CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 7, 1999
Cartoonists to sketch out future of their trade at
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Some of the nation's best-known
cartoonists will gather at the University of Iowa Oct. 14-16 for a symposium
on editorial cartooning. The symposium, "Drawing the Line: Political Cartooning
under Pressure," will be held in conjunction with the UI School of Journalism
and Mass Communication's 75th anniversary celebration.
UI graduate and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Paul
Conrad will kick off the weekend's events with a free public lecture, "Drawing
the Line," at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial
Union (IMU). Conrad, a 1950 UI graduate, began his political cartooning career
at The Daily Iowan. He went on to work for The Denver Post and Los Angeles
Times, and won Pulitzer Prizes for Editorial Cartooning in 1964, 1971 and
"Editorial cartooning has always been an important
part of American journalism, yet this unique form of journalism may be headed
for the endangered species list," said John Soloski, director of the School
of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fewer than 150 editorial cartoonists
work full-time at U.S. newspapers and that number shrinks each year, Soloski
said. "The symposium will examine the pressures political cartooning faces
today," he said.
Cartoonists and editors will address topics of concern
ranging from the death of local cartooning and the rise of syndication to
constraints on cartooning and the future of the art form. In addition, presidential
candidates have been invited to participate in a discussion about being the
target of political cartoons. Symposium organizers said the candidates would
not be able to commit firmly until closer to the date of the event.
The editorial cartooning symposium, which is free
and open to the public, will be held at the IMU Oct. 15 and at the Pappajohn
Business Administration Building Oct. 16. Featured speakers at the symposium
include: Jules Feiffer, formerly with the Village Voice and now syndicated;
Joel Pett of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader; Dan Perkins, a.k.a. Tom Tomorrow,
of Salon and syndicated in alternative press; Steve Benson of the Arizona
Republic; Brian Duffy of the Des Moines Register; Joe Sharpnack, a syndicated
cartoonist based in Iowa City; Wiley Miller, who pens "Non-Sequitur"; Milt
Priggee of the Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review; John Sherffius of the St.
Louis Post-Dispatch; and Signe Wilkinson of the Philadelphia Daily News. Participating
comic strip cartoonists include Bill Amend (Foxtrot), Jan Eliot (Stone Soup),
and Aaron McGruder (The Boondocks).
Symposium attendees will have the opportunity to interact
directly with the cartoonists during cartooning workshops on Saturday, Oct.
16. Participants who register in advance will be grouped with other aspiring
artists of the same age for hands-on drawing workshops in which nationally
known cartoonists will share some of the tricks of the trade. Drawing materials
will be provided at no charge, but those who wish to participate must register
by Oct. 1 to take advantage of this opportunity.
In addition to the symposium, several cartooning exhibits
will be on display on the UI campus, including a UI Museum of Art exhibit
of Conrad's work, an exhibit in the IMU display cases of Pulitzer Prize winning
cartoons and an exhibit at the UI Main Library of work by
Ding Darling, a Des Moines Register cartoonist in the first half of the 20th
In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the UI School
of Journalism and Mass Communication will hold an all-class reunion gala on
Friday, Oct. 15, in the IMU Main Lounge featuring a dinner and a dance with
the music of the University's Johnson County Landmark jazz band.
More information about the symposium is available
on the Web, http://www.uiowa.edu/
For information on registering for the free editorial
cartooning symposium, contact the UI Center for Conferences and Institutes
at (319) 335-4141.