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BorgBlog
Take a peek over Jim Borgman's shoulder


Jim Borgman has been the Enquirer's editorial cartoonist since 1976. Borgman has won every major award in his field, including the 1991 Pulitzer Prize, the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 1993, and most recently, the Adamson Award in 2005 as International Cartoonist of the Year. His award-winning daily comic strip Zits, co-created with Jerry Scott, chronicles the life of 15-year-old Jeremy Duncan, his family and friends through the glories and challenges of the teenage years. Since debuting in July 1997, Zits has regularly finished #1 in reader comics polls across America and is syndicated in more than 1300 newspapers around the world.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

February Q's?

I guess it's the February Blahs (see below), to which I am particularly suseptible, but I can't seem to think of anything to write here these days. Somebody suggested we do a Q&A. So here are my Q's for you:

Is herky-jerky animation the only thing editorial cartooning can look forward to?

Isn't this profession due for a makeover? The last Renaissance was more than forty years ago when Oliphant came to the states (with Rigby, Low and Searle in his suitcase) and reinvented the artform here. Everything's been incremental since. Why hasn't a new messiah come along?

Does color improve an editorial cartoon? Is black-and-white drawing viable on a computer screen?

Is an original still an original if it's significantly manipulated after scanning? Would you still want to hang a drawing on your wall if you know that the artist digitally edited it before publishing it?


36 Comments:

at 2/13/08, 11:08 AM Blogger Paul said...

I guess I'm a bit of a purist, but I prefer b&w cartoons that are not animated and I prefer originals that show the full spectrum of hand-drawn changes without digital editing added later.

I think adding color is pretty but distracts from the raw power of a strong concept. I'm also more enamored with the line quality and draftsmanship of a beautifully rendered cartoon than I am with the added "bells and whistles" of color.

And don''t even get me started on today's lame attempts at animation - it always looks like the artist just but a new toy (Flash) and is overly impressed with his new found animation skills, choppy as they are. But even if the animation was beautifully executed, I still consider it a separate medium from traditional editorial cartooning that doesn't have nearly the same impact.

I'm sure I'm in the minority, but sometimes things are better left alone.

 
at 2/13/08, 12:09 PM Anonymous Mr Squidknuckles said...

I've got 4 of your original editorial cartoons hanging on my wall and I like the fact that they are exactly as they appeared in print. Sometimes your color cartoons really pop and I wouldn't hesitate to buy a black and white original of one that was digitally colored.

I think the biggest thing to makeover the profession would be to get rid of a good portion of the lame imitators who always go for the predictable gag.

Not a big fan of the animated stuff.

 
at 2/13/08, 12:19 PM Blogger Philip Shade said...

All this is speaking from my limited cartooning experience (I do a weekly for a B2B newspaper).

I read on the AAEC Ted Rall seems to think that the one panel metaphor should be relegated to the scrap heap. That the future belongs to poorly drawn wordy editorial cartoons of the independents.

I think the multi panel gabfest is definitely the next stage in editorial cartoons, but I don't think it's going to replace the single panel. Nor do I think it should.

Color doesn't necessarily add anything, but then neither does black & white. Until recently it's just been the limitations of printing that kept toons B&W. If the OpEd page is running CMYK I think a cartoonist would be foolish not to embrace some new possibilities.

Digital editing is here to stay. I can't even imagine patching toons the old fashioned way. Yes this mean drawings are often different than the published piece. Probably the best way to address this would be to frame, or sell, the original together with a print of the finished.

 
at 2/13/08, 12:27 PM Anonymous Dan said...

I like B&W political cartoons. Animation is only needed by the hacks.

I don't think a makeover is needed. Great art stands on its own merit.

I like original art and often admire the store in Hyde Park that sells your originals. One of these days I'd like to be able to afford one.

When it comes to originals, the more "original" the better. I've seen some true originals complete with whiteout and cutting/pasting. Quality prints from original art is also good. Prints that are significantly altered from the original's form, including colorization, would not interest me.

