Peter Brookes, editorial cartoonist at Times of London, is one of my cartoonists interviewed at Bloomberg about the state of editorial cartooning worldwide. Of course, the recession is on everyone’s mind — but does it make good fodder for cartoons? Brookes has gotten some good mileage out of the subject (above), but he says it’s hardly a sure thing:

“If I were to draw something about the recession on a daily basis it would flop. It would just go over people’s heads. The subject is too intangible.”

If the recession continues apace, there may not be any cartoonists left to draw about it in the newspapers anyway. Staff jobs for editorial cartoonists were cut by 18% in 2008. Former Editor & Publisher editor Dave Astor, who covered the developments in editorial cartooning until he was laid off last October, talked to Tim O’Shea about the situation facing the staff cartoonists who have lost their jobs at newspapers across the country:

“While they’ll still have a voice, most will NOT make a living as an editorial cartoonist without a staff cartoonist job. So some will do freelance illustration, or children’s books, or maybe get a non-artistic day job. I should also mention that a number of staff editorial cartoonists who adapted to changes in technology — doing blogs, animation, etc. — got laid off anyway.”

Via Journalista! comes news that Canadian cartoonist Thomas “TAB” Boldt was among the most recent to be let go just a week before Christmas, as part of cuts by Sun Media. This cartoon of his ran after that announcement, but was probably drawn earlier, which makes it that much more ironic and sadly fitting:


Posted by Aaron Humphrey


  1. Surprisingly the uk economy shrank a further 0.4% between July and September (the last quarter that there are figures for), so the end of the downturn is a long way off yet – another 6 months at least i reckon, its the longest recession since records began 50 years ago and it wont be till years later the economy and property market recovers, it was’nt until the late 90’s that the property market recovered after the 89/90 recession.

  2. Our country was also hit hard by the Economic Recession. At least we are seeing some signs of economic recovery now. I hope that we could recover soon from this recession.