Beattie has been with the News-Journal for almost 30 years, having moved to Daytona Beach in 1981.
According to E&P, the cuts were made prior to the paper being handed over to new owners, Halifax Media Acquisition LLC, on Thursday.
Ted Rall has collaborated with Pablo G. Callejo’s on “The Year of Loving Dangerously,” an autobiographical graphic novel based on Rall’s adventures in the ’80s.
With an introduction is by Xaviera Hollander, author of “The Happy Hooker,” the book is the editorial cartoonist’s first collaborative effort. Rall wrote and scripted the book, based on his experience getting arrested, dumped, expelled and evicted onto the mean streets of Manhattan in 1984, and “Bluesman” artist Callejo provided the full-color painterly artwork. “
“[The book] is an allegory for the economic collapse, showcasing what can happen to anyone,” said Rall, “even a white Ivy-educated male, who suffers a run of bad luck. It’s also a shot across the bow of other male graphic artists who wallow in self-pity and alienation.”+ + + + +
Earlier this year, Ariail took a buyout from his long-time staff job at The State rather than accept a cut in pay and benefits to part-time. (His work is still being syndicated nationwide through United Media.)
Ariail is a Columbia native and University of South Carolina graduate, and has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize twice — in 1995 and 2000.
“Though he hasn’t had to deal with the demands of cartooning for a daily newspaper since March, Ariail is still working and, clearly, still having a good time skewering the many serious and silly sides of life in South Carolina,” said the local news anchor in an on-air introduction to Ariail.
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Chicago Tribune editorial cartoonist Dick Locher was selected to create a new trophy for the annual rivalry football game between Northwestern and Illinois. The schools previously battled for the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk Trophy, but that prize was retired out of respect for Native Americans. Dick’s trophy, the Land of Lincoln Trophy, was modeled after President Abraham Lincoln’s signature stove-top hat. Dick had researched Lincoln’s hats and the stove-top that was worn during the Gettysburg Address in particular and then he worked with a sculptor to bring it to life.
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Cartoonist David G. Brown was selected by the U.S. State Department and U.S. Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil to join 20 internationally known artists to exhibit his political cartoons and comic book work at the Museu Afro Brasil in Sao Paulo, as part of the Picha traveling exhibition in October. (Picha presents a colorful image of the rich continent of Africa. “Picha” is also the African Swahili word for “drawing” and is a corruption of the English word, “picture.”) The exhibit showcases original drawings, comic books and comics published in newspapers and magazines from continental Africa, Brazil and the United States and focuses on the African Diaspora.
+ + + + +
Mike Rhode of the ComicsDC blog reported, “The mysterious [bidder] #123 bought by far the most cartoons — I’m guessing at least 1/3 of what was offered.”+ + + + +
Professor and documentary-maker Elaine Miller (she did the “Trailblazer” doc on Etta Hulme) has published an article on Sarah Palin and editorial cartoons.
“Sarah Palin in the ‘08 Campaign: Political Cartoon Portrayals,” appears in “A New Age: Readings & Studies on Race, Gender and Class Using the Sociological Imagination,” by Kendall Hunt Publications.
“The book title is rather academic (it’s intended as a student reader),” said Dr. Miller, “but I tried to write the article in a light-hearted style.”+ + + + +
Steve Greenberg has joined the “Video Journalism Movement” out of The Netherlands, a “new international online forum for a multitude of viewpoints from editorial cartoonists and freelance professional video journalists that aspires to be a new type of journalistic platform.”
“I was the first U.S. cartoonist asked to participate,” said Greenberg. “There are currently four from the U.S.
“Their official info is here at http://www.prweb.com/releases/videojournalism/movement/prweb3154074.htm and my blog item with more info is at: http://blog.cagle.com/greenberg/”
Dwane Powell, the long-time editorial cartoonist for the News & Observer, and a stalwart of North Carolina political commentary, announced he was retiring Nov. 4.
Dwane Powell is retiring today as editorial cartoonist for The News & Observer after spending 35 years lampooning the high and mighty of Tar Heel politics, from dressing former Republican U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms in a cave man outfit to putting a weathervane in former Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt's pompadour.
