Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Canny Candidates Display Drawings

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Canny Candidates Display Drawings

Article excerpt

They reprint editorial cartoons on campaign Web sites and in political literature - and don't always ask permission

As Election Day nears, candidates are running for office and rerunning editorial cartoons. Politicians, who use cartoons with or without permission, put them in print materials such as brochures or post them on campaign Web sites.

"I've gotten twice the requests for reprints since the Web started," reported Dick Locher of the Chicago Tribune and Tribune Media Services (TMS). This year, for instance, George W. Bush's site used two of Locher's cartoons.

Usage is sometimes low-tech. Signe Wilkinson of The Philadelphia Daily News and Washington Post Writers Group recalled criticizing a mayoral candidate in a cartoon that subsequently got reprinted on thousands of flyers placed under windshield wipers.

"In Philadelphia, we don't do Web sites, we do windshields," joked Wilkinson, who doesn't know who printed and distributed the flyers.

Was Wilkinson upset? "No," she replied. "I was thrilled. You want cartoons to affect people. The more people who get to see them, the better. ... When you're doing cartoons during a hot political race, they almost become part of the campaign mix." She compared it to the way newspaper editorial endorsements might be pictured in a candidate's TV ad.

Locher also doesn't mind when politicians use his drawings. "I think it's exposure for the cartoonist and the newspaper," he said, adding that he doesn't charge for the reprint rights.

Henry Payne of The Detroit News and United Feature Syndicate has mixed feelings about political reprints. "If it's just published in a newsletter, that's fine," he said. "But if it would be used in fund- raising material, then it's not approved."

Chuck Asay of The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Creators Syndicate noted that he might allow his work to be reprinted by an out- of-state political campaign, but not by one in Colorado. …

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