Why, George, why?

24 Apr

I have a habit on just writing what is on my mind.  So, here today, we have another similar post to what I’ve recently been writing about.  Sorry (ducking).

My career.  It’s so frustrating.  Well, sometimes it is.  Like recently.

As I’ve said over and over again, I just wanted to be a newspaper cartoonist growing up.  I wanted to have my work appear in the newspaper and get a paycheck and live life as a career cartoonist.  Bada-bing.  That was it.

Obviously, it’s not an option anymore.  Okay – it’s an option for those that got into the papers before ‘the Great Demise’ of them (like pre-2007 I believe was the last time a major comic was picked up for the papers) – but for me it’s really not.  I’m in print in the Tampa Bay area everyday.  Beyond that, I have to scavenge for money from other avenues.

The frustrating issue I’m having now is my Break of Day syndicated cartoon not earning what I feel it deserves.

I feel like it’s getting better and better – even after all these years.  Yet, the better it gets, the slimmer the market gets.  So, here I have (in my opinion) a great cartoon but there’s only so much I can do with it.  That’s why I’m working on getting it into greeting cards, books, etc.  But I’m a one-man army.  I’m syndicated, but again, just mostly online.  There’s no market in the papers and it doesn’t pay good.  So, it’s like sometimes I think why get better?  But, no, I won’t try to stop improving.  That would be silly.  I feel like I’m in a good position if things do get better in the whole journalism/cartooning world.

The real kicker though (and the real frustrating part) is Break of Day is getting more exposure than ever!  Millions of people have read it – and still do.  But…..it’s been from social media – which doesn’t pay.

Several days ago I wrote how I’m trying to really get Break of Day’s Facebook page bigger and better.  It seems the only solution for getting a profit if I put out related merchandise.  I get paid from my syndicate, but it’s nothing too thrilling to talk about, to be honest.  Break of Day is a segue for other things now (like people see the feature and I get contacted for use of it with other things, clients, etc.)  It by itself doesn’t generate much income.  It’s what comes OUT of it.  And that means people need to know who creates Break of Day.

And so….

That’s what brought on my post about how to share a cartoon.  So people would know where it came from since social media is the mega-force for the gag cartoon these days.

Well, again, last Monday, actor George Takei shared another comic of mine.  And guess what?  There was no link to my page (Break of Day page).  It was an older one (comic), so it was signed ‘N. Fakes’ instead of my current ‘Nate Fakes’.  So, out of the millions that saw it, nobody has a clue who made it except colleagues and fans of mine already.  There is a copyright on it, but it’s so hard to read that it’s barely legible (which WAS my fault from back in the day for not making it bigger).  A missed opportunity to have thousands come to my page and learn the artist (me!) who created the damn thing.

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 3.35.22 PM

Above:  The cartoon – without a source (sigh).  You can clearly see I left him one, too.

It happens to the best of us.  I see him share cartoons with NO names or anything on it, from other syndicated comics and more.  None of them have links.

What irritates me is I saw him post it on Facebook and immediately provided him a link to Break of Day in the comments section.  After several hours, I wrote him a direct message about it.  Nothing.  And I’m certain he had to have seen either my comment or post.  He always says he reads the comments.

The aftermath?

I got just 3 new fans on my page that had to struggle to find out who made it.  OH – and several people “doctoring” it to their preference.  No new clients.  No publicity.  Nothing.  Just a shared cartoon that a lot of people might assume George made himself.  Just look below at some of the crappy work some asshole  made out of my comic:

376139_10151641122836387_1030337688_nAbove:  This website that is listed below is getting an email from me, by the way.

Again, there’s no rules in the book about sharing cartoons on social media.  BUT, I truly stand my my belief that if a link is provided, you should definitely use it regardless if it’s art, music, pictures, etc.  Especially for a person like me who struggles daily to build and audience and I can’t when nobody really knows who I am.  I’m sick of having my work butchered.

And people are lazy (like me) when it comes to social media.  If the web address is just typed on the comic, rarely do people bother to type it in to find it.  If there’s a link, there’s a 100% difference.  Especially with more stuff being read on mobile devices.

Augghh!  Anyway….

Well, that’s my rant for the day.  I know, again, I’ve had quite a few of these recently about sharing cartoons.  In this time though when I feel that Break of Day is growing into an even better cartoon by the day, it’s just frustrating that the potential income for it is still not there.  I have to pay the bills, and I have to have time to do the work.  If my paycheck for Break of Day doesn’t improve, well…..I’ll keep it up for the other avenues it brings.  However, the consistent quality must remain.  That’s tough when you make what I do off the feature.

Boy, I’m so envious of those gag cartoonist that “made it” as just a syndicated cartoonist and are doing okay (at least for now, unless papers disappear completely).  They either had the life, got the life…..just lucky.  Very fortunate.

Some people might think, “Well, gee, Nate – just don’t share your cartoons on social media.”  I would do that, but this day and age, it would put me at an even GREATER disadvantage.  It’s not like the days where you clipped your favorite cartoon out of the paper and hung it up for your co-workers to see.

So, George T., if you’re reading this – it’s not too late!  Source me, please!  You’ve now shared about 6 cartoons of mine (that I know of) and none with sources.  Here is your source (CLICK HERE).  Simple!  Free!  And any artist, like myself, would greatly appreciate it.   You must realize cartooning is not just a hobby of mine.  I rely on it to pay my power bill and order Domino’s pizza on occasion. People need to know where the original source of content is in order for people like me to sell a Break of Day book, card, or – whatever.

You will help keep my ranting to a minimum.


Nate Fakes (Source:  www.facebook.com/breakofdaycomic)


7 Responses to “Why, George, why?”

  1. Glenn Foden April 24, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Been there, and am still doing that. None of us knows how the industry will shake out. I’m still syndicated (King Features), but 80% of my income comes from online clients. Politics is still relevant thank goodness. Good luck, dude.

    • w101njf April 24, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      Thanks, Glenn! Yes, I’ve been asking around for years “what’s going to happen with cartooning?” and nobody from editors to long-term professionals know for sure. I get the majority of my income from clients than my syndicated work.

  2. David Hurley April 24, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Understand your frustration Nate, either George Takei will comply or stop reposting. Good luck, but at least George is your fan even though he is a huge thief.

    • w101njf April 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

      Yes, I’m glad he enjoy my work (and that the thousands of other people do as well). But, yeah – he needs to start sharing a link. At first when he shared a couple (cartoons of mine), I thought it was just cool. But, as I found that I don’t benefit from it – his page does – well……

      The reason he has millions of fans is mostly from his entertaining content he post (for free) from others and people like me.

  3. monster1612 April 25, 2013 at 6:05 am #

    Somebody should takei one of his own postings without giving credit, he deserves it seeing as though he does it to you, @bearman, and everyone else.

    • w101njf April 25, 2013 at 7:27 am #

      Amazing update: He gave a source to a cartoon today! My cartoon? No. But, some lucky cartoonist got a source (a link source).

      I wonder if this rant had anything to do with it?

      • monster1612 April 25, 2013 at 7:51 am #

        Looks like he finally has some sense 🙂

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