Posted in uncategorized

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 . . .

Posted in cartoons

Post #500!

 

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This is post #500! Without your support and ever-positive comments would I have had the (choose your own descriptive term, possibly involving parts of the male anatomy) to carry on. Probably not. At times, it felt like drawing or typing into a void.

Many years back I had a brain injury (cerebral event sounds almost festive!) that sidelined me to such an extent that I was afraid that I might not ever write, let alone draw again. I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say that 99% of people would do the same as me and just get on with it. Nothing heroic about it, though it is tempting to calibrate the narrative and make myself look like Gandhi 2.0. (I visit the gym much more than he did)

As you can see, I have become quite prolific, through the sheer and unsexy power of just doing it on a daily basis. (Making up for lost time) It is a faucet that has become stuck, and a hammer is out of reach to knock the valve closed. I like to think that the quality has gone up a tad, but that is truly a subjective realm. From my point of view, I find it easier and easier to extract the funny from the dross. (thanks a lot, smart phone voice recorder app) If it makes me laugh, that is often a criteria for rendering or writing about.

I have long desired syndication (aim high) and not just now and then submissions to zines etc. I have had to calibrate and course correct to keep that possibility alive. This may end up being a (garbage) receptacle for my work that my kids can fawn over then post on future Frigidaires. I am not unhappy at this prospect – other than my live and complaining head in a jar, I can think of no more meaningful legacy.

CARROT