HAPPY Cartoonist DAY

May 5, 2015

May 5, 1895 is the anniversary of the first ever color cartoon, The Yellow Kid. This is supposed to be a day of celebration for the art of cartooning. But after reading the above links I guess just staying alive financially AND literally is today's reason for celebrating ....if you're a cartoonist.

Weird that the number of newspaper comic strips are shrinking. Many editorial cartoonists have gone over to the funny side of cartooning to survive financially. Those cartoonists could read the writing on the wall that the journalistic environment where thoughts, issues and ideas were expressed, shared and debated on the editorial pages of their community newspaper was dead and gone. Besides, I'm sure they were very happy not having to deal with upset readers and editors.

It's weird because, newspapers know the their readers love comic strips and yet they are still dumping them.  SO- it doesn't matter how funny, socially relevant and entertaining your comic strip a comic strip cartoonist, you're on the endangered species list. 

I've received my share of hate mail, death threats, newspaper closings, lay-offs, pay cuts, and more than my share of libel lawsuits. So- I guess I should be celebrating the fact that I've survived as long as I have. Financially surviving was in the past, we're now in the future where surviving as a cartoonist now  means considering a kevlar vest and arming oneself. 

IF the visual depiction of the Prophet Muhammad is blasphemous and the blasphemer is to be punished by being murdered. What is the justification for killing people who have never drawn any cartoon of anybody, ever...? Maybe, a drawing a Muhammad is just a flimsy justification for a terrorist to murder anybody that is in your way to murdering other people.

Happy ? Cartoonist Day





-Milt Priggee

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