Mike Baldwin, the creator of Cornered, is a man with a mission. The cartoonist is determined to have cartoons appear on more than the comics page in the newspapers. He wants readers to be laughing with the front page, to counteract the dark news splashed across the headlines. Mike Baldwin’s plan is working.
Cornered provides good morning giggles on the front pages of many newspapers. The single panel comic is specifically designed to meet an editor’s needs for quick humor in a small space. When placed in those small and unusual places, Cornered displays a dollop of color in a sea of black and white words.
The characters in Cornered are reminiscent of the characters in “Herman,” by Jim Unger. They have large and chunky bodies with a tendency to widen towards the floor. Baldwin uses his wide range of characters to make fun of everyday events that almost all readers can connect with. For example, the December 10th 2001 panel shows a large character dressed in a robe, looking at the mirror. There is a sign tacked up on the wall that says, “Warning: Contains scenes that may be considered disturbing to some viewers.”
Who hasn’t felt that on occasional days?
As a teenager, Mike Baldwin began his working career with a very short stint in a meat packing plant – four hours. Immediately, he knew that was not the line of work for him. A few years later, he joined The Burlington Gazette in Burlington, Ontario. He created a weekly comic called “Peepal” and another called “Aunt Alas.” In time, Baldwin earned the editorial cartoonist position at the Gazette.
Baldwin honed his artistic skills in moves to several other newspapers and in positions of advertising artist, cartoonist and art director. While editorial art director at The Hamilton Spectator, Baldwin created Cornered. The Spectator was the first newspaper to herald the birth of the new comics panel. It was placed on the front page of the Entertainment section on April 01, 1996.
The refreshingly funny Cornered was quickly scooped up by several other newspapers. Universal Press Syndicate picked up the cartoon in 1997 and now appears in papers in Europe, the USA and Canada. It is also a regular feature in the Reader’s Digest, since 1998.
"As a young teen I rode my bike each week to my grandfather’s farm, 20 miles away to help cut his acres of lawn – and earn ten bucks," says Mike Baldwin. "At the end of the day, I’d pore though his stack of old New Yorker magazines. I loved the cartoons and thought, Imagine, drawing cartoons for a living. I could do that – and keep my toes." He did, and we're glad.
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