Blog Newsletter Syndicate Changes

We’ve made some changes to the front page of our syndicate site, that will affect our contributing artists. Here is my latest Bloomberg cartoon that I will use an an example below.

I’ll use my recent Bloomberg cartoon as an example of the changes on
This is the revised front page of, our syndicate download site for editors, as it appear today.

The site is the core of our little business. This is where our subscription customers get their cartoons and columns; these are mostly daily, paid-circulation newspapers in the USA who put our content on their editorial pages. (If you only read our blog and you may want to read no further, as this doesn’t affect you. This may be a bit wonky for most readers.)

–The Issues and the Changes

We’re the only syndicate that has their client download site ( available for everyone to see. We’ve been addressing some nagging issues with how we deliver the cartoons on the site. Most editors only look for what is new on the front page of the site and don’t consider older cartoons in our vast database. Often (such as every Thursday) we had too many new cartoons for the front page and cartoons that were loaded early in the day were gone later in the day, pushed out by the newest contributions. Unless an editor visited twice a day, she wouldn’t see all of the new cartoons –and most editors don’t visit every day.

In general, 20% of the cartoons get 80% of the reprints. In other words, editors don’t like 80% of the cartoons, and with all of the cartoons rushing to leave the front page, too many editors complained that they were not seeing enough cartoons they liked.

We encourage our cartoonists to submit black and white versions of their cartoons, because cartoons designed for black and white look better than color cartoons converted to grayscale where some colors come out too dark and cartoons often flatten to a dull gray. The many black and white duplicate versions of the cartoons were taking up front page space that now goes to displaying more color versions of cartoons. The black and white images are now available on the “preview” download pages of the color “parent” cartoon.

We encourage cartoonists to upload their cartoons in a higher resolution than the cartoonists prefer, and we encourage cartoonists to save their work in tiff format, which is not “lossy” like jpg and png formats.  (Editors prefer jpg).

Cartoons should be archived in tiff format, so there is no loss to the original. We see our archive as a library and we want to treat the original cartoon files like historical documents that deserve to be preserved without loss –as high resolution tiff files.

We also encourage artists to save their work in CMYK format so their black lines are crispy and the cartoons don’t suffer from bad printing with poor registration. Editors prefer RGB. Until now editors have had to suffer from cartoons in different formats as the unruly herd of cartoonist/cats saved their work in different formats, now editors can download the tiff files as jpg files.

Trump-Friendly, Popular, and the World …

Some time ago, in response to complaints from Trump-supporting editors, we added a section near the top of the page called TRUMP FRIENDLY CARTOONS. This went a long way to dealing with the complaints from red state editors. We recently added a new section called POPULAR CARTOONS that pushed the WORLD CARTOONS section down the page below the fold; the purpose of the new section is to keep the most popular cartoons on the front page longer so editors don’t miss what they want most. The TRUMP FRIENDLY CARTOONS are often among the most popular cartoons with editors. We won’t put the same cartoons in both sections so they won’t be shown twice (or three times) on the front page, so if a TRUMP FRIENDLY cartoon is also a POPULAR CARTOON, it will appear only in the TRUMP FRIENDLY section.

The POPULAR CARTOONS aren’t really “trending” in the internet sense, because readers tend to like different cartoons than editors. In general, editors prefer funny cartoons that don’t express a strong point of view, while readers on the Web respond most to cartoons that pull no punches and reinforce their existing points of view. We still have all kinds of cartoons, strong and soft, left and right, but we’re making it easier for editors to see cartoons they prefer on our site. After all, this site is designed for ease of use by editors. ( is designed for readers.)

We love the world cartoonists, but American editors don’t, and these are the least downloaded cartoons by our newspaper subscribers –so we’ve pushed the WORLD CARTOONS down the page they are still there, and there are just as many of them displayed.

The black and white versions of cartoons are no longer taking up spots on the front page, they are displayed on the preview pages of their accompanying “parent” color versions that editors see when they choose to download cartoons after logging in. Cartoons that exist only as black and white will still appear on the front page.

This is an example of an image preview or download page on today, this is our syndicate download site for editors, as it appear today. This is what editors see after they log in, giving them options to download the high resolution version of the cartoon in different formats.