My question for you... I thought your blog was going to become a site where you had to register. I also thought the Enquirer would delete the inappropriate posts. I can ignore the stupid posts, but it would still be more fun to read your page without the morons' commentary.

 
at 2/13/08, 12:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Borgman I always look forward to your editorial cartoons as they are especially meaningful to the Cincinnati Area.

I just came across the one you drew for Patricia Corbett. ( I keep a lot of them.) I still got that little twinge in my stomach that made me think, "Awllllllll".
It was so appropriate and moving, Thank you so very much. Julie

 
at 2/13/08, 12:46 PM Blogger Jim Borgman said...

Dan, all of the blogs on the Enquirer's site are moving to something called Pluck, which will require those who want to participate to register. (You can still read anonymously.)

Pluck is a Gannett-wide initiative, so it will sweep us all up sometime in March. It will only require one-time registration of participants, and it apparently has a lot of plusses for everyone involved. They tell us it has been warmly received elsewhere in the chain.

Anyway, that's when the registration will begin.

As for deleting stupid posts, we are trying to give the widest possible lattitude to commenters. With a heavier hand we could surely produce a tighter read, but the tradeoff is giving many voices their say. We opt for the latter.

Pluck will apparently allow viewers to self-monitor the comments. So if several viewers judge a comment to be abusive or otherwise inappropriate, they can flag it. Several flags and the comment is automatically removed and can only be re-posted by a blog administrator.

So relief is in sight.

 
at 2/13/08, 1:07 PM Anonymous Jason F. said...

>>> Is herky-jerky animation the only thing editorial cartooning can look forward to?

The argument before animation was everyone was illustrating Jay Leno monologues and calling them editorial cartoons. Now it's become WORSE because editorial cartoonists and even PULITIZER winners are animating their cartoons and these animations have become ENTERTAINMENT, not editorial cartoons.

There's nothing OPINION-based about a song parody. It's pure animated silliness. And worst yet, the Pulitzer committee gives awards for it!

If only they'd put this energy into creating BETTER editorial cartoons.

There's always an exception to every rule and here's one:

EXCEPTION: Mark Fiore.
Animated cartoons is all he does and he does it well and there's no song parody of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm."


>>Isn't this profession due for a makeover?
>>Why hasn't a new messiah come along?

Take a look around you, Jim. Wave at the empty Cincinnati Post building. Take a look at how many cartoonist positions have been eliminated.
Why would anyone try to makeover a DYING profession? Why put so much energy into a profession where no one wants you?

There's too much IMITATION not enough EXPERIMENTATION going on in this profession.
Alot of cartoonists came into their own by imitating the good stuff that is already out there...MacNelly and Oliphant being the BIG two. Heck, you've even mentioned imitating the crap out of MacNelly. Anyway....too many artists know what an editorial cartoon is SUPPOSED to look like. Not enough artists are experimenting and creating a NEW look of an editorial cartoon.

Mentioned before was Ted Rall. And while I like Ted Rall's work, it is way TOO wordy. I barely make it through reading one of his or the other "alternative" cartoonists' work. They aren't making the cartoon better, they're making it worse. And though worse is DIFFERENT, it doesn't cut it when you want a functional cartoon. They think they're creating a Renaissance, but they're not. They're just burping in a crowded room to get attention.


>>>Does color improve an editorial cartoon? Is black-and-white drawing viable on a computer screen?

Black and white editorial cartoons seem more "serious." Color editorial cartoons seem like the Sunday funnies to me. Though there is some great color work being done and like Phil said above, if the editorial page prints in color, you'd be foolish not to experiment with it.

EXCEPTION: Clay Bennett. His color does not distract from the cartoon's message and he knows how to use color effectively.


>>>>>Is an original still an original if it's significantly manipulated after scanning?

I have a Jim Borgman original hanging on my wall and the text in the word balloon is so off-center that there's no doubt in my mind you changed it for the print version. The one thing I absolutely love about that editorial cartoon is the off-centered text.

With Wacom tablets and Cintiq monitors, there's less and less original work being created. It pains me, but if Leonardo or Michelanglo had a Wacom tablet available, you bet your boots they'd used it to their advantage as well!

 
at 2/13/08, 6:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going for my two cents, but Jason F. here, said it all.

 
at 2/13/08, 7:28 PM Blogger EOCostello said...

