I’ve been a fan of Cox and Forkum for longer than I’ve had this blog. These two talented artists put in so much heart and soul into their work! They amused and entertained me, while offering insightful, poignant and sharp-witted glimpses into what’s wrong with politics today.
That’s why I’m so saddened to see them announce that they’re taking their last bow in the world of editorial cartoons.
Let me start by saying that quitting editorial cartooning has been one of my toughest decisions. Having such a creative outlet for expressing my opinions is immensely satisfying. It’s an art form I’ve admired for decades, so I do not take lightly having the opportunity to work in the medium and to have that work seen by others. One of my proudest moments came soon after 9/11 when I held in my hands our first published cartoon. It was easy to feel useless, even helpless, in the weeks and months following the attacks. But to be able to fight in the battle of ideas was empowering.
For better or worse, I’ve always had to approach the editorial cartoon work as a “part time” career. I never quit my “day job” as co-owner of a small newspaper publishing business. The editorial work, though intellectually rewarding, is not very rewarding financially. Furthermore, researching the cartoons, writing/designing them, managing the blog, publishing the books, marketing them, and running the business side all take an enormous amount of time.
All of that comes with the territory, of course, and John and I have done pretty well over the last six years. We’re fairly well known on the Internet, we have a few newspaper and magazine clients, we’ve self-published four books, and we’ve made some money, if not a living. But lately, for reasons I won’t go into here, I can no longer afford to divert so much time and attention away from my publishing business and other personal concerns, such as my family.
I also want to stop focusing so much of my creative energy on negative aspects of daily life. There’s still an ideological battle to be fought, not to mention an actual war, and I will stay engaged in some form and medium. But at this point, anything seems more appealing than immersing myself in the sewer of daily politics.
I know how they feel. I’m not nearly as popular or well known in the gun rights world, but I do deal with politics and politicians on a daily basis in my civilian job, and I know there are times when I can almost smell the sewage dripping off my body at the end of the day!
My Congressman, Frank Wolf, once asked me during an informal chat after I interviewed him why I never entered the political arena, especially given my degree and experience. I told him 1) I didn’t have hip waders high enough and 2) I couldn’t, in good conscience, enter that cesspool. I like myself too much for that.
There have been many times when I’ve wanted to just quit at the end of the day after being immersed in politics all day and seeing the slime that drips out of Washington. And I’ve taken breaks – from the blog, from writing, from religiously watching and reading the news… There have been times – as I read about the latest attempts to destroy our rights – when I’ve wanted to just curl up somewhere, cry and never write another thing. It felt like much of it was falling on deaf ears. But something always brought me back.
So while I understand the sentiment, a part of me hopes John and Allen will return someday.
Thank you so much for brightening the Internet with your talent, guys!