In our most recent Best Political Cartoons of the Year book I gave a list of cartoonists who had lost their jobs in the "past year." I've updated the list below, to include the recent job losses and the list goes back approximately two years. The pace of job losses is quickening; I know of a couple more that are yet to be announced.
I'm often asked how many editorial cartoonists there are in the USA; it is hard to say, especially now, because so many more cartoonists are freelancers, or part-time cartoonists as jobs have disappeared - do i count these as working editorial cartoonists? Â Five years ago the rule of thumb was that there were about 100 jobs, now it is certainly much less. Â When kids write to me about how hard it is to get a job as an editorial cartoonist, I tell them they have a much better chance or getting a job playing in the NBA, just given the numbers.
Many cartoonists continue to draw for syndication when they lose their jobs, but the pay for syndication is low and newspapers are dropping subscriptions to syndicated cartoons now, so cartoonists are dropping out of syndication too.Â
Here is a partial list of lost cartoonist positions from the past two years.
John Branch, San Antonio Express-News.Â Laid off.
Ed Stein, The Rocky Mountain News (CO), Newspaper closed.Â Continues to draw in syndication.
Drew Litton (Sports Cartoonist) Rocky Mountain News (CO), Newspaper closed.Â Continues to draw in syndication.
Ben Sargent, The Austin American Statesman (TX). Buy out.
Brian Duffy, The Des Moines Register (IA). Laid off.
Bill Schorr, quit print syndication.
Bill Garner, The Washington Times (DC).Â Laid off.
Patrick O'Connor, The Los Angeles Daily News (CA).Â Laid off.
Corky Trinidad, The Honolulu Advertiser (HI).Â Died; position not refilled.
David Horsey, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), Newspaper closing, will continue to work for web site.
Jim Borgman, The Cincinatti Enquirer (OH). Buy out.
Eric Devericks, The Seattle Times (WA).Â Laid off.
Lee Judge, The Kansas City Star (MO).Â Laid off.
Rob Tornoe, Politicker.com web site.Â Laid off.
Don Wright, The Palm Beach Post (FL).Â Buy out.
Steve Greenberg, The Ventura County Star (CA).Â Laid off.
Stuart Carlson, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (WI).Â Buy out.
Dwane Powell, The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). Voluntarily left instead of taking part-time status.
Jim Lange, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK). "Early" retirement.
Chip Bok, The Akron Beacon-Journal (OH). Buy Out.
Peter Dunlap-Shohl, The Anchorage Daily News (AK).Â Buy out.
Sandy Huffaker, retired from syndication.
M.e. Cohen, freelance, Retired from editorial cartooning, still illustrating.
Jake Fuller, Gainesville Sun (FL). Laid off.
Dave Granlund, MetroWest Daily News (Framingham, MA). Laid Off.
Paul Combs, left syndication after leaving the Tampa Tribune (FL).
Mike Shelton, The Orange County Register (CA).Â Laid off.
Gordon Campbell, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA).Â Laid off.
Richard Crowson, Wichita Eagle (KS). Laid off.
Mike Peters, Dayton Daily News (OH), Cut back on the number of editorial cartoons he draws.
Dick Adair, The Honolulu Advertiser (HI). Laid Off.
Ann Telnaes,Â quit print syndication to focus on animation.
David Catrow, Springfield News-Sun (OH). Left to work on other projects.
Did I miss one of your favorites? Â Let me know and I can add another cartoonist to the list.Â
(My Canadian cartoonist buddy, Thomas "Tab" Boldt reminds me not to forget the Canadian cartoonists who have lost their jobs, including Tab, John larter and Fred Curatolo.)Â