"I guess it's the February Blahs (see below), to which I am particularly suseptible, but I can't seem to think of anything to write here these days."

Two words: Opening Day.

"Is herky-jerky animation the only thing editorial cartooning can look forward to?"

David Low experimented with audio editorial cartoons in the 30s, and Disney experimented with animated political cartoons in some of his first work in the early 1920s. Unless animation adds punch to an editorial cartoon, it's not worth even the effort herky-jerky would add, let alone animating on twos. Low came to the conclusion that it didn't, at least as far as sound goes. (If you want the cite to his autobiography, I'm happy to look it over.)

"Isn't this profession due for a makeover? The last Renaissance was more than forty years ago when Oliphant came to the states (with Rigby, Low and Searle in his suitcase) and reinvented the artform here. Everything's been incremental since. Why hasn't a new messiah come along?"

Define "makeover." I have the complete run of Oliphant books. What he brought was a level of draughtsmanship and wit to his work, not necessarily new ideas in terms of one-panels and such. Comparison to Low, a fellow Antipodean, is very much on point. I don't think either innovated, so much as they had a sharp and well-defined point of view that was intelligent.

"Does color improve an editorial cartoon? Is black-and-white drawing viable on a computer screen?"

An old debate going back to the 1920s in film. What purpose do you need in colour? Colour can make gags stand out, but b/w cartoons can still be very good. Compare, e.g., Frank Tashlin's "Porky Pig's Feat" or "Puss 'n Booty," both 1940s b/w cartoons for WB, with "I Got Plenty of Mutton" or "Plane Daffy." The colour is wonderful, but the black and white cartoons still hold out very much on its own.

"Is an original still an original if it's significantly manipulated after scanning? Would you still want to hang a drawing on your wall if you know that the artist digitally edited it before publishing it?"

Digital manipulation is irrelevant. It is still the expression of the artist's creativity and intent. Do you, J. Borgman, Esq., eschew any other advances made in the drawing arts since Thomas Nast's time? Yes, hand-engraving produces wonderful work (Tenniel, Nast), but consider the use of blue-pencil for sketching, which doesn't show up (as we know) in certain types of photos. Is that wrong? Of course not. It is part of the technological process. It is the final result that matters. Sure, I love to see original drawings, with the artist's laborious exercise of craft (I own some originals, no J. Borgman, Esq.), but again, it is results and the final flowering of creativity that counts.

 
at 2/13/08, 7:33 PM Blogger EOCostello said...

I would add, for the record, that any examination of late 19th/early 20th century numbers of "Puck" and "Judge" will show that colour editorial cartoons can be wonderful and deliciously sharp. Of course, in those days, you had a week to come up with the cover cartoon. Still, the point is there.

 
at 2/13/08, 9:42 PM Blogger Weekly Cartoonist said...

Zowie, what a bunch of great, interesting comments.
One does have the feeling that there are very few strong stylists out there with real wit. (Of course, that's symptomatic of art in general: most people are trying to make stuff that looks just like art.) I still find Luckovich very refreshing. Breen can be witty at times...
B&W, animation: give me the Fleischer Brothers. Nothing after them holds my interest as much.
The tiny animations in Steve Brodner's cool New Yorker videos are as joyful as the rest of his
presentation.

I like Paul's (11:08) take on things.

 
at 2/13/08, 10:48 PM Anonymous T.Nowicki said...

Why hasn't a new messiah come along?

Well, because when it comes to animation, papers don't want to pay for it, that's why. They either expect their staff cartoonists to do it themselves, and be good at it (in spite of the fact that even those who do a lot of it really aren't, because it requires a special understanding of the principles of animation and the technology involved), or they expect to have somebody who already works in their New Media departments take on animating their staff cartoonist's ideas whether that person has a personal understanding of the art form or not.

This is, of course, assuming they have a cartoonist at all. Most papers refusing to hire cartoonists in the first place is also a big part of it.

Does color improve an editorial cartoon?

It depends on the cartoon. Does it improve it inherently? I'd say no. But, I believe there are things you can do with color that will not work in black and white or grayscale. As an example I offer up this cartoon which I drew over the weekend.

Compare that to the same cartoon in black and white.

Something which I hope is visually striking becomes a mess if you just pull out the color, because the focus of the painting depends so much on it standing out against the muted coloring of the rest of the cartoon.

You want an example of a cartoonist who really took advantage of coloring, look at Watterson. From reading his thoughts on the subject, it's clear that he put a great deal of thought into it every time he approached coloring a cartoon, and didn't just slap down colors because those were the colors objects were "supposed" to be.


I read on the AAEC Ted Rall seems to think that the one panel metaphor should be relegated to the scrap heap. That the future belongs to poorly drawn wordy editorial cartoons of the independents.

I think the multi panel gabfest is definitely the next stage in editorial cartoons


Ruben Bolling is fantastic at this sort of thing. Tom Tomorrow is funny, and though his drawing is understated it is by and large at least competently done.

But for every cartoonist who's good at it, there are five whose drawing is pathetic and who apparently have no concept of editing. Many of them constantly follow the formulaic setup/punchline "technique" demonstrated here, and those few that actually could be funny often find their jokes drowned in a sea of text which is clearly trying too hard to be "edgy."

This style has become a breeding ground for sloppiness and sloth. The thing is, you could say the same thing about the single-panel style, which just goes to show that the problem in either case is not with the approach itself, but rather with many of the artists doing the approaching. Replacing one group of people who have gotten lazy with another group of people who are just as lazy but go about their laziness in a different (and generally more jumbled) way isn't going to make things better.

And, aesthetics aside, there's still this:

We live in a society that is accustomed to having messages delivered to it in sound bites–the more instantaneous, the better. I'm not here to debate whether this is or is not a good thing, but it is what we have to deal with. The majority of people DO NOT want to do MORE reading–if anything, they want to do LESS.

If you see a cartoon in the paper, and you strongly disagree with it, at least when that idea's being put forth with a single, powerful image, it's only going to take you a few seconds to realize this. And hey, if it's done by a decent enough artist, there might be a nice picture to look at!

Now, imagine it took you a minute or more to arrive at the same conclusion because you had to do significantly more reading, and the illustration is composed of nothing but generic, poorly-drawn talking heads.

Which of the above two cartoonists might you be willing to give another chance next time? Which one is more likely to infuriate the average reader, but not in a good way that at least will make him or her think?

This is why I think Ted's philosophy is not merely wrong, but dangerous to the survival of this profession: Because it takes the emphasis off pictures, which are more universal and therefore can communicate more complex ideas to a greater number of people, and puts it on meandering, smug, occasionally incomprehensible text instead.

Let's not forget that editorial cartoons evolved under Thomas Nast as a tool for communicating ideas to the illiterate. That sensibility is where they get their power and unique identity as an art form. Put the focus on the text, and they will become nothing more than poorly-illustrated opinion articles.

 
at 2/13/08, 10:51 PM Anonymous T.Nowicki said...

As an example I offer up this cartoon which I drew over the weekend.

It occurs to me that this link may not work. Here's an alternate (forgive the watermark, please).

 
at 2/14/08, 2:07 AM Anonymous Mr Wami said...

When I was in school, I was taught that, as long as you get to the correct answer, the methodology is unimportant. One plus one equals two. But so does five minus three.

As long as you achieve whatever it is that you initially set out to do.

 
at 2/14/08, 9:33 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why hasn't a new messiah come along?

Uhhh, ever hear of Barack Che Hussein Obama?

 
at 2/14/08, 9:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,

You've set the bar for editorial cartoonists in the last ten to twenty years. Far too many cartoonists are far too lazy to learn how to draw well. Until he or she comes along, then we are forced to enjoy your stuff on a weekly basis (your eds. and Zits), and that ain't a bad thing.

 
at 2/14/08, 9:56 AM Blogger TUCK! said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
at 2/14/08, 10:00 AM Blogger TUCK! said...

Since you asked...

1) Is herky-jerky animation the only thing editorial cartooning can look forward to?

Gee, I hope not. Tho (IHMO) animation is animation, and editorial cartooning is editorial cartooning...they're different artforms, with different problems, solutions, different executions and different strengths and weaknesses.

