Just as a feel good end to the week, cartoonist John “Derf’ Backderf posted on his FB some thoughts about how Trumpcare/ACHA, which the Senate is trying to pass, might affect cartoonists. A disproportionate number of people making comics don’t make a lot of money (The Beat included) and having access to affordable healthcare via Obamacare/ACA is a key part of their economic situation. While the CBO hasn’t scored Trumpcare yet, it’s believed that it will become more expensive for poor and middle class people to buy insurance even for basic care.
Posted with permission.
One more thing on this Trumpcare clusterfuck and then I’ll move on. It’s a done deal, and something we’ll be cursed with for the rest of my lifetime anyways. The ground is opening up and America is plummeting into the Banana Republic Kleptocracy we richly deserve.
The impact across society will be profound, but here in the comics world, it will be devastating. For the past decade, comics creators have been able to buy at least minimal healthcare and have protection against total financial catastrophe.
It’s no coincidence, I believe, that this coincided with the golden era of comics we’re currently enjoying. Creators could take a chance on a comics career without dooming themselves to a life as a debt slave if they contracted a serious illness. That’s over.
The choice now is find a shitty cubicle job, if you can, and make comics on the side, also if you can. I suspect most will just give up on the comics thing. We’re going to see a huge drop off in American comics, I predict. Creators in Canada or Europe, civilized countries with single-payer healthcare for all, those comics scenes will continue to flourish as the US scene wanes.
Naturally, the GOP couldn’t care less, or give a rat’s ass about the arts in general. We’re a country run by accountants and toadies who genuflect before mountains of corporate profit from which we peasants will never benefit.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.