Budding Cartoonists Wanted (again)

May 7, 2010 in General, News

The New Statesman magazine has a proud history of supporting drawing and in using the work of many outstanding cartoonists over the years; names like VickyDavid Low and Marc Boxer. More recently, the work of Steadman, Fleming, Matt, Simonds, ‘Ham’ Khan and  Felix Bennett have also graced its pages. 

But things changed a few years ago. All joke cartoonists (except for the marvellous Grizelda) were erased from the mag and the cover reduced to the currently  ubiquitous Photoshopped montage. The days when Messrs. Simonds, Bennett and Khan would gather in the hot-house atmosphere of the offices and attempt to out-satire each other were gone.

So, this week Bloghorn was most pleased to see a request for entries for a cartoon competition in the magazines’s pages. The tantalising prize for “budding cartoonists” is the possibility of a regular, weekly strip in the magazine. Is there someone at the 97-year-old magazine who is thinking “cartoon” again? We hope so, but we’re puzzled as to why the editors prefer “budding” over “experienced professional” cartoonists, especially given the Statesman’s proud heritage. 

The experience of our members tells Bloghorn that cartooning is not a skill that flourishes particularly early in life because it relies on experience to reflect and connect many and varied themes and suck a really good joke out of them. Surely, the magazine’s decision was not influenced by the tawdry business of how much they might get away with paying someone with little experience in business? We’re sure that’s not so, and would like to invite the NS to examine our portfolios and use some more mature talent too.

Perhaps the magazine’s relatively modest circulation of 23,000 simply reflects the current political zeitgeist and the downward spiral of traditional print titles. We would be far too modest to suggest it has anything to do with the deletion of so many fine cartoonists’ work from its pages.

15 responses to Budding Cartoonists Wanted (again)

  1. Nice idea.

  2. Greg said on May 7, 2010

    I suspect they’re either trying to save money, or want to give the beginners a chance, or both. Either way, what’s so bad about that?

  3. Hi Greg,
    Thanks for your comment.
    It depends where you are looking from. If you are new to the business of selling drawings for money it looks (and is) an attractive offer. But, if you have been working as a drawing business for a while it looks like cheap or free content for a lot of hard work.
    I enjoyed a look at your work and would encourage you to enter if you were not going to already.
    However, I would also encourage you to be sure what your labour is worth as a fee and to understand the value of your product (ie. its distribution rights) before agreeing to any formal ie. written offer from any publisher.
    If you need advice about this sort of thing please ask in the comments below you should find some professional cartoonists who are able to help you get a sensible price for your time and artwork.

  4. Absolutely nothing wrong with giving those new to the profession a break. Everything wrong with saving money by using amateur unfunniness, or as the Observer did in its recent redesign, saving money by dumping two of the best and using a cheapo syndicated cartoon.
    And I don’t think the NS would ever invite budding editors/foreign correspondents to have a go would they ? Good gracious, no. Whereas cartooning’s nowhere near as specialised.
    This – what some would see as over – sensitivity – point of view is based on the undeniable fact that in many publications, if cuts are to be made, the horoscope stays, the celeb diary stays, the recipe stays. The cartoon gets ditched.

  5. Oops ! Forgot to say – nice gags Greg.

  6. I’m gain to give it a bash its just the chance I have been waiting for, do you have the details on the application process?

  7. “budding” or “seasoned”…if the work is good, who’s to know? they should pay the worth of the cartoon…it’s almost as bad as asking for “on spec”…

  8. I’m Grizelda’s ‘holiday relief’ cartoonist at the NS. Grizelda rarely takes a holiday!

  9. Would love to enter fisheggs…a different sort of cartoon

  10. i want a cartoon to be made of two persons one in too much tension by purchasing low quality product and the other happy for his high quality product…

  11. I’d like to give it a go. Do I just e-mail them or what?
    Satire aint my thing but what the hell.

  12. Seems like fun.

  13. I am a budding cartoonist, When is the cartoon competition?

    Please check my website out.

    Cheers, Steve

    07542 525 541

  14. I have been drawing cartoons for a number of years for the press and various magazines. Have been comissioned a couple of times and have had a rest for a while. Now wanting to get back to it and have many original ideas

  15. Hi, i generally work as a childrens book illustrator but i can also produce cartoons and caricatures. I draw my cartoons in the same style as my book illustrations(in watercolour or digitally) . Or if you prefer i could send you some cartoons,but, as i say most of my work is book illustrations. I look forward to hearing from you soon

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