For aspiring comic strip artists, columnists, and other content producers, newspaper syndication has always been a tough mountain to climb. And that was before economic recession struck. Now it’s tougher than ever to make the jump to syndication.
"I realized it wasn't just the cost," said Terry Savage. "They just didn't want me." The Sun-Times was Savage's base, the paper she was identified with when she appeared on television and the website; but her column also ran in other, smaller papers, and she'll go on writing it for distribution by Creators Syndicate.
There have been a limited number of success stories in the last several years regarding launching a new strip, and you can count Richard Thompson’s brilliant comic strip “Cul de Sac” among them. The wit and humor of the strip, rendered beautifully by Thompson’s elegant linework, instantly caught on with editors and quickly found its way into more than 150 newspapers. Unfortunately, the promise of “Cul de Sac” will be short-lived, as Thompson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, affecting his drawing abilities.
The syndication business has seen many ups and downs in its more than 150-year history, but at no other point have the stakes been greater, and the waters choppier, than they are today.
Amid the rise and success of hit TV shows such as “Family Guy” and “American Dad,” animator-turned Hollywood powerhouse Seth MacFarlane has been dogged with accusations of joke-stealing and lack of originality in his work. Now, cartoonists are pointing out the similarities between his new motion picture "Ted" and popular comic strip "Imagine This."
Readers of the Philadelphia Inquirer will see the last political cartoon penned by Tony Auth, a local legend and Pulitzer Prize winner who has drawn daily political cartoons for the same hole in the paper for the last 40 years. "I feel like a kid again," Auth said from his corner office at the Inquirer’s soon-to-be-vacated tower on North Broad Street. "I'm really looking forward to trying new things with my cartoons."
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