Powell, who turns 65 this week, drew more than 8,000 editorial cartoons that pointed out the foibles, the contradictions and affectations of the state's elected leaders.
Powell worked briefly for newspapers in Arkansas, San Antonio and Cincinnati before coming to Raleigh in 1975.
"The N&O was what I really considered a dream job for a cartoonist," Powell said. "It was a paper that had a strong journalistic ethical standard. It was in a capital city. And they offered me the freedom to do what I wanted to do."
Among Powell's favorite subjects were Helms, the rock-ribbed conservative; Jimmy Green, the often investigated Democratic lieutenant governor; or "any politician doing something stupid."
In 2008, Powell had a showdown with his paper when they planned to cut his position to part-time. Rather than take the pay-cut and loss of benefits, Powell said he'd quit first. After strong support from readers, the paper backed down and came to a compromise with the cartoonist.
Mike Lane, the former editorial cartoonist for the Baltimore Sun, announced last month that he has retired from editorial cartooning. Lane made the announcement in a letter to Daryl Cagle, whose Cagle Cartoons Syndicate carried his work."My quitting editorial cartooning comes because it’s time, not because of my health," wrote Lane. The letter and Cagle's comments can be seen here:
The person to whom Ted was speaking, Frank Swoboda, head of the Herblock Foundation, did not hesitate to help, tapping a discretionary fund he had access to, and providing the money needed to guarantee the Seattle gathering.
So for that, and for their continuing and unwavering support they have shown the AAEC over the years, this year’s Ink Bottle Award goes to Frank Swoboda and the Herblock Foundation.
Scott Stantis to Fill Premier Position Left Vacant for Nearly a Decade
NEW YORK — The Chicago Tribune has hired Scott Stantis as its new staff editorial cartoonist, filling the vacancy left by the death of Jeff MacNelly in 2000.
The Tribune's hiring of Stantis reflects the paper's renewed commitment to return to its roots as a "crusading newspaper," which it believes readers want and will lead to increased profitability.
Stantis, staff editorial cartoonist for The Birmingham (AL) News and the creator of the syndicated comic strip "Prickly City," is a member and former President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC).
Stantis said: "The Chicago Tribune is bullish about the future of newspapers, and so am I. The Tribune believes that editorial cartooning is an integral part of that future, and I am therefore thrilled and humbled to be given this opportunity."
AAEC President Ted Rall said: "Competing with the Internet requires newspapers to showcase their editorial pages and to use edgier, more graphic content. Editorial cartoons are a vital part of that formula, especially the local- and state-issue cartoons that only a staff editorial cartoonist can provide."
Rall added: "The Tribune's decision is notable since Scott Stantis is respected by his peers as a thoughtful, edgy and daring cartoonist."
The Birmingham News has said that it intends to fill the vacancy left by Stantis.
In a recent article on The Huffington Post, editor-turned-freelance writer Jason Notte said: “If newspaper's death knell is ringing, editorial cartoonists are pulling the rope.” Ignoring the fact that his chest-thumping piece, “Ten Features that Are Dying with your Newspaper,” was yet another in the newspapers-are-dead-do-you-hear-me-dead! category Huffpo is apparently trying to corner, I kinda like the moniker “rope puller.” So, let's yank on the cord once again with the latest in layoffs and buyouts! —JP
Award-winning cartoonist Robert Ariail announced March 16 that he would rather resign from The State, his longtime base for lampooning some of the most powerful world, national, state and local figures, rather than accept a cut to part-time status.
Ariail, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 and 2000, turned down a part-time job that had been offered in the wake of cost-cutting measures taken by the paper's parent, The McClatchy Company, and instead accepted a buyout.
The week before, the paper laid off 38 people — 11 percent of its work force — and cut employee wages up to 10%.
Ariail, who joined The State in 1984, said he planned to continue his work through United Media syndicate, which serves more than 600 newspapers and magazines, and Daryl Cagle's site.
“I hope to find another job in editorial cartooning,” said Ariail. “I'm 53. It's difficult to remake myself, and I don't want to.”
Among those laid off was Ariail's boss for the past 15 years, vice president and editorial page editor Brad Warthen.
“Robert is probably one of the most talented people I've ever worked with,” Warthen said.
In a letter posted on Daryl Cagle's blog, Ariail later wrote, “Sorry I haven't gotten back to you before now—I've been inundated with mail, e-mail and phone calls that I've tried to answer and thank everyone for all of their kind words and thoughts. I never thought getting laid off would lead to so much work! As for getting the boot, it wasn't a surprise. I saw this coming for nearly a year. It still stings nonetheless.
“I've also just started a web site: robertariail.com that I will post my new cartoons on (as well as an archive of my work from my 25 plus years with The State.) And as tough as this market is, I'm going to start sending out my resume to papers and see if anything comes from it. One hopeful sign already is that my publisher told me not to be surprised if he called me to return to work at the end of 2009 (the buy-out I took legally prevents them from rehiring during the calendar year.)
“All said, it's not so bad. I've always had an optimistic outlook and I believe that if one door closes another opens — you just have to find that door!”
Two days later, Bill Day, who has been at the Memphis Commercial Appeal for the last 10 years, was suddenly laid-off as part of cutbacks by corporate parent E.W. Scripps.
“It was a terrible shock. I don't know what I'm going to do,” Day told Comic Riffs blogger Michael Cavna, who reached the cartoonist by phone while he packed up his personal belongings in the newsroom. “I've got a family to support and my 401(k) is shot and I might lose my house. I'm a total wreck right now. I'm at a total loss of even what to think.”
According to Alan Gardner of The Daily Cartoonist, Day was asked to have his office cleaned out in an hour, but after protesting that it would take much longer than that to clear out his work, they gave him the rest of the afternoon.
“It's been a wonderful job to work for [Otis Standford, his editor]. He gave me complete freedom. It was wonderful. I loved every minute of it. I can't believe it's over. I love the city, the paper,” Day said.
Day plans to continue his syndicated cartoons through United Media.
In an online 'exit interview' Day told Cavna, “I've been in political cartooning my whole life. I'm 61. I've been in Memphis for 10 years ... and I was a staff artist back [here] in the late '70s [before going to Detroit]. I love Memphis.”
Day added, “I don't understand why, when you're going to a visual medium [online], why you want to get rid of cartoonists. It's made for cartoonists. ... We're like the Jiminy Cricket of the newspaper. We're the conscience.”
On April 3, Alan Gardner posted: “Decrement the staff count by one this morning. From a couple of sources it looks like Gary Brookins, the award winning editorial cartoonist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch has been laid off along with 90 others.
“Gary has been with the paper since 1979 and is syndicated through King Features. He also produces the comic panel Pluggers and co-produces Jeff MacNelly's Shoe. He was also a nominee for best editorial cartoonist last year by the National Cartoonist Society.
Tom Meyer, long-time editorial cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle, left the paper in April after accepting a buyout offer. Meyer had been with the newspaper since 1981.
“Tom's departure will deprive me of one of my favorite moments of the day: When he would bring in three or four rough sketches of editorial cartoons,” Editorial Page Editor John Diaz wrote. “I'll also miss his insights — and, often, levity — at our weekly planning meetings. Tom is every bit as quick-witted in the office as his cartoons are on the page. However, I am happy to report that Tom does have plans to freelance or syndicate his work — and, once he does, we will be among his customers.”
Right before we went press came news that The Vancouver Sun had abruptly laid off Roy Peterson, 73. He had been with the Sun for 47 years, starting there in 1962. Peterson's work has also appeared in Punch, Time and The New York Times, and for many years MacLean's magazine. In that time he has won seven National Newspaper Awards, the most in the history of the awards in any category.
“Roy's cartoons are the stuff of legend in Canadian cartooning,” a blogger posted on the ACEC website, “his wit and artwork second to none, as proven by his 7 National Newspaper Awards. ...There will no doubt be a wave of anger moving through our waters at this news. Frankly, for his position at the Sun to come to an end in this fashion is appalling.”
