Dennis Draughon is one of several former-newspaper cartoonists now working for a TV station, where his commentary appears on the WRAL.com website.
Draughon notes, "Rex and I both started in this business at roughly the same time, both of us employed full-time at dailies in the Northeast; Rex in Albany, NY, me in Scranton, PA. We were both inspired by Lee Judge’s call to arms about the importance of local cartooning, delivered at a convention in the early nineties. Rex is gone now, and so, too is the last family-owned daily in NC that hired me to freelance local cartoons for them for twelve years.
"Since March of 2017 I have been drawing cartoons about state issues for the local NBC affiliate at WRAL.com. Healthcare, water pollution, Confederate statues, offshore drilling and an out of control Republican supermajority in the state legislature have given me plenty of material to work with."
Editor's note: the "Silent Sam' statue in the above cartoon was pulled down by student protestors on Aug. 20.
[Throughout his life, Rex Babin championed those who focused on state and local issues in editorial cartoons, a field that he and other cartoonists felt was regularly overlooked by journalism contests. The "Rex Babin Memorial Award for Excellence in Local Cartooning" was launched in 2017 to celebrate those working in this niche. To that end, we will be showcasing each cartoonist who entered the contest this year, one or two each day in alphabetical order (more or less), leading up to the AAEC Convention in Sacramento, CA, and the announcement of the award winner on Saturday, Sept. 22.]