Editorial cartoons were among the first political media that I got into when I was much younger. That and letters to the editor. I continue to enjoy political cartoons but I haven't been into letters to the editor in a long time.
I have always been a big fan of editorial cartoons from the likes of Michael Ramirez to Ted Rall and Tom Tomorrow. I like cartoons from the left and the right because they so often go straight to the real issue in a debate. Editorial cartoons are the center of the editorial page and they are a top feature in any newspaper. It is funny that the Los Angles Times gets attacked for being a liberal paper when for years they have the most valuable political space on their editorial page to the very conservative Michael Ramirez.
I don't normally like local cartoonist or small town editorial cartoons because they are often full of cliches and not really dedicated to the local political scene anyways. But there was always an exception for me and that is Steve Greenberg.
Recently The Star, like many newspapers has been cutting back on staff and Greenberg's position was among them. It is a real loss to his local fans. But he has landed on his feet and will be doing cartoons for a variety of sources including the local alternative weekly The Ventura County Reporter. I know The Star will replace the space with other talented writers but I will miss his cartoons.
Here is an excerpt of Steve Greenberg's recent editorial in The Ventura County Reporter:
IT'S BEEN the best of times, and the worst of times, for the field of editorial cartooning.
Cartoonists are able to draw with the added impact of color, to animate their work and to self-publish online without any need for a newspaper, the traditional forum for the art form. The demographics and styles of the cartoonists have never been more diverse.
There were well over 200 staff cartoonists in the 1980s, and perhaps just 80 now; exact counts are tricky, but the numbers are clearly plunging. In 2008 alone, at least 16 newspaper positions disappeared (and for good measure, one online position).
Click here for the complete editorial.