Saturday, May 12, 2007

Cartoon controversy news: 120507

There is a large row going on in the world of American editorial cartooning - and it concerns one of the preoccupations of this diary - animated cartoons and the new media.

Put simply, the print media industry is going through massive and seismic change in the US - and cartoonists of all sorts have been employment casualties just like so many other journalists. Cartoonists have even campaigned againist job cuts (hard to imagine in the UK! But perhaps more on this later :-)

Some US cartoonists have looked at the situation and attempted to diversify into the new areas of media provision in spite of all the difficulties and worries that this brings with it. A brief namecheck would call Mark Fiore (the daddy of the new animated editorial cartoon), Walt Handelsmann, Kal (who I've blogged about before) and more recently Matt Davies.

But it is only recently that all this activity has really hit the fan with Walt Handelsmann's recent Pullitzer prize win for cartooning, which the judges said was in large part due to his work in animation. My colleague in the UK, Morten Morland has got some very interesting thoughts about this too.

There has been a fierece reaction to Handelsmann's Pullitzer victory, not least from his professional colleague, Scott Stantis.

There's some excellent background on all this in an interview with the former President of the Association of American editorial cartoonists, Clay Bennett. Check out his work too - it's fantastic.

As regards the row, I don't wish to get into the detail about whether or not animated art is a legitimate part of a winning Pullitzer submission, but I do want to post a few thoughts on the reasons why all this is happening - and you'll be unsurprised to hear, they refer back to the ongoing industrial issues in the print media. So watch this space...

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