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Station Identification, Where the Artist Lays Down Some Home Truths About Cartooning and Related Tomfoolery

Do you remember the days when there’d be a TV break for ‘station identification’? (Just lost most of my audience) Allow me to ‘identify’ myself! My call letters are W-I-L-T. There are thousands of Starbucks cups with this name, and many variations, (including ‘Wilbur’) moldering in the landfills.

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Have any of these?

 

 

This will also serve as a break from the endless deluge of comics and cartoons that you are (cough) enjoying. I am afraid that there is plenty more where that comes from.

In my casual forays into the blog wilderness, I don’t find a lot of bloggers posting original cartoon or comic-type material. This is because WordPress is largely for writing, and an ideal platform it is, for that purpose. Just don’t post anything that you might wish to have published, in the traditional sense. It will exempt that work from publication.

Like the music industry, so has the cartoon industry been transformed. In both cases, artists (picture me with a beret, palette, and cigarette/baguette breathe) must find alternate ways to give their work exposure and draw revenue from it.

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The good news: an audience is much more accessible and in greater numbers. The not-so-good-news: That audience is fragmented, fickle, and competition has never been more fierce.

Musicians must perform their work at venues, rely on merch sales, and possibly branded apparel, cosmetics, etc. in order to recoup the costs of recording. Gone are the days when they could rely on CD/record sales alone.

Artists, or specifically cartoonists, must likewise become creative in this pursuit of revenue. As in days of yore, a patron may fund their work (Patreon). There are many ways to promote your work, though the returns are quite small.

Cartoon syndicates still do exist, and that is the Holy Grail for cartoonists. They allow for greater exposure and a possibility of a reliable income.

I did make a steady income in the pre-Internet days, with my cartoon work. My biggest coup was a contract with a company called Norco bicycles (still around). I made a brand character (Felipe) to front their product line.

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As we started a family, I needed to find alternate income, and the artwork became more of a side gig.  For years I hardly drew at all, though I wasn’t unhappy about it. I was quite distracted with the raising of our two beautiful children. They are pre-adults now, still in their embryonic form, mind you, with the filmy membrane over their skins.

This site is, as is my Instagram account, a way station for material that percolates and simmers in my brain. If it is posted, I have found it funny – I have found it much more fruitful to seek out the funny. There is plenty in the world that is unfunny, I am not unaware of that. These accounts serve as an oasis from all that, I suppose.

If you have come this far, thanks for reading, and here’s a moist towelette. Now, back to the cartooning . . .