Small cartoons appearing in newspapers and magazines
Small Cartoons In Publications Are Not Appreciated By Cartoon Fans
Small cartoons and comics are not appreciated in newspapers as is evidenced in this article that appeared in Editor & Publisher magazine’s ‘Syndicates / News Services’ section.
Note the date is July 14, 1990. It has me wondering how people in 2017 feel about their newspaper comics. I compared the width of a sample comic strip in my local daily paper, and I used Beetle Bailey as a reference. The length the newspaper runs each strip is at 4.25 inches in width, as are all of the comic strips….Dilbert, Baby Blues, Blondie and all the rest.
The results in the survey I am recapping here have not changed in any sense of the word I’m sure. It’s a wonder how running cartoons this small gives them a fighting chance to maintain any popularity with a reader base.
It seems my local paper literally “scrunches” alot onto each page, as though they are cramped for space. The article here mentions picas, which back before computers and pixels and “column width” became popular references, a pica was a standard unit of measurement. The SAU standard which is mentioned, stands for “standard advertising unit”. Something I learned years ago from talking and negotiating with newspaper editors when I was self syndicating my own cartoons and cartoon packages to newspapers.
Some newspapers ran pages of strips at 38 picas wide and some at 30. This pica conversion chart may be of interest if you’re doing some research into newspaper editing procedures.
Small cartoons in magazines seem to be the complete opposite, than those complaints pertaining to newspapers. It goes without saying, magazines like Playboy, The New Yorker and many trade magazines use cartoons full page and in color. Gag cartoons seem to be the exception even in 2017, since some of my clients are actually running panels at a quarter of a page or devoting full pages exclusively to a “humor” page or “Monthly Cartoons” section. New Yorker cartoons are part of cartoon caption contests in the publication, which also generate interest. I hope with the advancements in technology, that newspapers can rebound in some way, where they compliment their digital counterparts and can offer larger pages in the future, based on newsprint costs and a strong economy.