Preview Page Changes

Clicking on any thumbnail image on the site brings up a “preview page” that looks different for editors who have logged in. An example of what editors see is at the right.

Editors have many options for downloading cartoons, they can download the high resolution images to their device, or email the cartoon to themselves, or to another email address. They can also choose to receive different versions of the cartoons. I upload my cartoons in CMYK tiff format, which is “non-lossy” and best for some kinds of printing. Editors prefer RGB jpg format which is what they are used to getting from photo services like AP. Now editors can download in tiff, jpg and png formats, as CMYK or as RGB if the cartoonist saved her cartoon in CMYK format, as we recommend and as few cartoonists do.

When cartoonists prepare a separate black and white version of a color cartoon, it now appears as a “related variation” only on the preview page for editors to download, rather than with the thumbnails on the front page and in searches. In general, when a black and white version of a cartoon is available, one third of the downloads for the cartoon are for the black and white version.

In the future we may make other variations available to editors on the preview pages, such as foreign language versions or different dimensions that cartoonists may want to do, or such as a taller version or wider version.

Newspaper editors hate when cartoonists use dirty words, but many cartoonists love dirty words which are commonplace on the Web. We’re considering allowing cartoonists to do “dirty word versions” of their cartoons that would be available as variations since there is so much demand for that among the cartoonists. We haven’t quite convinced ourselves do that yet, since most of our subscribers are traditional newspapers. Maybe we will.

We’re also considering adding a feature that will allow editors to select the resolution of the cartoon they download. For now, the resolution of the cartoon is displayed on the preview page. Sometimes we get complaints about cartoons that artists uploaded in low resolution (this is more often a problem with the world cartoonists who have a harder time accepting higher resolution). Unfortunately, it does no good to try to increase the resolution of a low resolution original; this option is only good for resizing cartoons to lower resolutions or dimensions, which would be helpful for Web clients.

Editors can see the resolution on the preview page so they won’t be surprised after downloading the cartoon. There is more demand for higher resolution cartoons now as new devices have higher resolution displays and as better printing processes demand more from cartoon files that are blown up as illustrations.

That’s it for now. More changes will be coming soon!

We need your support for (and! Notice that we run no advertising! We depend entirely upon the generosity of our readers to sustain the site. Please visit and make a contribution. You are much appreciated!


Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Gatehouse Guts our Guys

Editorial cartoonists losing their staff jobs has become old news as staff cutbacks at newspaper chains continue, but yesterday was an especially bad day. The Gatehouse chain laid off three staff cartoonists, Nate Beeler of The Columbus Dispatch, Rick McKee of The Augusta Chronicle and Mark Streeter of The Savannah Morning News. They have been regular contributors to our site for close to fifteen years. Gatehouse’s fourth cartoonist, Dave Granlund, was not laid off, apparently because he works under a freelance contract and was not an employee. Beeler and McKee are part of our newspaper syndicate and are among our most popular cartoonists.

Gatehouse is America’s largest newspaper chain in terms of number of newspapers. (Gannett is the largest newspaper chain in term of number of readers.) The three cartoonists who were laid off were part of Gatehouse’s “More Content Now” shared services, distributing their work in internal syndication to all of the Gatehouse newspapers, so their loss will be felt by a large number of newspapers. Even though the value of the creative contribution of the three cartoonists’ work was multiplied across all the newspapers in the Gatehouse chain, making them much more valuable than the other employees laid off in this round of cuts, this cost-cutting move by Gatehouse doesn’t come as a surprise.

Rick tells me he hopes to continue drawing cartoons for the approximately 850 newspapers that subscribe to our syndicate, and I hope the same will be true for Nate. My sincere condolences go out to all three, and I am confident that they will continue to have successful cartooning careers as their work turns in new directions.

Here are the most recent cartoons by Rick McKee of The Augusta Chronicle, Nate Beeler of The Columbus Dispatch and Mark Streeter of The Savannah Morning News.


Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Chinese Hackers! Ouch!

On Thursday night, last week, we suffered an unusually effective series of attacks from Chinese hackers against our database server that have brought our database and our download site down, along with our store site.

Chinese hackers, looking over my shoulder.

