As I think I mentioned recently, digitalization is nothing new in my line of work, but it still amazes me. The most glaring difference has been in the transporting of the artwork itself. When I started and for years afterward the original art was bundled up and shipped to the syndicate headquarters where it was reproduced in an old-school print shop and, in turn, mailed to client newspapers. Now, everything moves almost instantaneously with the push of a button, not to mention the old-school print shop is long gone. Of course, some quality is lost in digital reproduction, but it’s the difference in mp3 files and vinyl records: most people can’t tell and don’t care. There are other, more subtle differences for the better, as in the third panel of the above cartoon. In the old days, I would have had to pencil in the “chalk” outline of Ludwig and painstakingly ink around it with a brush, emphasis on the pain. Today, it’s a simple chore to draw the thought balloon and the cat outline normally, and use an easy combination of select/invert/deselect/fill. You get the idea. It’s great!