By: Dave Astor
Rob Tornoe is a “states of the art” editorial cartoonist.
The Delaware resident — recently hired as a full-time cartoonist for Politicker.com — does separate local drawings for each of that online network’s 12 state Web sites. That usually means 10-15 cartoons a week, with perhaps one for each state and a couple on national topics.
“They keep me pretty busy,” Tornoe said wryly, when interviewed by phone this afternoon.
How does the cartoonist keep up with what’s going on in Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington?
Tornoe, 30, reads the various Politicker sites, talks with Politicker writers, and more. It also helps that he’s been in 10 of the 12 states (some of them because his Air Force father moved the family often). And Tornoe will travel for Politicker to destinations such as this year’s political conventions.
“But doing cartoons for different states can get tricky,” said the Idaho-born creator. “The politics of New Jersey are very different from the politics of Colorado.”
Tornoe, who first joined Politicker last year on a freelance basis, is used to heavy workloads because he has often drawn cartoons while working at other jobs. In fact, he’s still contributing to papers such as The Press of Atlantic City, N.J., despite now working for Politicker full time.
Politicker plans to eventually launch sites in all 50 states. Tornoe acknowledged that it would be “physically impossible” for him to do cartoons each week for THAT many sites, but said something will be worked out. This might involve getting an assistant, doing cartoons for each state less often, or something else.
Whatever happens, Tornoe is a rarity these days — an editorial cartoonist who just got a full-time job in his field, and an editorial cartoonist who holds an online-only job. There IS a possibility that Tornoe’s Politicker work could be syndicated to print newspapers and their Web sites sometime in the future.
“I hope that works out,” he said. “I love newspapers.”
Tornoe’s cartoons — which target all sides and issues on the political spectrum — can be seen here.
A recent New York Times story about Politicker can be seen here.