many people get their news through social media. Social media has taken the advertising revenue away from traditional news media – both online and in print – so journalism is being starved. Editorial cartoonists are no different than other journalists; we’re underpaid freelancers now; we draw for love rather than because of any good business sense.

Cartoon by Arcadio Esquivel from Costa Rica.

I run an editorial cartoons site for readers at Cagle.com, and we stopped running advertising on the site. We rely on donations from readers to support Cagle.com. Other publications are going non-profit and relying on donations to support their journalism – I’m impressed with Pro-Publica and the Texas Tribune. The Guardian has been successful with support from their readers.

Cartoon fans who worry about our profession can support us by going to Cagle.com/Heroes and making a small contribution. We really appreciate everyone’s support!

 

Cartoon by Dale Cummings from Canada.

 

Cartoon by Nikola Listes from Croatia.

 

Want to see more of my posts about the New York Times’ ugly, recent history with editorial cartoons?

Visit:

2012, The New York Times Cartoon Kerfuffle, Part 1

2012, The New York Times Cartoon Kerfuffle, Part 2

2007, The New York Times and Cartoons

2015, The New York Times, a Student Contest and Editorial Cartoons

 

 

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Cartoons About No More New York Times Cartoons

An article in The Week reminded me that I had drawn a cartoon about The New York Times not running editorial cartoons back in 2003.

The offending Antonio Antunes cartoon that lost a job for Patrick Chappatte, crushed a syndicate and lost a top venue for all editorial cartooning.

 

 

Here’s another good article about the Times’ decision from our own Brian Adcock.

 

 

And here are some of my favorite cartoons on the subject. This one below is by Jos Collignon from Holland.

 

This one is by Emad Hajjaj from Jordan.

 

This one is by Randy Bish from Pittsburgh. 

 

This one is by Jose Neves from Montreal.

 

This one is by the great Dario Castellejos from Mexico.

 

This one is by Kevin Siers of the Charlotte Observer.

 

This is by Robert Rousso from France.

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NY Times Trashes Cartoonists

Yesterday we learned that the NY Times terminated the contracts with their two cartoonists who have been regular contributors to the NY Times International edition, Swiss Cagle Cartoonist Patrick Chappatte and Heng Kim Song from Singapore.

The offending Antonio Antunes cartoon that lost a job for Patrick Chappatte, crushed a syndicate and lost a top venue for all editorial cartooning.

This is another over-the-top reaction to the stupid decision of a Times editor to run an anti-Semitic cartoon. Here’s a quote I gave to the Washington Post:

By choosing not to print editorial cartoons in the future, the Times can be sure that their editors will never again make a poor cartoon choice. Editors at the Times have also made poor choices of words in the past. I would suggest that the Times should also choose not to print words in the future –just to be on the safe side. –Daryl Cagle


Patrick learned that he lost the gig in an online announcement from the Times, which later expanded on the subject with a self-serving statement from their editorial page editor, James Bennett, bragging that the Times won a Pulitzer Prize in the editorial cartooning category – though he fails to mention that the prize was for a non-fiction piece where a writer wrote a script that was illustrated by a cartoonist –not what I would call a prize for an editorial cartoonist.

Patrick gave me permission to re-post this announcement from his blog:

Patrick posted this Charlie Hebdo cartoon with his announcement.

 

 


The end of political cartoons at The New York Times

All my professional life, I have been driven by the conviction that the unique freedom of political cartooning entails a great sense of responsibility.

In 20-plus years of delivering a twice-weekly cartoon for the International Herald Tribune first, and then The New York Times, and after receiving three OPC awards in that category, I thought the case for political cartoons had been made (in a newspaper that was notoriously reluctant to the form in past history.) But something happened. In April 2019, a Netanyahu caricature from syndication reprinted in the international editions triggered widespread outrage, a Times apology and the termination of syndicated cartoons. Last week, my employers told me they’ll be ending in-house political cartoons as well by July. I’m putting down my pen, with a sigh: that’s a lot of years of work undone by a single cartoon – not even mine – that should never have run in the best newspaper of the world.

I’m afraid this is not just about cartoons, but about journalism and opinion in general. We are in a world where moralistic mobs gather on social media and rise like a storm, falling upon newsrooms in an overwhelming blow. This requires immediate counter-measures by publishers, leaving no room for ponderation or meaningful discussions. Twitter is a place for furor, not debate. The most outraged voices tend to define the conversation, and the angry crowd follows in.

Over the last years, with the Cartooning for Peace Foundation we established with French cartoonist Plantu and the late Kofi Annan – a great defender of cartoons – or on the board of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, I have consistently warned about the dangers of those sudden (and often organized) backlashes that carry everything in their path. If cartoons are a prime target it’s because of their nature and exposure: they are an encapsulated opinion, a visual shortcut with an unmatched capacity to touch the mind. That’s their strength, and their vulnerability. They might also be a revealor of something deeper. More than often, the real target, behind the cartoon, is the media that published it.

