The writing has been on the wall for at least a decade. The hallowed cartooning traditions of the 20th century cannot continue without facing up to fundamental changes in the industry. Although the New York Times decision doesn’t spell the end of cartooning as we know it, this may very well be a tipping point for the global cartooning industry.
As a scholar who studies social media and memetics, I wonder if political cartoons are the best way to connect with today’s diverse readership. Many crave searing, cutting political commentary – and they’re finding it in internet memes. What if internet memes were elevated – not only as a serious art form but also as an important form of editorializing that’s worthy of appearing alongside the traditional cartoon