What Thursday Thoughts I’m Thinking

28 Jun

Thursday afternoon.  I’m working on penciling and inking some cartoons.  Some fresh ones, anxiously awaiting their turn on the funny pages or – as many read now – their spot online.  Freshly squeezed cartoons.  Which, I’ll randomly post some pretty new material throughout here.

Little do my poor, infant cartoons not realize, but they’re not quite in the big time like their neighbors that are nesting next to them.  At least not now.  Hopefully, their younger siblings will hit that mark.

I always mention this, but even with the bleak reality of diminishing newspapers, I’m still striving to have one of the best panel features out there.  Everyday I look at my neighbors at GoComics, and realize they’re in tons of newspapers and get their work published in books and other things.  Yes, I get envious.  I’m guessing the market hasn’t changed because NO new feature has really been blasted out to newspapers in the past several years, including mine (obviously).  So, here I am, anxiously hoping something changes in the market so Break of Day can expand.  That’s the key word: expand.  I feel like my work is in a cesspool just lingering around without much room to grow right now.  At least not in terms of newspaper markets which is the general formats for cartoons like mine.  But maybe, maybe things will change.

In the meantime, I’m taking the bull by the horns (don’t worry, I don’t have an actual bull in my studio) and doing anything else I can to expand my product.

I think I’m going to try this Kickstarter project soon and hopefully get a book going maybe in time for Christmas or Easter – whatever comes first.  Also, I’ve got greeting cards out there on the market.  But, I just want more.  Even a line of Tootsie Rolls would be kinda neat.

I see these other syndicated cartoonist that get their works published in collections regularly, and I can’t help but wonder if I’ll even ever have the opportunity to have that.  You know, not doing everything on my own.  These cartoonist simply do their work and the publisher puts their books together for them, markets them, sells them, etc.  Anything like that with Break of Day, as of now, I have to do on my own.  Again, I can’t help but be a bit envious.  Especially since my business sense is about as good as a (insert funny one-liner here).

Still, I can’t complain.

In terms of readership and public reaction, Break of Day seems to be immensely successful.  I mentioned my “viral” comic several weeks ago, and readership online continues to grow.  And locally here in Tampa Bay, just about anyone you ask if they know what Break of Day is will say yes (there is a chance they say that because they’re drunk or because they’re confusing me with Heathcliff).  In fact, I had the fire department chief tell me they read the TBT (Tampa Bay Times – free edition) daily and have several of my cartoons cut out and hanging up.  I’ve had several other people tell me that as well.  So, there’s a market for my work in papers!  But, how does one expand if the market is, well, shitty?

I don’t know.

It’s a frustrating career.  One that, for the life of me, I can’t seem to back down from.  Persistent little bugger, one might call me.  But, until I look around and these syndicated cartoonist are also not getting books published, no newspapers and they’re working at Denny’s, well, there’s that slight dimmer of hope.  I know I have a good product, I have readers, but now it’s just a matter of expansion.  And with newspapers?  Well, I’m not sure how this expansion is going to happen.

In the meantime, that bull I mentioned earlier?  Well, if I can find a way to get its horns, I’ll do that.  First I have to find a bull, which can prove quite difficult downtown here.

So, as I scribble and ink out my new material today, I look at it and wonder if these particular cartoons will exist years from now in other formats?  Or what the future holds for them.  I guess it could be compared to having a child and wondering what they’ll be when they grow up.  Will they have a good future?  Education?  Maybe make it on a lunch pail?  Who knows.  For now though, all I can do is crank out these comics and wish them the best.  I would even pack their lunches for them as I shove them out the door as well, but I don’t think cartoons eat.

 

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