The last few years have proven tough for political cartoonists. Some major publications — most notably the New York Times — announced they’ll stop printing cartoons for good, and staff editorial cartoon positions continue to be eliminated. Editorial cartoonists have been holding politicians accountable for America’s entire history. They have shaped our country from its earliest days (how could we overlook Benjamin Franklin’s Join, or Die?), and they create the kind of political environment our country needs right now: a balanced, uncensored debate with enough humor to make these critical topics approachable for the dinner table, and to invite healthy discussions among friends.
In 2018, after losing his job as a staff editorial cartoonist, Nick Anderson wrote a piece for CNN Opinion about the grim state of political cartooning in the US. He received an outpouring of support from friends, family, and former colleagues, but the most surprising response to the article came in the form of a LinkedIn request from Vivek Garipalli. A voracious consumer of news, Garipalli read Anderson’s opinion piece and reached out asking to chat about the article the next day. Anderson was freelancing at the time and very curious as to what someone like Vivek, a serial entrepreneur, was interested in discussing about the world of editorial cartoons.