National Cartoonists Society President Jason Chatfield has sent out a State of The Society message to members with a look to the future of the NCS and their brand new website.
At time of writing, we’ve just sustained some major blows for which it would be remiss of me not to mention: Between the New York Times decision to cease publishing all daily editorial cartoons in both editions, the devastating news of MAD no longer commissioning new content and a slew of unfair layoffs of cartoonists all over the country, it’s hard not to feel the overwhelming weight of this gravitational shift in the industry.
Yes, it’s an opportunity and a new era for cartoons to find a home in other media but I do believe it is important to recognise the gravity of this moment. I feel that this is a great chance for our new, qualified and innovative board, and the membership at large, to steer our ship through this rocky period. It’s up to us, not 20th century publishers or corporations, to chart that path.
Our ranks now include talented young cartoonists finding their audience in Webcomics, on Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Medium and a slew of other growing new media.
As an organization, we do need to adapt and evolve to survive this rapidly changing territory. To that end, we’re going to have to make some very big, possibly unpopular decisions and take risks to ensure we don’t dissolve into history.
First among those changes is The Cartoon!st.
We have received a lot of feedback from members that they hardly ever, if at all, get the time they’d like to sit and read The Cartoon!st in its print form each time they receive it.
Regular publication of The Cartoon!st costs in the order of $40,000 a year to produce, print and post. That expense, which has been shouldered in recent years by the NCS Foundation, is significant. In this day and age, we have the ability to impart news in a much more timely and much less expensive fashion.
The middle ground we’ve arrived at, for now, is that we will all still receive in the post, a printed and fully stocked annual bumper issue of The Cartoon!st after every Reubens weekend. In the interim, you will still receive the regular number of fully-packed editions of The Cartoon!st, ably compiled by super-editor Frank Pauer.
These editions will be delivered in PDF format via email. You will also have the ability to read it online at ISSUU.com in high resolution and full colour. Those who wish to, can print from the PDF if they prefer to consume it on paper. Moreover, the more timely articles in The Cartoon!st (which sometimes arrive in your letterbox weeks after they would ideally have been shared) will be published on the website ahead of the delivery of the PDF version.
It has always seemed a shame that much of the non-exclusive information in The Cartoon!stis not made available to our supporters and cartoon fans in public. These items,, which often include wonderfully detailed profiles of our members who have books being published, or public events and signings being staged, will be made available on the website in a more timely fashion, shared on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels… thereby relaying that news not just to NCS members, but to a vast audience of cartoon fans.
Naturally, there will still be much information in each issue that that will remain exclusive for members only, such as address changes and anything intended for NCS eyes only.
On that note: we are now able to announce, in line with our new direction, we now have a brand new website! Complete with fully-customizable member profiles, showcasing your artwork, social media details, a full bio and contact information of your choosing.
We are no longer at reuben.org — You can see the new site at www.nationalcartoonists.com
National Cartoonists Society