AUTHOR EDITOR CARTOONIST
Author Editor Cartoonist
The title of this article Author Editor Cartoonist are three that apply to Dave Astor (probably in that order Dave?) that readers were probably not aware of. This preamble offers some insight into a little known aspect involving Dave’s venture into freelance gag cartooning that you may find interesting! If you’re asking yourself “what is a cartoonist” or want to learn more about the meaning of a “cartoonist career”, then the following will enlighten you a bit more.
From Covering Cartooning to Drawing Cartoons
Dave Astor wrote about newspaper syndication – including cartooning – for Editor & Publisher magazine from 1983 to 2008. Few of the people he covered knew that he also was a freelance gag cartoonist from 1997 to 2003.
He drew hundreds of cartoons, and sold a few dozen to smaller magazines and other clients.
“It was a lot of fun,” remembered Dave. “And it gave me a real sense of how difficult it was to be a cartoonist – the drawing and redrawing, trying to get the wording just right, and all those things. Becoming a cartoonist myself helped me cover the field.”
Why did he stop? It usually took Astor four or five hours to draw each cartoon, including the sketching and inking. Not to mention the time spent coming up with ideas.
That was doable until 2003, when Dave started the “Montclairvoyant” topical-humor column for his hometown newspaper, The Montclair (N.J.) Times. (Astor still writes that locally themed feature, now for Baristanet.com.) Also, as E&P’s parent company slashed staff, Astor’s work hours increased to 50-60 a week. That and family responsibilities meant the cartooning had to regretfully go.
About a year after Dave’s 2008 cost-cutting layoff from E&P, he gathered together the best of his cartoons and pitched them to syndicates. (There was no longer any conflict of interest because he was no longer writing about syndication.) Dave received some nice responses, but no contract offer.
Astor, an avid reader of novels, eventually started writing about literature in 2011 (first for The Huffington Post and now for his own DaveAstorOnLiterature.com blog). And he authored two books: Comic (and Column) Confessional (a 2012 memoir about his time at E&P) and 2017’s Fascinating Facts About Famous Fiction Authors and the Greatest Novels of All Time: The Book Lover’s Guide to Literary Trivia.
Samples of Dave’s cartoons accompany this story
Addendum: This blog’s author was honored to have Dave write the forward to his cartoon collection that is available on Amazon “Funny Cartoons For The Entire Family” and Dave’s books mentioned here can also be found on Amazon. All great reading at affordable prices.