Editorial cartoonists from around the country are gathering at George Washington University for a two-day convention. It’s a chance for staff, freelance and student cartoonists to talk shop and share their work with each other and the public.
They’re part journalist, part artist and part comedian.
“The challenge of our job is to be able to distill these complex things into a simple nugget that a lot of people can understand,” said Kevin Kallaugher of the “Economist” magazine of London and the Baltimore Sun.
The editorial cartoon industry is shrinking. Twenty years ago there were more than 200 full-time editorial cartoonists. Now, as newspapers go under, that number is down to about 80.
There is a bright side. Thanks to the internet and social media, more people are seeing their work. And more artists are using computers, drawing in high-definition and erasing digitally. Some are even taking on animations.
The convention continues through Saturday. You can watch cartoonists draw and discuss their works at GW’s Jack Morton Auditorium.