I never gave a rundown of my speech at Cartoonists Northwest.
It’s an informal professional group of cartoonists of all stripes, from retired Editorial cartoonists to young webcomic rising stars, so I did a review of my career, ups and downs, mistakes made, lessons learned.
Some people made a point of approaching me and said it was inspiring. I did try to be upbeat, against my inclinations!
But the fact is, this a good time to be an ambitious cartoonist. The biggest comics companies are solid, flush with Hollywood money and full of seasoned editors and stable infrastructure. And you don’t need them, necessarily – numerous cartoonists have made a success of web comics, mainly through diligent effort and tapping into youth culture they know and understand.
What’s problematic is newspapers -- their circulation withers each year. The internet is a lamprey on their throats. Editorial cartoonists, especially, are facing the loss of safe havens. Strip people have it tough, too…competing for shrinking revenues not only with each other but with dead cartoonists who won’t leave.
Things are changing, but there’s always room for somebody who’s witty or interesting and has the strength to persevere.