Opinion: The Sun drops editorial cartoons from weekday editions

November 7, 2013 in Comment, General, News

Rome Burns © Andy Davey for The Sun @ procartoonists.org

© Andy Davey for The Sun @ procartoonists.org

Andy Davey writes:

After more than 40 years, The Sun has cut editorial cartoons from the weekday editions of the paper.

The paper has boasted a roster of excellent cartoonists to poke fun at the political shenanigans of the day. Names such as Stanley Franklin, Dave Gaskill, Keith Waite, Paul Rigby, Posy Simmonds, Tom Johnston, Bill Caldwell, Bernard Cookson and Charles Griffin have all served on the super soaraway paper. But recently, circulation of printed publications has sunk, taking with it into the deep briny blue a huge wad of advertising revenue.

I write as the most recent regular incumbent and my cartoons have now been dropped. No reason was given to me, but it seems likely it was a financial decision. Cartoonists, together with many journalists and photographers, are apparently too expensive for these times. It’s much more cost effective to fill the editorial page with a splash headline and a crowdsourced free or cheap image.

The paper will still run editorial cartoons by another PCO member, Brighty (Steve Bright), in the Sun on Sunday and in Trevor Kavanagh’s Monday editorial column.

Traditionally, papers have run editorial, gag and strip cartoons but this has begun to change over the past few years.

The loss of daily editorial cartoons from The Sun is significant but it is not alone in ditching its cartoonists. Last month, The Sunday Times cast off several long term freelance cartoonists. The Mirror dropped daily editorial cartoons years ago and The Observer had a clear-out recently.

Alongside this, rates of pay have been cut. In 2011, The i newspaper, sister to The Independent, decided it needed strip, gag and editorial cartoonists to make its content shine. Instead of hiring cartoonists at a standard industry rate, it ran a competition in the oh-so-fashionable form of a “Cartoon Idol” to find new talent. The pay was so derisory that only one cartoonist could afford to take up the offer.

We at Procartoonists.org may be biased, but we think cartoons are still loved and appreciated by readers. It is a shame to see them disappearing at a time when humour and satire is desperately needed.

Ed adds: Procartoonists.org thanks Andy for sharing his thoughts here.

13 responses to Opinion: The Sun drops editorial cartoons from weekday editions

  1. That’s awful news, Andy. Really sorry to hear it, not just for you but for everyone else involved in this business.

  2. Just a short note to say that the above post was not written out of bitterness or bad feeling – merely done to clear the air and publicise how cartoons are being quietly lost to the news media due to financial constraints. I was paid well for the cartoons I produced for The Sun over 5 years – it would be churlish to complain about the decision. 

  3. Very sorry to hear this, Andy.

  4. Very level headed and well-put, Andy.

  5. Was this at all linked to the Sun hiring a new Editor Andy? Very sorry to hear they’ve done this to you – it’s a bugger this industry!

  6. At least we won’t have to say: “I loathe the fucking Sun! Apart from Andy Davey’s cartoons, of course…” any more.(Substitute Steve Bright’s name for what we now have to say)

  7. No reason given. Shameful.

  8. Yes, new ed, new broom. Not unusual. 

  9. Wanted; Editor for popular national newspaper. The successful candidate must have all the imaginative elan of an accountant. “

  10. Terrible news, Andy – very sorry to hear it.

  11. Again, terrible news, Andy. The really odd thing about all of this though is they have dropped the cartoon shortly after going to the dreaded paywall – so they expect people to now for less content. The usual backwards thinking we see all too commonly from our great British business leaders.

  12. Hi Andy.I find myself in the same position. After 9 years Rugby World Magazine has dropped my strip, Captain Slogg. The decision, I am told, was taken by the bean counters at IPC not the editorial staff. It was not much money so I am at a loss to understand the benefit to the magazines running cost (£1800 a year!)I’ll have to find another outlet for it.Cheers,Graham Lawson.     

  13. Hi Graham, Sorry to hear your news.

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