I was happy to hear the Drew Litton, the former sports cartoonist for the defunct Rocky Mountain News, will continue to draw sports cartoons for syndication – and we’ll continue to feature his cartoons on our site. He’ll probably have more of an audience as he won’t be drawing local cartoons, and all of his cartoons will be national. Â Drew sent me this parting statement to post here:
As you can imagine, it has been a tough few days. I barely got packed before they closed the doors ( literally). I’ll call you in the next day or two. In the meantime, thank you for everything. Here is a little note about the exit.
For over 25 years I have had the distinct pleasure of being the Sports Editorial Cartoonist for the Rocky Mountain News. I’ve been so lucky and blessed to be able to make a living doing what I love. At this time I plan on hitting the ground running as both a sports cartoonist, animator and freelance humourous illustrator. I’ve become totally enamored with Flash animation and it’s possiblities and really want to pursue all the opportuinities I believe that will bring in the years ahead.Â I’ve already established a few websites. For my sports cartoons there is www.drewlitton.com. I expect that to grow in many different ways in the months ahead. My freelance website is littoonzstudios.com. I hope to continue to be a part of the Cagle site as well as continue my syndication through United Media.
The challenges our artform faces are unprecedented. I believe we as cartoonists must continue to innovate and find ways and avenues to connect with younger readers. I cannot fathom a world without cartoons, especailly the editorial cartoon medium. It is the backbone of democracy. I had the great fortune of talking to Daryl Cagle at the San Deigo Comic-con last summer. He introduced me to several people as the last American sports cartoonist. It gave me chills really. Though I think the great Bill Gallo continues his magic in New York, and Bill Hinds continues to bring us the brilliant Tank Mcnamara,Â Daryl’s words struck close to the truth. It had always been a dream of mine that by somehow drawing local sports cartoons that are edgy and sting like the editorial cartoons and that connect and impact the local community, that other editors across the country would someday employ more sports cartoonists and somehow revive a dying art. Local sports cartoons do indeed resonate with local readership, sometimes in ways that not even an editorial cartoonist can. But my dream for that never materialized.Â The last day at the Rocky I wore a t-shirtÂ featuring the Brooklyn Bum that was created byt the greatest sports cartoonist of all-time, the late Willard Mullin. It was my way of paying tribute to guy who had left a lasting impression enouhg on the industry that allowed me to have my job atÂ the News.Â And now the editorial cartoonist role that is a vital part of the American newspaper finds it too on the brink of extinction.Â
To sum up I’ll use a wonderful lyric by the great Bruce Cockburn. I think it is a mantra for those of us who are facing the challenges to keep our artform of cartooning alive. “You have to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight”
See Drew’s cartoon archive here. Â A couple of his recent cartoons are below: