Pick a president, any president

The four yearly festival of politics delivered by the American presidential election is in full swing and this time it is also bringing innovation from the US cartoonist Ann Telnaes.

Ann_Telnaes_PotusPick @procartoonists.org
© Ann Telnaes @ Procartoonists.org

Ann has made a purpose-built app for the duration of the campaign called Potuspick.com. For the record, Potus is the the abbreviation for President of the United States.

For this project Ann isn’t working with her regular employer at the Washington Post and is instead selling the bespoke animation app direct through the Apple iTunes store.

She kindly agreed to answer a few questions from us about it:

What size of readership are you going to need at 69p per app download?

My partner (Sara Thaves of the Cartoonist Group) doesn’t really have any expectation of making a profit.  I don’t know about the UK, but app development is still an expensive endeavour in the States.  It’s at the stage where developing websites were in the beginning; now of course one can create a website for practically nothing.  My intention was to explore another avenue for editorial cartooning, to create an interactive editorial cartoon.

Are you upping production for the duration of the campaign?

Since I use actual audio from Obama and Romney, it would be ideal  to keep adding audio as soon as it leaves their mouths, but because of the cost we have no plans to. Obviously this app only has a shelf life until November 6 [polling day].

Which tools do you use to animate?
I still hand draw my animation poses, hand ink, then colour in Photoshop.  I then use Flash for production work.
Ann added:
If any of your UK colleagues express an interest in wanting to do one of these types of apps, please have them talk to me first.  The whole process was a bumpy road, both from dealing with app developers (we had two) and the Apple approval process.
Given that younger readers get their news for the most part exclusively online, here is another platform for editorial cartoonists to consider.  I’d like to stress, though, that this is not a game – the app still reflects my point of view (as an editorial cartoon should).
If you would like to ask Ann a question please do so in the comments below, as she has promised to check in here and try to answer them.
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