“Political cartoons were born with democracy.

And they are challenged when freedom is.“

In 1995, at twenty-something, I moved to New York with a crazy dream: I would convince the New York Times to have political cartoons. An art director told me: “We never had political cartoons and we will never have any.“ But I was stubborn. For years, I did illustrations for NYT Opinion and the Book Review, then I persuaded the Paris-based International Herald Tribune (a NYT-Washington Post joint venture) to hire an in-house editorial cartoonist. By 2013, when the NYT had fully incorporated the IHT, there I was: featured on the NYT website, on its social media and in its international print editions. In 2018, we started translating my cartoons on the NYT Chinese and Spanish websites. The U.S. paper edition remained the last frontier. Gone out the door, I had come back through the window. And proven that art director wrong: The New York Times did have in-house political cartoons. For a while in history, they dared.

Along with The Economist, featuring the excellent Kal, The New York Times was one of the last venues for international political cartooning – for a U.S. newspaper aiming to have a meaningful impact worldwide, it made sense. Cartoons can jump over borders. Who will show the emperor Erdogan that he has no clothes, when Turkish cartoonists can’t do it ? – one of them, our friend Musa Kart, is now in jail. Cartoonists from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Russia were forced into exile. Over the last years, some of the very best cartoonists in the U.S., like Nick Anderson and Rob Rogers, lost their positions because their publishers found their work too critical of Trump. Maybe we should start worrying. And pushing back. Political cartoons were born with democracy. And they are challenged when freedom is.

“The power of images has never been so big.“

Curiously, I remain positive. This is the era of images. In a world of short attention span, their power has never been so big. Out there is a whole world of possibilities, not only in editorial cartooning, still or animated, but also in new fields like on-stage illustrated presentations and long-form comics reportage – of which I have been a proponent for the last 25 years. (I’m happy, by the way, to have opened the door for the genre at the NYT with the “Inside Death Row“ series in 2016. The following year, another series about Syrian refugees by Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan got the NYT a Pulitzer prize.) It’s also a time where the media need to renew themselves and reach out to new audiences. And stop being afraid of the angry mob. In the insane world we live in, the art of the visual commentary is needed more than ever. And so is humor.

Patrick Chappatte
June 10, 2019

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The New York Times, a Student Contest and Editorial Cartoons

The New York Times, which doesn’t have an editorial cartoonist and dropped their weekly round-up of syndicated editorial cartoons years ago, recently announced a contest for budding, young, student editorial cartoonists, who may grow up to not be published in the New York Times.

NYtimesClipThis story is so tone deaf and ironic that I had to write a bit about it. A judge of the contest is my cartoonist buddy, Patrick Chappatte, pictured at right, who draws for the New York Times owned “International New York Times” which was formerly the “International Herald Tribune.” Patrick lives and works from his home in Switzerland.

The Times runs a lot of illustrations on their editorial pages, and these may look like editorial cartoons to readers, but illustrations are done to the specifications of the client, and are usually depicting the ideas of the writer of the columns that the art accompanies. Editorial cartoonists are like visual columnists, we draw our own ideas, something that clearly makes editors at the New York Times feel uncomfortable.

There are two famous, unattributed quotes from NY Times editors:

1) We would never hire an editorial cartoonist because we would never give so much power to one man.

2) We would never hire an editorial cartoonist because you can’t edit and editorial cartoonist like you can a writer.

Most of the syndicated cartoonists submitted their work to the Times back when they did a weekly “round-up.” The Times would pick perhaps three cartoons, and paid $50.00 each, but only if the cartoonist noticed that they ran his cartoon, and sent them an invoice. When I asked them about this system, they told me that they expect everyone to read the Times, so, of-course, everyone would notice if a cartoon was used.

Suppose I placed a standing order with McDonalds; I would instruct McDonalds to deliver a hamburger to me every day at lunch time. I may or may not choose to eat the hamburger, and if I choose to eat it I’ll pay for it, but only if someone from McDonalds sees me eating it and asks me to pay. Cartoonists went along with a plan that McDonalds would never countenance.

Sometime after dropping their round-up, editors at the Times had second thoughts. They had conducted surveys where readers responded that they missed seeing editorial cartoons in the Times, so the Times decided to bring the round-up back, but this time, without paying the pesky $50.00 fee to the cartoonists. They sent emails to the top cartoonists, inviting them to submit again, for the privilege and exposure that having a cartoon in the Times would bring them.

To their credit, my colleagues revolted, with most of them responding in emails to the Times that they would not submit cartoons for no payment and the Times dropped the idea.

And that’s where we are with traditional editorial cartoons in the New York Times – America’s newspaper of record; they could have any of the best editorial cartoonists jump at the opportunity to work for them, but, alas, we’re not worth $50.00.

The biggest circulation newspaper in America, The Wall Street Journal, doesn’t have an editorial cartoonist either. At least USA Today still pays $50.00 for a cartoon.