Passing the Banner: From One Cartoonist to the Next


Zachary Ninomiya

Please contact Mrs. Shay should you be interested in applying.

Zachary Ninomiya, Section Editor/Cartoonist

To Whom It May Concern,


If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’ve shown interest in the job of “cartoonist” for The Wrangler.  This article is not meant to scare you away from or force you into this job, it is merely meant to help you decide whether or not you want to take up the mantle.   With that being said, let us begin.

Despite the title of “cartoonist,” I feel as though a more accurate description is simply “artist” in general.  This is because you really should have basic art knowledge with an adequate ability to render a wide range of subjects in a wide range of styles.  Trust me— over the course of two years, I’ve drawn guys, girls, whales, anthropomorphic horses, flowers, and many, many more, all in a variety of mediums from digital to traditional.  A wide breadth of both subject matter and materials really helps.  

To make it easier, here is a list of skills that I think are mandatory for this position:

  • Basic art abilities, primarily in the area of drawing.
  • Basic proficiency in a wide variety of subject matter, as you will never know exactly what you will be drawing.
  • Good work ethic and a positive attitude.
  • Effective way to communicate and get drawings to your classmates… This was where I struggled from time to time.  

Furthermore, here are some supplementary skills that I believe to be highly beneficial for the aspiring Wrangler cartoonist:

  • Proficiency in graphic design.
  • Proficiency in illustration
  • Basic hand lettering.
  • Basic photo editing.
  • Basic scene writing (for comics).  Please note that comics do not need to be funny.

Should you decide to take this job, please note that two drawings equal one article, which in turn equals one comic. Also note that I’ve found digital art to be much easier with regards to my assignments for this class; however, if there is someone with a scanner, traditional art will work just as well.  


And finally, some advice.  What worked for me may not work for you; consequently, don’t be afraid to disregard everything I’m saying.  Furthermore, be unique.  Every artist has their own styles and tools.  People don’t want to see how well you can imitate others; people want to see what new, innovative ideas you’ll bring to this newspaper.  Do not be afraid to experiment.  Between you and me, I used my newspaper drawings to experiment with new materials and styles.  Sometimes they were successful, sometimes not, but that’s what makes the job fun— the capacity to experiment, along with creative freedom. 


 Side note, do not be afraid of writing.  Writing is actually fun, as you can communicate your opinions in a way that art does not allow.  Plus, you become your own easiest client to draw for, as you know exactly how you want a picture for an article to look.


I know you’ll be an excellent cartoonist.  Work hard, make us proud, and above all else, have fun.  You’ll be drawing for a worthy cause, amongst very friendly and equally hardworking people. It’s exciting, thinking of the things that you’ll create.


Best of luck to you.