Monday, December 22, 2008

Is The End Near For Editorial Cartoonists?

The newspaper industry is in crisis. It seems like hardly a week goes by that a major city daily doesn't fire scores of reporters. Amid all the downsizing, there's one particular specialty that's becoming something of an endangered species.

Kansas City Star cartoonist Lee Judge recently drew a cartoon depicting the city's new modernist museum addition as a tool shed. In another one, the mayor's wife wonders if she can carry the mayor around in a baby pack. It's stuff you might not get unless you're in Kansas City, Mo., where Judge has been cartooning for 27 years.

A few days after his full-time position was eliminated, Judge was sitting at a bar across the street from the newspaper.

"You know, when your resume is pretty much 'professional smartass,' I'm not really sure what the next move is," Judge mused. "Like, you want me to be the funny night manager at the Taco Bell? I'll keep the crew in stitches."

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