This week I had the privelege of attending the Politics of Cartooning panel discussion at Dartmouth College, with guests Jeff Danzinger, Jules Feiffer, Ed Koren and Ed Sorel. What a group! I loved them. But more fascinating than the work that they showed and their conversation was the audience’s attitude toward the future of cartooning—and publishing in general—as all but extinct. “You’re all of a certain age…” one woman began. “Just what the hell does that mean?!” came the response. But many audience members were nodding in agreement; are these cartoonists the last generation?
The Center for Cartoon Studies couldn’t exist without a new group of visual storytelling enthusiasts rising to the occasion to step into the giant shoes of past creators and continue forging new ground in the medium of comics. Graphic novels and comics format picture books are turning literary heads, snowballing onward as more titles are published every year. The new future in cartooning won’t rely on newspaper syndicates, but instead on book deals and digital media. Fingers crossed!