Daily Dispatches
Sketch by Gary Varvel

Cartoonist draws on digital media


Syndicated editorial cartoonist Gary Varvel is a rarer talent than a professional athlete. He is one among just 50 full-time editorial cartoonists working today.

“There are guys who’ve won the Pulitzer Prize who are out of work today,” said the cartoonist for the Indianapolis Star and WORLD. “I’m really blessed in that I still have a job and I’m still able to do this every day, and this is my primary job.”

It’s likely he’s one of the last 50 standing because of his digital media savvy. Varvel doesn’t just ink a cartoon and call it a day. He’s on social media, pushing out cartoons and interacting with his audience. He’ll flip on a camera and share videos on Vine. He produced a television commercial parody of the Affordable Care Act, with Varvel starring as the insurance company nemesis “Government Mayhem” (see video clip below).

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“You make yourself curious about technology. I want to be a player in this. I don’t want to be on the sidelines,” Varvel said. “I’m trying to give people more than just ‘here’s the static cartoon.’”

In a radio profile on today’s edition of The World and Everything in It (listen to the audio clip below). Varvel talks about how his faith shapes his worldview and work—and about the craft of cartooning, narrating as he sketches quick caricatures of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama (see image above).

Nick Eicher
Nick Eicher

Nick lives in St. Louis, loves the Blues (as in the NHL), is executive producer of WORLD Radio, and co-hosts WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickEicher.


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