Illustrator Kevin Necessary Returning To Cincinnati Enquirer

Jan 10, 2020

Illustrator Kevin Necessary, who did editorial cartoons for WCPO-TV's website for three-and-a-half years, is returning to the Enquirer to do a Sunday editorial cartoon starting this weekend.

Necessary was a staff illustrator and designer for the Enquirer's CIN Weekly entertainment tabloid from 2006 until 2009, when it was shut down and staff terminated in an Enquirer budget cut.

"I couldn't pass up the opportunity to draw cartoons about this community," says Necessary, a 1997 Lakota High School graduate who grew up reading Jim Borgman, the Enquirer's Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist (1976-2008) and first met him while interning at the Enquirer in 2000. 

Necessary will do the weekly illustration as a freelancer, while also doing freelance work for advertising agencies and other companies. His Enquirer editors – Beryl Love and Michael Perry, both of whom worked at CIN Weekly – have told him that he could work in Borgman's old 19th floor office overlooking the Ohio River. When Borgman retired 12 years ago, the paper did not hire another editorial cartoonist.

"I’ve had the privilege of drawing editorial cartoons professionally in Cincinnati since 2014. I was given the space to hone my own voice, and I’m incredibly grateful for that," says Necessary, a Northside resident, in a story posted today at Cincinnati.com.

"But being asked to draw cartoons for The Enquirer, to be invited to sit in Jim’s old office and sketch and create, to have the opportunity to carry on in his footsteps – well, I’m still processing the enormity of it."

On his LinkedIn profile, he calls himself a "comics journalist, cartoonist and illustrator." He described his style this way on Cincinnati.com:

"I’m not Jim. I can’t be. But like Jim, I’ll always try to draw cartoons that make you think, or give you a chuckle, or provide that reflection on Cincinnati. Whether you agree with my opinions or not, I’ll always try to make you think. I’ll try to be a reflection on our city and our world. And while I can’t guarantee good drawings, I’ll always try to remember to draw my cartoons with heart and humor.

"And I’ll do my best to make Jim – and you – proud."

When I asked if he might do more than one cartoon a week for the paper, since the Enquirer returned to the "full size" broadsheet format Jan. 7, he said: "I don't know what the future holds."

Necessary also does comics for GoComics.com, and draws storyboards for advertising videos for Procter & Gamble and other companies. He also has done illustrations for Books By The Banks, the Cincinnati Zoo and Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., owner of Kings Island.