Cartoonists: Stop thinking in print

By Steve Outing

Here’s something profound from Berkeley Breathed, creator of Bloom County (the classic, now-defunct comic strip) and Opus (currently running in Sunday newspapers). This is from an LA Times article:

“I don’t think you’ll ever see another ‘Calvin & Hobbes,’ ‘Bloom County’ or ‘Doonesbury‘ again,” says Breathed, 48, who received the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1987. “The popularity of those strips was built on a young audience — great comic strips are not built on the backs of aging readers.”

He’s right. Cartoonists need to be thinking about building the “next Calvin & Hobbes” for the Internet first, and printed newspapers secondarily. If a comic is to get truly popular, it must reach a large audience online. And the next Calvin & Hobbes probably won’t be static pixels, but rather multimedia, a la Mark Fiore’s great opinion cartoons.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!