Finally, in an e-mail sent out April 18, Ted Rall wrote, “I suppose it would be wrong for the president of the AAEC not to have been laid off, so the fates have set things straight.
“Scripps has laid off eight people from United Media, including me. Since 2006 I was working three days a week as Editor of Acquisitions & Development, where I signed the comic strips 'The Knight Life' by Keith Knight, Matt Bors' editorial cartoons, 'Family Tree' by Signe Wilkinson, 'Minimum Security' by Stephanie McMillan and several other features of which I am very proud.
“It's a huge financial hit, obviously, but I have other projects to work on, especially books and animation. What I will miss most is the opportunity to reshape the comics and other pages with material that was less conventional. I just hope these layoffs end soon...”
As our current model collapses around us — whether it is a business model, employer model or, in the case of the AAEC, convention sponsor model — the debate on what to do next grows louder. While no one's figured out a solution yet, at least we're talking about it. Here are two recent discussions, one an exchange between Tom Spurgeon and Ted Rall on The Comics Reporter blog, the other a column by Daryl Cagle. —JP
And They Will All Live Like Cartoonists: The US Economy And Comics, Post #26 [March 3, 2009]
The cartoonist and current AAEC president Ted Rall release[d] another editorial [today] about the stupidity of newspapers in dumping their editorial cartoonists. I'll repeat what I said after the last one of these jeremiads: it isn't good enough. The decline of staffed editorial cartooning positions is beyond the point where a bunch of strong assertions cleverly made and presented with passion will convince newspapers that what they're doing isn't necessary. I don't see anything here that would convince me as a newspaper editor I wouldn't be better off simply picking up a syndicated Ted Rall cartoon or taking my staff cartoonist investment and hiring a video blogger. Once again, I challenge Ted Rall and the AAEC to come up with five models of newspaper-cartoonist relationships that work for those newspapers, specific examples and detailed reasons why they work, and how newspapers can develop that within their own publications. Having not one but two skilled cartoonists sure didn't save the Rocky Mountain News. Fair or not, that's the tenor of the conversation right now.
—Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
Ted Rall Responds To My Charge That Better Arguments Are Needed On Behalf Of Editorial Cartoonists [March 5, 2009]
Ted Rall: I couldn't agree more with you: the AAEC and other cartoonists organizations need hard data that demonstrate the value of editorial cartoons, comics and graphic arts to newspapers, online publications, etc. I have been working toward that goal for several years within the AAEC. What is lacking is money.
Yes, money. Among other things, we need to hire a professional polling organization to conduct a scientifically sound reader survey to study readers' attitudes towards cartooning. Such surveys cost $20,000 or more — not that much money objectively, but we're a small organization and haven't been able to budget the funds. In short, it's not that we don't know what needs to be done. The trouble is figuring out how to come up with the cash to do it.
You challenged me to come up with five examples of newspaper-cartoonist relationships that work. I could point to scores! The problem is that no cartoonist and no newspaper wants to discuss the details of their businesses, including the well-known fact within the business that editorial cartoons routinely top out reader surveys conducted by papers, in a public forum. Why that is varies — maybe it would make cartoonists uppity, or perhaps it's proprietary information and that's reason enough to keep it secret. But it surely says something that, even in the current regime of ferocious cost-cutting, the vast majority of big-city major newspapers still employ a staff editorial cartoonists. It's not just because so many AAECers are so darned cute.
Anyway, we need to do some polls to prove what we already know to be true: cartoonists add a lot of value to their papers.
Tom Spurgeon Responds: Ted, thanks for responding. I appreciate your position, but I still have a hard time believing that the only options here are very general exhortation or specific, funded research results. There has to be some middle ground in there somewhere. I hope that you'll consider a qualitative approach even if you can't do a quantitative one. I know that there are dozens of papers with editorial cartoonists, and it's probably not because they're cute. On that level I guess they all work. But the trend is going the other way, and I'd love to hear you get at more specific reasons why even if you don't have hard numbers. For you to say that you could point to dozens of relationships that work is no doubt true; I could, too, for as far as that goes. But 18 months ago that list would have included, say, Chip Bok and Jim Borgman and their newspapers. It's my hope that we could hear from your organization in slightly less broad strokes than implying everyone who disagrees with you is kind of a moron why, say, Tom Toles is an asset worth keeping.
