Editorial Cartoonists Losing Ground

Blacksmiths now outnumber editorial cartoonists in the US by almost 30 to 1, John Balzar of the L.A. Times notes, and the divide is growing.

An article in the August 24, 2004 issue inks a none-too-rosy picture about editorial cartooning and its dwindling numbers, and some say, bite.

Here’s a small excerpt from the article:

“Taking measure of contemporary cartooning is an imprecise matter. Fewer cartoonists are employed by newspapers now than a decade ago, virtually everyone familiar with the craft agrees. But how many fewer is not so easily determined. In conversations with cartoonists and sundry experts, one hears estimates that about 80 to 90 men and women are employed full time as editorial cartoonists today, down from maybe 150 to 200 in the 1980s and ’90s. But these are not figures from a survey or census, and they generally exclude freelancers and sometimes don’t account for part-timers, such as newspaper graphic artists who also contribute to the cartoon supply.”

To read the full article you’ll need to register with your email and such, but it’s worth it. It’s a big article and wonderfully written. Don’t miss it.