I have always been a big fan of cartoons. Ever since I was a little kid, growing up in the suburbs of North Carolina, I would stay up late at night, pull the blankets up over my bed into a little fort, get out my flashlight, and get my stack of Far Side Galleries. Along with those, I was also a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes, and it was always my dream to collect every single cartoon that was ever drawn.
For Christmas every year, my parents would buy me the “Off The Wall Calendar” that Gary Larson put out so that I could flip to a different Far Side cartoon every day. I would very diligently rip off each page and store it back in the box so that I would have a gallery to look back at later on. Throwing cartoons away just seemed wrong.
Nowadays, those wonderful cartoonists from my youth are retired and not drawing cartoons anymore, but there are a lot of cartoonists out there who I really enjoy, and who I think are doing great work. I’d like to give a shout out to a few of them here in this post.
My friend Tomi over at Tomi’s Cartoon World also has a list of cartoonists who she thinks are carrying on the great tradition of cartooning. If you get a chance, you should check out here thoughts as well, and I think we have a pretty similar taste.
1. Loren Fishman
One of my favorite cartoonists out there today is Loren Fishman. I have seen his work on Gocomics, in addition to his own website where he works as a freelance cartoonist for hire. What I love about his cartoons is how edgy and satirical they are about all kinds of life situations. In his earlier work, he was clearly following in the tradition of cartoonists like Gary Larson, as he was really personifying animals, using silly puns, and putting people in wacky situations. As his style has developed, however, he has seemed to make an effort to find his own voice, and rarely does cartoons with talking cows, or animals going on dates and having dinner as if they were human.
Instead, he seems to focus more on real-life circumstances, commenting on social issues, and things that he finds ridiculous in everyday life. I like how he doesn’t shy away from hot button issues like religion, sexuality, corruption, race and gender relations, and politics.
2. Jon Carter
Another cartoonist who I believe is really doing great work is Jon Carter. He has a great sensibility and knows how to write puns with subtlety and nuance. I really admire his craftsmanship and ability to relate word and art seamlessly in his cartoons.
I also came across his cartoons when browsing the web comics on Gocomics, and I’d highly recommend checking it out. He also does freelance work from his own website and is published in a bunch of online magazines and websites that have cartoon sections and cartooning contests.
3. Mark Anderson
Andertoons is hard to miss if you’re looking for cartoons online. There are just thousands and thousands of his cartoons out there. Out of the cartoonists I’m mentioning in this post, Anderson is probably the most prolific, as his artwork is really simple, and he seems to just churn these things out. Still, while you might expect the quality to suffer some because there are so many on so many different topics, they are pretty consistently funny and of a high quality.
I particularly like the ones about doctors and medicine. He seems to really understand what people are thinking when they visit doctors and hospitals, because the dialogue in the cartoons is so right on and realistic, while pointing out the humor of the situation.
There are also cartoons about offices and business, which seems to be another one of his specialties, and there’s also a section on the site about custom cartoons, which is something that Fishman and Carter also offer to clients who are interested in buying cartoons.
So please, keep reading cartoons!
There are so many reasons why cartoons are great, and this art form is really important. If you look in the comics page of a newspaper today, they seem to be really stuck in the past (running comics like Dennis the Menace, Peanuts, and Family Circus) that were popular in the 1970’s. Hopefully this post introduced you to a few cartoonists who have taken cartooning to the next level and are making the art form still worth taking seriously.
After all, we are in the digital age now, and there is no reason for the newspaper to dictate what comics you are reading. The web is full of amazing up and coming cartoonists, as well as many established artists, whose work never appears in newspapers. As I mentioned before, I think that GoComics is probably the best place to browse around for new comics and promising cartoonists.
There are tons of freelance cartoonists out there who are doing great work. Take a minute out of your day to laugh, you won’t be disappointed!