By Daryl Cagle
I was asked to speak about the future of syndication on panels at the National Cartoonists Society convention this week and the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention in July. The subject is a burning issue for cartoonists — burning a hole in the wallets of many cartoonists, as newspapers seem to be fading away before our eyes.
The best-known editorial cartoonists have always been the cartoonists with the biggest list of syndicated client newspapers. Fifty years ago, when there were two or three times as many political cartoonists and the newspaper industry was thriving, newspapers would purchase individual subscriptions to star cartoonists from syndicates that were like cartoon boutiques with exclusive content. The cartoonist would mail his cartoon to his syndicate, who would print the cartoon on paper and re-mail it to all of the subscribing newspaper editors, in big envelopes stuffed with the other boutique, exclusive features that each editor subscribed to and slowly received, days after the news was fresh.
It would have been difficult for a cartoonist to self syndicate in those days because delivery and billing was a big job; there were efficiencies of scale for the syndicates, who had ambitious printing, mass postal mailing operations and sales forces that were constantly visiting editors.
In recent decades the individual sales have given way to “packages” of groups of cartoonists. It is cheaper and easier for an editor to subscribe to a group of cartoonists, with one monthly invoice for the whole group, than to keep track of individual subscriptions. By the 1980's and 1990's, competition between the packages had driven the prices for editorial cartoons down to alarmingly low levels, leading cartoonists to complain about the collapse of their profession.
In fact, it was almost impossible for a cartoonist to sell his own work to newspapers. If an editor could subscribe to the Copley News Service package of twelve great cartoonists for $24 per week, there was no sense in talking to an individual cartoonist about subscribing to only his work for $2 per week. The price for editorial cartoons had fallen so low that it would be embarrassing for an editor to even discuss price with a single cartoonist.
I started my little syndicate in 2000, at what seemed to be a terrible time, with ugly low prices and disinterested, unmotivated editors in an oversaturated market. But I had an edge; the other big syndicates were slow in transitioning from postal mail delivery to e-mail delivery, and had no download Web sites for their newspaper editors. I was the first to put up a nice download site, where the cartoonists uploaded their own cartoons, and the cartoons appeared immediately when they were drawn. We also delivered the cartoons by e-mail, and I assembled a group of great cartoonists to compete as a package, against the other packages. It worked and we built an impressive list of over 600 newspaper subscribers in the first three years. (Today we have about 900 subscribers.)
Now that newspapers are failing, circulation is dropping, editors are cutting expenses anywhere they can, and prices for editorial cartoons couldn't fall any lower, the future looks even bleaker for political cartoonists. A few years ago it looked like the Internet would be our salvation. There are some Web sites that are good customers, but sales to the Web have turned out to be a disappointment. There is no culture of paying for content on the Web. Advertising with content on the Internet pays a pittance. The Web is a dud.
Many cartoonists thought that animated editorial cartoons would be our future. The Pulitzer committee certainly thought so, picking three animated editorial cartoonists as winner and runners up recently when animated editorial cartoons were on people's minds. Some cartoonists do excellent work animating their cartoons, but with a handful of exceptions, there is no business plan in it. No matter how good the animated editorial cartoons are, they won't work without clients who will pay for them. Some cartoonists stubbornly cling to the idea that animation will be our salvation. I wish them luck.
We're now seeing more cartoonists who are willing to work for free for Web sites, with the idea that this will somehow lead to a paying job. As editorial cartoonists are laid off from staff positions at declining newspapers, they continue to draw cartoons in syndication as they did when they had real jobs. Our profession seems to be transitioning into a hobby.
Ironically, political cartoons are now more popular than ever. We have a big audience for our Web sites. Cartoons still dominate newspaper editorial pages. Our annual Best Political Cartoons of the Year books are popular. High school and middle school kids have mandated state testing on political cartoons in every state and teachers teach to the tests, forcing millions of students to love our art form every night as they grind through their homework assignments.
