Cartoonist Jeff Koterba’s cartoons run regularly in print and online at The Reader.

My cartooning career began at the age of five in South Omaha. I would draw cartoons for a newspaper I created for my parents. While I only had two readers of my work, I knew in my heart that I wanted to become a full-time cartoonist.

You can’t really go to school to become an editorial cartoonist. Instead, you carve your own path. I studied art and journalism at Omaha South High School and at UNO. Night after night, I burned the midnight oil, sketching, studying cartooning. I sought mentors. I took any freelance gig I could, even if when there was no compensation.

Eventually, I landed a full-time cartooning job with the Omaha World-Herald. But after 31 years, and some 12,000 cartoons, outside owners eliminated my job. No chance to say thank you or goodbye to longtime readers.

But I’ve continued to draw. I’m still like that five-year-old making cartoons. My work now appears in newspapers around the U.S.—thanks to my syndicate, Cagle Cartoons. Unfortunately, more newspapers across the country are cutting back on syndicated cartoons.

Fortunately, for us in Omaha, The Reader subscribes to my syndicated cartoons—for which, I’m grateful. Indeed, it’s the only Omaha-area outlet where folks can still see my work on a regular basis.

As a journalist I believe that my opinions must be rooted in Truth, as I see it. Which means I’ll poke fun at any politician or leader who deserves it. And maybe it’s the Midwesterner in me, but I also poke fun with a sense of humanity. From time to time, I even find those occasional topics on which we might agree.

Currently, I’m able to continue drawing with support on Patreon. Supporting my work on Patreon as a sustaining subscriber ensures I’ll be able to continue drawing. My syndicate has also launched a one-time campaign to support my work, for those who prefer to make a one-time donation.

I’m asking you to support my work. Not only to keep the cartoon ideas coming, but ultimately, to support journalism. The world is a crazy place and now, more than ever, we need editorial cartoons to give us perspective, to make us think, and maybe even to make us laugh.

–Jeff Koterba

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