Adopt a Cartoonist




Mike Marland at the drawing board

Editor’s note: Just as the January issue arrived in the office, InDepthNH.org Editor Nancy West (who wrote the article on editorial cartoonist Mike Marland that appears below and on January’s “Blips” page) informed us that in an effort to cut costs, the Concord Monitor has parted ways with Mike. Like Nancy, we are saddened by this news. Nancy, however, has a proposition: Adopt Mike and give him a new home at InDepthNH. We like the sound of that. She’s also looking for Mike’s opposite – a right-leaning cartoonist to, as she says, “give Mike a run for his money.” You can read Nancy’s entire appeal below, followed by the story as it appears in our January issue.

Help Us Adopt Mike Marland

What’s New Hampshire news without our native son, the infamous lefty-leaning cartoonist Mike Marland? Bland and boring – I’m bewildered and a bit bitter at just the thought of it.

After 29 years showcasing his talent for skewering The Powers That Be in the Concord Monitor, Mike’s last “Birch & Finch” will run December 31, and his last editorial cartoon will run January 1 – Without your help, that is.

We want him to continue his mission at the nonprofit New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism’s online news outlet InDepthNH.org. And he wants to come home.

“The GOP has taken over the New Hampshire State House. Donald Trump is the president of the United States. I can’t go yet,” Mike says.

But we need your tax-deductible underwriting help to bring Mike home to InDepthNH.org.

We found him a nurturing home at InDepthNH.org. Now, we need your help to pay for his care and feeding. Call me please, Nancy West, at (603) 738-5635. As history blends politics and madness, 2017 was created specifically for the political cartoonist – our own Mike Marland. We are also desperately seeking a right-leaning GOP NH editorial cartoonist to give Mike a run for his money. We are an unbiased, investigative news outlet, so please call me if you’ve got what it takes.


Post-election Comic Relief

What does New Hampshire’s homegrown editorial cartoonist do when he can’t stand another minute of President Donald Trump? He heads to “The Beach.”

“The Beach” is Mike Marland’s webcomic of unapologetically partisan political commentary, featuring such characters as Lefty, Newspup and Red the rightwing seagull.

Marland is busy with his nationally syndicated cartoon strip, R.F.D., and as one of two gag writers on the long-running strip Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, besides freelance work. He is known locally for his newspaper editorial cartoons for the Concord Monitor, which also run in the Valley News and The Monadnock Shopper News, and online at InDepthNH.org (which is edited by the writer of this article).

Marland came close to quitting The Beach recently. It doesn’t pay. No outlet has picked it up yet. But then Trump opened his mouth again, and Marland quickly changed his mind.

“I vent stuff there that’s really not appropriate for editorial cartoons,” Marland says on his website.

He can’t quit The Beach, or he’d have no place to channel his inner rage. As one of his recent editorial cartoons puts it, he’d suffer “Post-Trumpmatic Stress Syndrome.” But on the bright side, Marland says, the syndrome is covered under Obamacare.

“I’ve just got too much to say. I’ve got to have an outlet for it,” Marland adds. The editorial cartoon business has been turned upside down. Nationally, the trend is for cartoonists to focus on one cartoon.

“I cannot do that. I can’t just concentrate on one thing and social media the hell out of it,” Marland says. But he can stay sane in troubled times. He’s back at The Beach, squeezing it in with his paid work, the work he’s been doing now for 38 years now.

Born in Littleton and raised in Lyman, Marland lives in the Monadnock Region. He is married, has two stepchildren and two granddaughters.

Why cartooning? “I always did it, starting in school.”

How’s a cartoonist’s life these days? “I’m horrified by the outcome of the election, but I’m overjoyed cartoon-wise. I will have so much material to work from.”

First, he likes to sink his teeth into New Hampshire politics. But on slow days, no worries: “Trump will keep me busy with his antics.”

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