The number of political cartoonists, by one estimate, has dwindled to about 85 fulltime people. Newspapers, as usual, seem bent on cutting costs rather than delivering quality, so the local cartoonist is let go, encouraged to leave or not replaced when he or she does leave. Instead of encouraging this kind of journalism by growing their own local cartoonists, newspapers have generally viewed it as just another expense that can be eliminated. It is yet another example of newspaper short-sightedness.
ulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jim Borgman is giving us a fascinating peek inside the mind of the editorial cartoonist with his new weblog, BorgBlog. Borgman is posting not just some of his cartoons but some of his sketches and his thoughts about how particular cartoons develop. The site currently has three versions of the cartoon he drew about the West Virginia coal mining tragedy, showing how he decided on where to place the miner’s wife. In addition, Borgman includes a variety of sketches, some of which turn into cartoons and some of which remain as half-formed ideas. This is a wonderful site for those of us who envy the skill and the power of the editorial cartoonist.