These are difficult times for cartoonists, particularly those of us working in the subgenre of altweekly cartooning. The papers are still vital to my survival, and I’m grateful beyond measure to the many editors who continue to run my work in print each week — but the larger trend over the past few years has not exactly been encouraging. Too many papers have decided that they no longer have any use for this art form which grew in their stead, adapting itself entirely to their rhythms, and as that market contracts, there’s been no simultaneous expansion online. The niche that editorial cartoons filled in newspapers is almost entirely occupied by Daily Show clips online. Why do so few political sites feature political cartoons? [...]
I’ve got a chance to help counter that trend, in some small way, at a site I’ve been reading since 2002. (I believe I actually sent Markos some of his earliest traffic, back–as absurd as it sounds now–when my little vanity site had the higher readership.) It’s an experiment for both of us, I think, but an exciting one. My cartoon will start running there next Monday. Over the next few months we’ll be adding others, and, I hope, building up a go-to destination for progressive cartoon commentary.
But I still love the medium of political cartooning, and we are now at a place in this site's evolution that we can make an investment in that medium. We've got some pretty cool plans. We don't just want to expand the roster of political cartoonists, but we want to use technology to help arrest the medium's decline.
I'm juggling about a dozen cool new projects right now, and we're still woefully understaffed, but I'm hoping to roll out the full cartoon program by the end of summer. For now, we'll start with hosting This Modern World every week, which is amazing enough. I've been a huge fan of the strip for decades, and Tom Tomorrow was one of the first outside institutions to give Daily Kos street cred in its early days.
This is just the beginning.