Mountain Area Information Network
Volunteer Spotlight on: David Cohen

On topics both serious and fun, David Cohen's cartoons give MAIN users something to think about

The twists and turns of life come in many shapes and sizes, but David Cohen has a knack for boiling them down to a few square inches.

As MAIN's volunteer cartoonist, David has taken his pen and his scanner to a wide variety of topics of interest to western North Carolinians. It's often something serious - mass layoffs, flooding, over-development - but each week our home page visitors can count on at least a quick break from the difficult issues of the day when they click on the "Cohen" link.

David Cohen

As a long-time Asheville resident (30-plus years and counting, including those years spent at Asheville High and UNCA), David says he never lacks for material when it comes time to draw the next cartoon.

"Ideas spring up just from my observations of daily life," he says. "There's more than enough out there to draw cartoons for the rest of my life and beyond. The years I've spent here do make it easier to draw about the local scene, if only because I've been here long enough to see the many absurdities around us!"

David has been drawing a cartoon for MAIN visitors each week since February of 2003 (all available in MAIN's cartoon archives). That's a lot of work to put in as a volunteer, especially alongside his fulltime work in the natural food business and other paid cartooning gigs. Since he's obviously not in it for the money, he must love what he's doing.

"I'm not getting rich drawing cartoons - I'm barely reaching 'poor' as a cartoonist," David admits. "I continue to do it because I do hope to make more money at it, but it's also simply what I do and how I express myself. It would be pretty hard to quit, even if I weren't making any money at all from it."

In addition to his cartooning, David loves music and has been a working musician for 25 years.

"Music is a very important part of my life, as important as cartooning," David says. "I couldn't give either one of them up. Reaching people is my goal with both."

MAIN's executive director Wally Bowen has known David for years, and says he appreciates having a steady supply of his unique perspective available on MAIN's home page.

"Having grown up in Asheville and western North Carolina, David is uniquely qualified to present visual commentaries on the many changes our region has undergone -- and continues to experience," Bowen said. "David Cohen is a cultural treasure, and we are delighted to feature him on the MAIN home page."

In addition to MAIN, Cohen's cartoons may be seen in the Mountain Xpress and the Smoky Mountain News, as well as on his personal web site,

Recent Volunteer spotlights:
Christopher Fielden
Bill Hufnagle