MAD writer extraordinaire Des Devlin sent me this link to a story about how Condé Nast, publisher of a whole lot of stuff including The New Yorker, has been dropping the ball on one of the most successful commercial ventures in cartooning, The Cartoon Bank. The article is a great read since it provides a fascinating history of The Cartoon Bank and how it works, what it did to help hundreds of gag cartoonists to make a living, and how and why its current health has declined.
Gag cartooning is one area of cartooning I have never done. I greatly admire the art form and those who practice it well, and a peek behind the curtain of the business side of things was very interesting to me. Frankly I’d only heard peripherally of The Cartoon Bank, did not know its history nor how big a deal it was. I know several gag cartoonists like Mark Anderson who have their own versions of The Cartoon Bank like his Andertoons, and I think the creative way he and others are able to monetize their cartoons to a varied audience across multiple platforms of use is amazing. Anyway that article is a good read.
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