2a) Isn't this profession due for a makeover?

You'd certainly think so...

2b) The last Renaissance was more than forty years ago when Oliphant came to the states (with Rigby, Low and Searle in his suitcase) and reinvented the artform here. Everything's been incremental since. Why hasn't a new messiah come along?

Well, two responses here (one that may be deemed self-serving, but there you are): First (and directly), the new "messiah" hasn't arrived b/c Pilat, er, the bottom-line minded editorial page editors won't let him/her in the door. Editorial toonists, for whatever reason (pick your favorite. Mine is that opinions antagonize readers and advertisers, and we can't have that!) are, sadly, no longer valued by the powers-that-be. So without that regular, daily, local placement, any new/upcoming talent is snuffed before it gets a chance to develop or explode.

Fortunately (and, secondly), there are a ton of greats online. And doing commentary not limited to politics, but also sports and entertainment. The wheel goes round and round.

3a) Does color improve an editorial cartoon?

I suspect it's not an either/or proposition, but one determined by the subject matter and the point the cartoonist is attempting to make. If color can accentuate (that point), or even do things that b/w cannot (and vice versa), then, you know, do it.

3b) Is black-and-white drawing viable on a computer screen?

Sure, why not. I've found it makes for even more "pop" when surrounded by a neverending sea of technicolor.


4a) Is an original still an original if it's significantly manipulated after scanning?

Sure; it's just an original of a "different" artwork...

4b) Would you still want to hang a drawing on your wall if you know that the artist digitally edited it before publishing it?

One of yours? Sure. (Are you offering one? I'll let you pick :) ) Someone else? Um, that depends... ;)

 
at 2/14/08, 12:20 PM Anonymous Matt said...

Color has it's place in editorial cartooning (e.g. your Nuxhall tribute cartoon wouldn't have been the same without red in it), but I love black and white. Call me a purist, but it's harder to cover the imperfections in a b/w cartoon, which makes quality work all the more outstanding. Just like good leather, if there are no imperfections, you can't truly appreciate the source.

As for animation, it's got a long way to go. I think the internet will be the base for the next editorial cartooning revolution, but it's in its infancy now at best, and I'm not sure which way it's going With print as a medium, I don't see how you can do anything but refine. Then again, if the future was obvious, we'd call it "refinement", not "revolution".

 
at 2/14/08, 5:54 PM Anonymous tim of sioux falls said...

As a free-lance cartoonist, I prefer black and white over color for political cartoons. I think the use of black can heighten the dramatic effect of the cartoonist's message. I don't agree with Ted Rall's opinion that wordy, multi-panel cartoons are the wave of the future. Political cartoons, with no words, provide the most emotional impact. Jim Borgman's cartoon from 1976 of Wayne Hays, depicted as the retiring Babe Ruth with a bra dangling from his back pocket, is an excellent example of a powerful, wordless cartoon. The best political cartoons say things that would be difficult and, sometimes, impossible to put in words. The best cartoons are biting, incisive, and to the point, not necessarily funny. Paul Conrad's cartoons are a case in point. Nixon put him on his enemie's list. I think animation and computer short cuts, such as photoshop, compromises the cartoonist's creativity, and in some cases, integrity. I think aspiring cartoonists don't find their own style because they are tempted to rely on digital enhancements of their cartoons. You can instantly identify a Borgman or Mike Peters cartoon without even seeing their signatures because they have developed a style that's all their own. Jason F commented that cartoonists illustrate Jay Leno monologues and call them editorial cartoons. I disagree. The best cartoonists are social commentators who afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. They have to be skilled as artists and as journalists. The best cartoonists expose the hypocrisy of the political establishment with insight and truth.

 
at 2/14/08, 8:54 PM Blogger who2 said...

I hope there will not be only one type of editorial 'tooning. I believe the variety is limited only to the vision of the 'nist. Still life and animation are each a prize.

Who is the next "Oliphant?" Are you bored?

I like black and white. To me, the art is the thought behind the drawing and color is only one ingredient.

Yes. The manipulation is an original as is the drawing before the digital editing. I like both.