On Friday, my valiant editors Brian and Stacey Fairrington, answered over 250 calls and emails from editors to give them the new, emergency, interim Google Drive cartoon download location where we set up a temporary download site for the recent cartoons. Our new columns are available on, see them on the front page at the right. (If you’re a client who needs access to the interim Google Drive site to download the recent cartoons, email [email protected] and we’ll give you the link.)

Our cartoonists should email new cartoons to us at [email protected], which goes to all of us; we will manually add your cartoons to the Google Drive interim download site and we will be sending new cartoons out to the editors who take email delivery through MailChimp until we have a new back up with a new database and server. We’re updating manually for now, so it may be slow to display new cartoons. Payments to the cartoonists who get paid quarterly went out a couple of weeks ago, and the royalty checks for the monthly cartoonists went out this weekend, for January. Don’t worry, the cartoonists have all been paid!

The Chinese hackers, who leave lots of Chinese language files and malware on our database server every time they break in, have been watching as we repair the server and they come back each time repairs are made to tear the server down again. We’ve tried but we can’t keep them out of our outdated system. The hackers win this round. We had to give up on the old server and we’re scrambling to re-write our management system to work with a current SQL server.

Regular readers know how we’ve had continuing problems with hackers attacking, mostly with DDos/denial of service attacks. Thanks to the generosity of Cloudflare, we’re fending off the DDos attacks.  The current problem is that we were using an older database and server for our syndicate site and store site, which left us vulnerable. We were too complacent, since the attacks were all against in the past. Our old database system worked so well that I hated the prospect of the cost and hassle of recreating it with newer, more defensible code.  I procrastinated too long.

We don’t keep confidential information online. No credit card information was stolen.

The editors have all been lovely about this and we haven’t gotten any complaints – at least not so far. It has been nice to see the support and goodwill from our subscription clients at a time when they could justifiably be grouchy.

I also appreciate the heroic efforts of our staff, Theo, Brian, Stacey and Rob, who have really stepped up this weekend to make things work through our database crisis.

I hate inconveniencing everyone. Thanks for your patience with this mess! We hope to have new versions of the and sites up soon.

Perhaps I’ve been drawing too many cartoons of Xi Jinping as Winnie the Pooh.





Blog Syndicate

Welcome Jos Collignon!

We just added a new cartoonist to our newspaper syndication package – Jos Collignon from Holland. We think Jos is great! See more of his cartoons below, and on his archive here.

Welcome, Jos! This newspaper-reading-Trump-voters will see your cartoons now –give ’em hell!



See My Big, Long, Video Interview with Mr. Media

Here’s my long interview with Bob Andelman (Mr. Media) about my work, the editorial cartooning business and editorial cartoons around the world.

This is a cartoon I was working on when I did the interview at my drawing table.


Welcome Cristina Sampaio!

We just added a new cartoonist to our newspaper syndicate and our site! Cristina Sampaio, the charming and brilliant cartoonist from Portugal. Here are a few samples of her work. Just another great reason for newspaper to subscribe to our syndicate! Read more about here.


Farewell to

For the past six years we’ve enjoyed a partnership with (which recently changed its name to and for six years before that, with when it was part of the Microsoft Network – all in all, twelve years with Microsoft and  I regret to write that our partnership has come to an end.

nbcnews Farewell to   cartoonsI was the official “editorial cartoonist” for, and  Of-course, all of the cartoonists that work with us through our Cagle Cartoons syndicate and were featured on the sites, including slide shows on news topics of the day on, the Today Show site and NBC Sports; we did a cartoon week in review and maintained a “CartoonBlog.”

Recently, changed ownership to be run by NBC, and NBC itself recently changed ownership.  It isn’t usual these days for cartoons to be cut to save costs, but we were cut for editorial reasons. The reason I was given for our departure was “the new management wants nothing to do with cartoons.” has never had an opinion section, or other opinion content, so it is disappointing, but not entirely unexpected.

Readers of our site will see very few changes – the logo is gone from our header and will be gone from my attribution in my future cartoons.  Our site will look the same as always; we’ll continue our syndication business as always at and

Our editors at MSN/Slate/msnbc/NBCNews were wonderful to work with all these years; I’ve appreciated their support for our cartoonists and our art form.  They loved what we did, let us do what we wanted and were happy with what we wanted to do – the perfect editors!  They were great.  I miss them already.