Getting animated…

American political cartoonists are getting the picture, and so it seems are increasingly some American newspapers too. As more and more of the focus is shifted towards the web, newspapers in Britain too will have to realize the full potential of the medium. That means, unfortunately some might say, that the trade will have to change too. Journalists will be working in different media to different deadlines. The traditional first, second and third editions will soon make way for continuous coverage.

Cartoonists will have to change too. The main issue will be the format and medium. I’m not going to go into a terribly long analysis of this, but the main issue is bound to be animation.
In some form or another.
Whether it is a series of still images with minimal animation, photomontage, traditional 2D animation, or a 3D solution like the one featured here by Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle, the preassure will be there for us to do something different.
I mentioned Kevin Kallaugher a little while back. His work is possibly two generations ahead, but (if you disregard his elaborate development process) it’s undoubtedly the shape of things to come. The possibilty of controlling pre-designed cartoon characters in real time.

Even with the less technologically challenging options though, there will be many issues facing cartoonists in this transitional period.
Time for example. At the moment it’s very difficult to make a decent animated cartoon in the same time it takes to do a normal cartoon, yet the preassure to respond to events will only increase with time. Can you realistically do everything on your own without help?
Money. Because of the time you spend, and the equipment needed, animated cartoons will cost more to make, but will newspapers want to pay more?

These are the very very basic questions, but they are difficult to find any answers to at the moment…
I sincerely hope however that we’re talking months – not years – before we see animated cartoons on British online newspapers too…

Any thoughs? Am I being defeatist on behalf of the beloved pen and ink?

More to come…

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Getting animated…”

  1. matt Says:

    An excellent post. Right on the money.

    We will all have to adapt to the new ways that the media are talking to their readerships – and that won’t necessarily suit all of our traditional ways of working.

    I don’t think we should be defeatist about the future of the pen, and I don’t believe it will vanish from use – but the arena in which it is going to have to work is changing in amazing ways and at incredible speed.

    >Time for example. At the moment it’s very difficult to make a decent animated cartoon in the same time it takes to do a normal cartoon, yet the preassure to respond to events will only increase with time. Can you realistically do everything on your own without help?

    I suppose technology and commisioners will help us solve this paradox eventually – but we will find a way!

  2. Nick Anderson Animation… « poldraw Says:

    […] Nick Anderson Animation… In December 2006 I wrote about how Houston Chronicle’s Nick Anderson was venturing into 3D animation. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: