Thursday, March 31, 2011

Huh? Tom Tomorrow is moving??? Just remember: Change isn't by itself a good or a bad thing -- it all depends on the change


UPDATE BELOW: Tom Tomorrow moves to Daily Kos

Lights out
Hard to believe we're moving after all these years


by Ken

Okay, if you must know, I'm still working on that post I mentioned last night I was working on in connection with the annual meeting of the Municipal Art Society, and the celebration of the miraculous revival of Times Square. Let me add this much: The keynote speaker, Rocco Landesman, who was an important player in that revival as head of one of the largest Broadway theater operators, Jujamcyn, and was perhaps so successful that he is now chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, made a fine speech in which he explained that he considers the Times Square revival a model for cities all over the country, and he's got oodles of them bellying up to the NEA bar to talk about it.

The only thing is, I'm not so sure that revival has been all that miraculous. I wish I could promise you a glittering exposition of this tomorrow. All I can say for now is that it's likely to be better than it would have been if I'd tried to force it to a quick conclusion to be ready for tonight.

Meanwhile, what the hell is the deal with Tom Tomorrow?


Thanks to commenter bujeeboo for pointing us to a This Modern World blog entry from Tuesday titled "A period of transition," in which Tom T recalls how the This Modern World strip found its way to Salon in 1994-95 and, more importantly, what's happening now. All Tom Tomorrow fans will want to read the whole post, but here's the immediately relevant portion for us:
, , , [A]fter a couple rough years of attrition and budget cuts, mine is the only cartoon left running in Salon -- and today marks my last appearance there.

I’ve had an extraordinary run at Salon, and it has been a fantastic platform, which I have been privileged to share with many talented contributors over the years. But as Blinky notes in this week’s farewell cartoon, I’ve been there for about a million years in internet time. My contract was up for renewal at the end this month, and I was feeling vaguely ready for a change, when I was approached by Markos Moulitsas with an intriguing offer -- the chance to not only publish my own work on the Daily Kos, but to serve as the site’s Comics Editor, to help create an entirely new space online for political cartoons.

I’ve been quietly agitating for something like this for quite a while. These are difficult times for cartoonists, particularly those of us working in the subgenre of altweekly cartooning. The papers are still vital to my survival, and I’m grateful beyond measure to the many editors who continue to run my work in print each week — but the larger trend over the past few years has not exactly been encouraging. Too many papers have decided that they no longer have any use for this art form which grew in their stead, adapting itself entirely to their rhythms, and as that market contracts, there’s been no simultaneous expansion online. The niche that editorial cartoons filled in newspapers is almost entirely occupied by Daily Show clips online. Why do so few political sites feature political cartoons? Why did the Huffington Post, with verticals devoted to almost any topic you can imagine, never launch a comics section?

I’ve got a chance to help counter that trend, in some small way, at a site I’ve been reading since 2002. (I believe I actually sent Markos some of his earliest traffic, back–as absurd as it sounds now–when my little vanity site had the higher readership.) It’s an experiment for both of us, I think, but an exciting one. My cartoon will start running there next Monday. Over the next few months we’ll be adding others, and, I hope, building up a go-to destination for progressive cartoon commentary.

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At 6:35 PM, Blogger bujeeboo said...

Looks like he's going to Daily Kos:

Read March 29th entry.

Then again, it's also April Fool's Day tomorrow. (shrug)

At 9:05 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Ah yes, thanks, Bujeeboo!

And Tom's explanation is interesting. I've added this important information as an update. Much obliged?



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