Letter from the i editor: Sharpen those HBs!


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The Independent Online

As promised recently in this space, today i unveils our Cartoonist Idol competition in a bid to find new talent to whom we will give a platform and nurture.

We are on the hunt for wry observationalists and edgy controversialists alike: those who could file a daily and/or weekly effort. In fact, as we say in the call for entries, we will only know what we really want when we see it, whichever format you enter.

What we are all convinced of is that the right cartoonist(s) will add a sprinkling of magic to the paper in the manner that the universally admired “Matt” Pritchett and the much more “Marmite” Dave Brown do for their respective papers, the Telegraph and The Independent.

Details of how to enter are not only on page 31, as I said, but will be on facebook.com/i. You can also enter using the hashtag #icartoons if you are so minded.

A warning: in addition to a talent to be able to draw and write pithily, you will need a) the ability to come up with an endless stream of ideas, and b) – like every columnist and cartoonist – a very thick skin. That’s not just because there will be much rejecting of ideas by your editor, but there will also be public abuse. Lots of it. If your style is wry, you will be dissed for being boring. If your style is more “in your face”, or shocking, then you will be accused of being despicable. And, no matter what your ability is, the green-eyed monster will rear its ugly head and people will trash your talent! Your mum may get upset.

But, if you do have that talent, can stay the course, and have both the vital qualities “a” and “b”, how great will it be to be featured in a daily national newspaper and be paid (a pittance, let’s be clear) to do what you probably love doing anyway? And, your mum will be proud. So, sharpen those HBs and turn to p31.