Thanks for the questions

who

 
at 2/14/08, 9:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

T. Nowicki -- perhaps you shouldn't have the work be a Pollock (via Rockwell). It doesn't look like a Pollock.

 
at 2/15/08, 9:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the black and white cartoon. I am a fan of the artists hand drawn and not enhanced by a computer. It is just perfect the way it is!!

 
at 2/15/08, 9:58 AM Blogger chris said...

Innovation comes from experimentation and competition, the newspapers and syndicates have tried to stomp on this and the new cartoonists are on the web. There are a lot of bad ones because there is no quality control to prevent the bad ones from existing, anyone who wants to can make a webcomic.

Jim, keep it up. You are a master, and if you really want to experiment do like Stephen King did and make a Keenspot comic (and see where it goes).

 
at 2/15/08, 10:46 AM Anonymous BorgFan said...

>>>You are a master, and if you really want to experiment do like Stephen King did and make a Keenspot comic (and see where it goes).


Yeah, ask the guy who draws editorial cartoons AND a daily comic strip to add on something else. ;-P

 
at 2/15/08, 4:17 PM Blogger Oops3 said...

I'm not an artist, so my view is from the other side, ok?
first, thank you for asking us our opinions, that you think so highly of us.
The editorial cartoon is it's own art form, in black and white, single panel thought on the state of everything in the world there is to comment on. Anything else is something else. How you are able to do this is amazing to me. Sometimes I don't get the point, but I figure it's me, not you.
color is nice, but on the computer screen, b&w has it's own impact. Animation, multiple panels is cheating. If you can't get it in one panel, then give up. Less is more here.
A quick thought about animation: the state of animation today in America sucks. computer generated is too homogenous. I much prefer the Japanese animation, especially Miazaki (not spelled right. Sorry). His art is gorgeous and his stories just wrap themselves around you.
Isn't digital editing the computer version of an eraser?
Be well
Sue

 
at 2/16/08, 7:22 AM Anonymous T.Nowicki said...

T. Nowicki -- perhaps you shouldn't have the work be a Pollock (via Rockwell). It doesn't look like a Pollock.

Yeah, I know.

I went with Pollock's name because more people already associate it with swirling, chaotic masses of paint which look like a mess to the untrained eye. He's got the most universal name-recognition for that.

I knew going into it that I couldn't accurately replicate the style unless I just happened to get lucky because I had neither the space nor the materials necessary for it. Unfortunately, even if I had the right kind of paint, I can't throw it around in my house and I don't have a barn to do that in, either, so poor fakery with pens and Photoshop was the best substitution I could manage.

The highlights in the painting were pulled from an actual Pollock, by the way.

 
at 2/17/08, 1:52 PM Blogger Jim Lavery said...

Wow, GREAT points on them there air-o-planes!

Please post MORE.
And OFTEN.

Thank you.

 
at 2/17/08, 1:54 PM Blogger Jim Lavery said...

Wow, GREAT points on them there air-o-planes.

Please post MORE.
And OFTEN.

Thank you.

 
at 2/18/08, 3:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment section points out the pluses and minuses of this forum. When people stayed on the subject it was really great. Then the twerps came in and filled it with verbage.
If entries are merely disruptive, I say dump 'em.

 
at 2/20/08, 2:10 PM Blogger Ted said...

Hi, Jim et al.!

Interesting discussion here. It's a little frustrating that the links don't seem to work (at least for me), though.

Anyway, I wanted to clarify my stance on single- vs. multi-panel cartoons.

Anyone who reads my work regularly knows that I often do single-panel cartoons. Not only do they have their place; they're sometimes the best way to express an idea.

But not most of the time.

It's a matter of structure. Single panels can depict a one liner, or an illustration of an event or situation, or a metaphor, or an exchange of lines between characters.

Multiple panels, however, open up the cartoon to the possibility of expressing sophisticated concepts. You can explain an obscure story or cite a quote that might not have gotten wide play in newspapers. You can riff on that. You can even address a countervailing argument. None of these is possible in a single panel.

This week, for example, I did a cartoon about the Bush Administration's argument that the US can't say whether it tortures or not because such knowledge would allow detainees to steel themselves against our interrogators.