The quality of work that editorial cartoonists are doing now has never been better. The product is great, the audience is there for the product, and the problem is the business plan.
What the Future Holds ?
We see two big trends in our little business. First is the decline in newspaper clients — what used to be the whole reason for drawing editorial cartoons.
Second, we're seeing growth in strange, oddball subscribers. Our new subscribers and pay per use customers come from all over the globe, like Southeast Asia, Arab countries, Eastern European countries, places we would never expect. And they are all different kinds of companies, including foreign newspapers, magazines, newsletters, book publishers, TV stations and oddball Websites. These are customers who find us because we're easy to find on the Web (search Google for “political cartoon” or “editorial cartoon” and we come up first). Most new customers are overseas, their numbers are growing and there are enough of them to make up for our losses in newspapers, keeping our little business stable and making us optimistic about continued growth.
The new, oddball customers have something in common. They don't comparison shop, they come to us and subscribe or purchase pay per use. They don't know anything about other online cartoon sources like stock illustration houses or other syndicates, and they don't care; we have enough content that they can find something they like.
In the old days syndicates knew just who to sell to — they all sold to the same list of newspaper editors, in a limited market, so it made sense that each syndicate had exclusive arrangements with their cartoonists, to differentiate their content from their competitors. Now there doesn't seem to be so much value in exclusivity. A number of our cartoonists are non-exclusive and some are sold in other online stores or are represented by other syndicates — we've never heard from new clients who have noticed that.
It would seem that the new paradigm is to think of a syndicate like a store. A store in a good location has lots of customers who find the store. A store in a poor location draws few customers. Stores in different locations draw different customers.
Cartoonists are like producers who create products to put in the stores. Cartoonists should want their cartoons to be sold in as many different stores as possible, because those stores now have different customers.
Exclusive syndication deals now have less value to the syndicates and tie the hands of the cartoonists. The new paradigm for editorial cartoonists is to be resold in as many ways, in as many places as possible.
I think this is a future that many cartoonists will find difficult to accept. Cartoonists have always been drawn to the idea that a syndicate is a benevolent Mommy, who will take care of all the nasty business stuff while they can concentrate on their creative work; this is a model that hasn't worked for most cartoonists and is even worse now, but cartoonists keep coming back to it and keep signing long term, exclusive contracts with old world syndicates.
From the syndicate's or “store's” point of view, it means we need to find a way of presenting our product to more, non-overlapping groups of customers on the Web. We've looked at sublicensing our content to be sold by another store, like Cartoonbank, but I think there is a basic problem with that. Once we hit the point of having enough content so that a customer can easily find a cartoon he likes, there is diminishing value to adding more content, or cartoonists. Putting more content into a store that already has plenty of content doesn't make for more sales overall in that store. We need more stores, in different wrappers, in different places, reaching more potential customers in different ways. That's our plan now.
I would expect to see more cartoonists getting together to start their own online stores and syndicates as I did — as Malcolm Mayes did with Artizans, and as Sarah Thaves did with Cartoonistsgroup. The barriers to entry are low in the Internet age. It won't work for self-syndicating cartoonists to call the same 1,500 daily newspapers who are sick of getting so many sales calls, but I expect that more cartoonists will lay claim to bits of the vast, odd and foreign client potential on the Web.
My advice for 21st century editorial cartoonists is: draw a consistent, steady flow of great cartoons that are not about local events, with a global audience in mind. Sign non-exclusive deals with as many syndicates, online stores and stock houses that you can find, around the world, and allow those “stores” to sub-license your work through other “stores.” Have your own Web site where your work is easily available to any customer who is interested just in you, and publicize your site as best you can. Manage your work as a database of all your work. Your product is all your work from past years, not just what you're drawing today; and when you join a new online store or syndicate, bring all your past cartoons with you so that your archive is easily accessible and can continue to generate sales of second rights. Don't accept long term contracts with syndicates, agents or online stores; always be free to move. And don't rely on anyone to take care of your career, but you.
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