From Ted Rall's blog.
I’m a busy guy... but every now and then an existential threat presents itself that requires you to stop whatever you’re doing and respond.
Daryl Cagle is an existential threat, the Osama bin Laden of American editorial cartooning. His relentless quest to squeeze every cent out of the industry keeps leading him to new lows: aggregating cartoons into huge packages in which the cartoonists make pennies but he’s a multimillionaire (like Arianna!), repurposing editorial cartoons over and over to save time, encouraging the worst ethical practices, including undercutting already rock-bottom reprint rates, censoring comments posted by fellow political cartoonists who disagree with him from online forums, and of course plagiarism.
Now he’s sunk to a new low.
Most cartoonists can only sell to one ideological market. For example, I don’t get much traction with conservative papers. Mike Ramirez, the right-wing cartoonist, can’t sell to many liberal papers. But Daryl has come up with “Cartooning-by-Numbers.” That’s right: he sells the same exact cartoon to BOTH liberal and conservative papers! All he has to do is change a minor detail.
Above is the cartoon he released yesterday. This is very, very, far-right stuff. After all, the whole point of Miranda Rights is that they’re a right. They’re not called the Miranda Privileges. Everyone gets them. Including accused mass murderers.
Daryl isn’t a good cartoonist, and does not have the respect of his colleagues, yet he is an extremely powerful man in the profession. This is because his aggregated syndication package, Cagle Cartoons, is so cheap that it is sold to about 800 newspapers (out of 1400 total) in the United States, and also overseas. His blog, which encourages cartoonists to self-plagiarize, is widely read by younger cartoonists and very influential. So this sort of thing could easily catch on. After all, who wouldn’t want to double their marketshare with a few strokes of Photoshop?
Fortunately, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) will consider taking a stand against this sort of thing at its annual convention in Salt Lake City in June. A strong code of ethics will be discussed and possibly enacted. In the meantime, however, we are seeing cartooning at the precipice of disaster, commodifying a once-proud profession dedicated to political ideas into a meaningless pile of plug-in-your-own-beliefs garbage.