In a single panel, you can basically show that. Or you can assert that it's stupid. Only in multiple panels can you do both, and make some jokes along the way to ridicule the whole thought process behind the war on terror.

I actually don't have many ideas for single-panel cartoons that are any good, so I'm really happy when I do. For one thing, they take less time to draw! And I respect artists, like Clay Bennett, who do an amazing job within the form. But most artists, I suspect, are like me--they get better ideas in multiple panels. When I look at artists I admire, including Pulitzer Prize-winning old timers, their best work is usually multi-panel.

Wordy alternative cartoons are not the future. They are the present. Most editorial cartoons that appear in print in the United States are "alternative." Old-school "mainstream" ones are actually in the minority.

 
at 2/20/08, 8:19 PM Blogger Abell Smith said...

To all who say these "wordy," "alternative" cartoonists are ruining the profession: RIGHT ON! Who do these jerks think they are, with their "substantive arguments" and... um... "words." And their attempts at "INNOVATION" in what is generally agreed to be a stagnant profession. Having to read a lot sucks... like, people who want to read a lot buy NOVELS... you don't see anyone buying "graphic novels," do you?

These days, people don't want to THINK when it comes to stuff like war and global warming and civil liberties. Screw "nuance"... anything important you have to say should be able to be expressed with a handy label and a maximum of nine words.

Something like: "you're either with us, or you're with the terrorists"...

 
at 2/21/08, 9:40 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If people want a lot of words in their editorial cartoons they should buy a newspaper.

 
at 2/22/08, 6:38 AM Blogger Nork said...

The E.C. in my paper does not use color, nor does he animate. On his day off, the paper runs one of five substitute cartoonists, including Borgman. He doesn't blog either. I don't have to be the Dead Zone guy to realize that the paper will replace him with an "ink-tracker" (the way radio personality Delilah is said to be a "voice-tracker").

IMHO (if Jeremy Duncan knows that, I'm sure Borg does), whatever doldrums Borg is feeling is waiting for the shoe to drop regarding losing his job in favor of buying syndicated cartoonists that work cheaper for multiple papers. Good thing he moonlights on the funny papers, eh?

 
at 2/23/08, 10:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

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"Two pilots from the 509th Bomb Wing were on board and ejected. They have been evaluated by medical authorities and are in good condition," it said.

"Emergency responders are on scene. A board of officers will investigate the accident," said the headquarters of the US air force in the Pacific.

It was the second US air force crash this week after two F-15C jets collided during training over the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, killing a fighter pilot.

Crowds gathered at the crash site after the bomber, one of just 21 in the air force inventory, went down at about 10:45 am (0045 GMT).

A thick plume of smoke rose over the airbase and officials closed one of its two runways, diverting planes to Guam International Airport, the Pacific Daily News website said.

"Everybody was on their cellphones and the first thing everyone wanted to know was did the pilots make it out in time," said an eye-witness quoted by the website.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, here with visiting US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, confirmed the crash but did not give further details.

"We are grateful for the safety of the pilots," said Mike Cruz, acting governor of the US territory.

"The Air Force and Guam have a long-standing relationship and we help each other in this community we share, especially during times like these."

The long-range bomber was visiting from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Operated exclusively by the US, the B-2 has never crashed since first seeing combat in the air war over Kosovo in 1999.

The 172-foot (52-metre) wide stealth bomber, which can carry nuclear as well as conventional weapons, has also been used in US campaigns over Iraq and Afghanistan.

It emits minimal exhaust, noise and heat, making it hard to detect by radar or infra-red.

Guam, in the northwest Pacific, and neighbouring US territories including the Northern Mariana Islands are considered by Washington as strategic locations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Guam, population 170,000, is home to one of the largest US military naval bases in the region and 8,000 marines will soon be relocated there from Japan.

The US and Japan are spending 15 billion dollars on the relocation of the marines from Japan, which is expected to further boost Washington's military strength in the Asia-Pacific.

burs/th/msl

 
at 2/24/08, 7:16 AM Blogger Kim said...

Someone around here has a severe airplane fetish.

Cool.

 
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