Daryl Cagle, Founder of Cagle Cartoons and Editorial
Cartoonist for Slate: 7th
is the daily editorial cartoonist for the Microsoft
Network's commentary site, Slate,
and Daryl's daily editorial cartoons are syndicated
to over six hundred print newspapers across America.
millions of regular, unique users each month, Daryl's
editorial cartoon web site with Microsoft http://cagle.slate.msn.com
is the most popular cartoon site, of any kind, on
the internet. It is also the most widely used education
site in Social Studies classrooms
around the world.
drew a daily, syndicated editorial cartoon panel titled,
"TRUE!" for Tribune
Media Services in the 1990's and went on to
be a daily editorial cartoonist for Gannett's Honolulu
Advertiser newspaper before moving to Slate
the past twenty seven years, Daryl has been one of
America's most prolific cartoonists. Raised in California,
Daryl went to college at UC Santa Barbara, then moved
to New York City where he worked for ten years with
Jim Henson's Muppets,
illustrating scores of books, magazines, calendars
and all manner of products.
has illustrated national advertising campaigns for
clients including McDonalds,
Sears, Discover Card, Sega, Safeway Stores, Frito-Lay,
General Foods Post Cereals and many others.
Daryl has designed toys for Mattel,
Hasbro, Milton Bradley, Kenner and Fisher-Price.
He has designed watches for Timex and Armitron, glasses
for Libby, Enesco and Anchor Hocking, lunchboxes for
Thermos, toothbrushes for Oral-B and clothing for
Keds, Danskins, Artex, Allison, Majdahl and Union
is a past president of the National
Cartoonists Society. He has been married for
twenty years and has two lovely children, Susan, 19
and Michael, 12.
why and when did you start your cartoonist /artistic
never considered doing anything else.
are your aims and objectives?
would like to see my work continue to improve and
to have my cartoons read by a larger audience.
motivates and inspires you?
is a delight to be an editorial cartoonist. It is
a joy to draw my opinions and have an audience who
sees what I draw. I don't see why anyone would want
to do anything else. How frustrating it must be for
the average guy who watches TV, gets mad at the news,
and isn't be able to vent by drawing a cartoon.
are the highlights of your career?
had some wonderful years working with Jim Henson's
Muppets - that was like
graduate school for me when I was young and fresh
out of college. They were great.
newspaper editorial cartoonists start their careers
as editorial cartoonists; I switched at mid-career,
which is unusual. I love what I am doing now so I
would say that the highlight is now.
did the MSN deal / website deal come about? (http://cagle.slate.msn.com)
started the "Daryl Cagle's
Professional Cartoonists' Index" site
in 1995 when the web was new. It started as a vanity
site, featuring my own work, but I soon started showcasing
the work of my friends and the site began to grow.
I put up a teachers guide for using editorial cartoons
in the classroom and I discovered that almost every
state in America includes the interpretation of a
political cartoon on their state mandated testing.
Teachers are required to "teach to the test"
and didn't have good resources for teaching their
students about editorial cartoons. Traffic to the
site exploded when I started promoting the site to
Social Studies teachers.
audience grew to be so huge that the expenses and
technical hurdles of serving the site became a burden.
Fortunately, the audience for political cartoons is
a good fit with the audience for Slate.com,
Microsoft's opinion magazine on the web, and they
were interested in partnering with me to support this
white-elephant monster of a web site.
people at Slate have been great. I continue to run
the site all by myself, as a personal passion. Slate
hosts the site, handles the technical burdens, and
leaves me free editorially. I draw my cartoons with
the Slate.com byline and the web site is my publication
of record. The only other nationally syndicated newspaper
cartoonist who works for a web site is Bob
Gorrell with AOL News.
do you prefer to draw, and why?
makes me angry that day.
are your tools of the trade?
scanner, Macintosh and outdated software.
and why did you launch your website, and what has
it done for you and your business?
from the site with Slate, my focus now is on selling
my cartoons to print publications. When I was drawing
for Gannett's Honolulu Advertiser
newspaper, I hired a salesman to syndicate my cartoons
on my own. I had no success and almost no sales. I
discovered that prices for editorial cartoons had
been driven down so far, by competition among the
syndicates, that a single cartoonist couldn't price
his cartoons low enough to be of interest to a newspaper
came to the conclusion that, to have a viable product,
I needed to have a group of cartoonists that was marketed
as a "package." That was the genesis for
We now have a great group of talented cartoonists.
I think we now have the best newspaper cartoon service
anywhere. We started the group about two years ago.
group will always be directed to newspaper editorial
page editors - we won't ever do comic strips or puzzles.
But will are looking to add more content that will
be of interest to our Op-Ed editor clients. We recently
added two columnists, former Clinton political advisor
and Fox News Pundit,
Dick Morris; and conservative
talk radio star, Michael Reagan.
seen great growth in the first two years and now have
many hundreds of subscribing newspapers. I find that
editors know and respect Slate. Drawing for Slate
has been well received by editors; in that regard,
the web site with Slate has been a great help.
many news media websites are you hooked up with?
a few. Our focus is print media. In general, content
syndication on the web has not been a successful business
model, as it has been with print. We are, however,
happy to offer content to web sites and we have about
a dozen clients on the web.
have been, and are, your biggest challenges?
are a lot of talented cartoonists out there. Getting
my cartoons in front of the readers is a never ending
website services do and could you offer to a news
media website looking for relevant cartoon content,
eg Cartoon of the day
offer only one product, which is a general subscription
to all of our content. At this time we represent eight
American cartoonists, the best cartoonist in Canada
(Cam Cardow) and the
eight best cartoonists in Latin America, who we translate
into English - we also translate our English language
cartoons into Spanish. And we have the two columnists.
A subscriber can expect about thirty cartoons a week
in English and the same number in Spanish - plenty
to choose from if you are doing a cartoon of the day.
We also have a web site with tens of thousands of
archived cartoons that are searchable by topic.
are your biggest and most prestigious clients, and
what was the "secret" to securing the deal?
published in major newspapers, including USA
Today, the Washington
Post, the Los Angeles
Times ... recently even the Sydney
Morning Herald. The "secret" is offering
a great product at a fair and competitive price.
is the biggest compliment you have ever received about
get hundreds of e-mails every day - about half are
complimentary and half are hate mail. I read and remember
the complimentary ones. I have forgotten the hate
mail. I don't know about the biggest ...
are some of your current projects?
working hard on improving our Cagle Cartoons service.
I'm working hard on my own cartoons.
other information would you like to share with our
media savvy audience?
our public/entertainment site with Slate.com at:
visit our syndicate site where we license the best
editorial cartoons at an alarmingly low price:
Advertiser: Daryl Cagle cartoon