The cartoonist

From the Red and Black, 1.9.08

From the Red and Black, 1.8.09

Most journalists stopped using paper twenty years ago.  A few still do.  This one, for instance, produces material with paper and ink for a college newspaper that still delivers print copies to students at the University of Georgia.  He would be the first to admit that the future of his medium is imperiled.  He just turned 23.

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more about “Bill Richards, cartoonist on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

Let me be the first to admit this post lacks our usual critical detachment.

Bill’s material began appearing in print, and on the Red and Black’s website four years ago.  He’s frequently been brutalized by commenters.  It’s provided some rough lessons on the perils of subjecting one’s material to the blogosphere.

The job market for editorial cartoonists is even rougher.  The LA Times and Chicago Tribune no longer employ editorial cartoonists.  Pulitzer Prize winners have had to toil in locales like Tulsa and Chattanooga.  Editorial cartoonist positions are more rare than TV anchor jobs.

Just so happens, this one can be had at a reasonable price…

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About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

10 thoughts on “The cartoonist

  1. Locutus of Borg

    I think editorial cartoonists are a kind of national treasure. They give insight to topics regular columnists cannot. In one or two panels, a cartoonist can skewer a politician, illuminate a seedy controversy or express a nation’s fear, shock or sorrow. I am always in awe of their skill and artistry. Newspapers are, unfortunately, going the way of the dinosaur. Its my hope that they’ll be replaced by responsible news websites. I hope the editorial cartoonist will simply make the jump to the web as well as part of the staff of these new web news organiztions. Mr. Richards has real talent (a talent of which I am quite jealous), and it is my hope he will catch on with one of these new companies. It would be a shame to lose a talent like his.

  2. Esteban

    If only someone could take the place of that lame “Powell” cartoonist who seems to be syndicated in every medium to small-circulation daily in Georgia.
    It’s unfortunate, but editorial cartoonists are indeed a dying breed. The Red and Black has had some good ones over the years, too. I remember Mack Williams was quite witty. This Richards guy is also very talented. I presume there is some relation?

  3. Bill Richards

    Imagine my surprise when I learned that the Chattanooga TFP job I applied for in 2007 had gone to Clay Bennett, the Pulitzer winner, instead.

    Bad times indeed, unless your initials are ML.

  4. live apt fire Post author

    I know, right? Marlette won a Pulitzer at the AJC, then worked in Tulsa. If a beginner can’t work in Chattanooga or Tulsa, then where? Even the cartoonists at the Rome GA Tribune and the Augusta Chronicle are pretty good. But you’re better. BTW, where did you get that talent? Not from the old man, clearly.

  5. Jon Shirek

    I spent the last three months of my pre-9/11 world in a federal courtroom in downtown Atlanta listening to a succession of New York mobsters, gangsters and would-be wiseguys, along with cynical strippers and mere con artists, educating a jury on the finer points of soaking a sucker’s Amex card for $25,000, for one night’s worth of watered-down champagne and terrific, ego-inflating tease. It was the “Gold Club” trial in which the owner of the Gold Club was accused of running a mobbed-up enterprise at Piedmont and Lindbergh in the guise of running a straight-up business selling nothing more shocking than hands-off, naked female models dancing, in a boozy fun atmosphere, for fantasy-seeking conventioneers and their hosts. Oh, and the defense pointed out that the strippers were moms, college students and charity golf organizers, not VIPER Room hustlers who could scan and scam a credit card faster than the flash of their smiles, as the straight-laced prosecutors made them out to be..

    The owner ended up copping a plea and going to prison. The Gold Club is a vacant eyesore.

    All that prelude is to say that one of the most memorable and nicest parts of covering that trial in the Summer of ’01 was when a certain reporter on the story, herein known as LAF, brought his son to take it all in. Seeing the amazing work of a young man barely in his teens observing, drawing, understanding and expressing the complexities of that conspiracy case was a wonder. And I understood, once again, that cliches can be useful because they’re true: the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    My best wishes to you, Bill, you’d never remember me but I remember you; your amazing talent has grown and matured and stings sharper and truer than ever, and always brings a smile and a flash of insight, as in, “Okay, I can see that, I get it.” Great work. It was great to meet you then, and great to see you graduating from UGA. I know you’re going to be in great demand.

  6. shecartoons

    What a great entry. For a young and inexperienced college paper political cartoonist I don’t want this medium to die. The more people who realize how fun and exciting this art is, the better! There’s something to be said about the feeling of opening the editorials section of a paper and seeing all the illustrations and cartoons.

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