September 27, 2005

Jamar Nicholas, Mild-Mannered Editorial Cartoonist

Pennsylvania Gov. Rendell pacifying SEPTA - PA's local transit amidst money woes (Again)

As most of you do not know - I am the current editorial cartoonist for the Philadelphia Tribune - the nations oldest Black Newspaper. I've been doing it for almost 2 1/2 years now, 2 strips a week off and on.

It's been more off than on lately, as I don't get much input from the paper on my stuff, good-bad or indifferent, and in some cases makes it hard for me to gauge where a piece needs to go, or to make a story link up with the focus of the OP/ED page. I sometimes get the paper to find my cartoon has no relationship to what the paper is speaking out against that day, and it frustrates me. I am really the type that needs the constant back/forth with clients to let me know that things are still moving forward. I LIKE input! How forward of me.

It's odd how I fell into doing this - it basically began with me looking for a new freelance gig, and I walked into the paper offices and asked if they needed a cartoonist. Comes to find out they did! I did some samples, and next thing you know, I'm rolling thick, with 24's on my car, and iced-out air fresheners on the rear-view. Heh.

But for real, I just kinda started doing editorial strips. I never thought of this as something I'd ever do - but I always followed the big editorial cartoonists, my good friend Signe Wilkinson, Jim Borgman, the late Jeff McNelly, Mike Peters, Pat Oliphant, Horsey - yunno, the good ones. Even new cats like my pal Keef Knight, Lalo Alcaraz - they made it look easy. I still struggle at it, and it's once in a blue moon that I strike on a jewel of an idea, and it makes me feel like it's all worth it.

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