NEW YORK – A century ago, American newspapers employed more than 2,000 full-time editorial cartoonists. Today there are fewer than 25. In the United States, political cartooning as we know it is dead. If you draw them for a living and you have any brains, you’re working in a different field or looking for an exit.
You can still find them online, so political cartoons aren’t yet extinct. But they are doomed. Most of my colleagues are older than me (I’m 55). As long as there are people, words and images will be combined to comment on current affairs. But the graphic commentators of tomorrow will be ad hoc amateurs rather than professionals. They won’t have the income and thus the time to flesh out their creative visions into work that fulfills the medium’s potential, much less evolves into a new genre.