§ Illustrators and cartoonists salute Robin Williams in a gallery at Vice. Above by Zack Soto.
§ Actually, I didn’t cover this before, but Tom Spurgeon explains how cartoonists Ruben Bolling and Adam Koford were initially denied pro passes at NYCC, but now it’s all good. I haven’t been covering all the NYCC ticket stuff, but it’s been people sleeping in the streets apparently. Crazy is coming. § Speaking on NYCC, I understand Kim Mueller, formerly Director of Events, Content & Talent at ReedPOP has left. Peter Tatara is now handling panels and such.
§ In the department of cartoonists making introspective comments, Sam Henderson also has a long
Dawson post about his ups and downs. Once again read the whole thing.
I was also a writer for SpongeBob Squarepants, probably the most popular cartoon of all time. I don’t even know why I just put in a hyperlink. The year I worked on it, conventions were rolling out the red carpet like I was the creator himself. At San Diego Comicon when I was doing a signing as “the guy from SpongeBob” people were surrounding me to get a sketch like I was the Beatles. The next year, nothing. I realized it wasn’t really me they wanted. They wanted to meet SpongeBob. Though I was able to live off what I made for three years, the show I worked on was nominated for an Emmy, and I still get royalties over a decade later, it’s not the entryway everywhere you think it is. The one show I worked on afterwards hired me based on the success of that show, then fired me a couple months later because I couldn’t draw on model or do what they thought I could do, plus other theories I have without evidence. You can have successful past experience but if you don’t currently, people could care less. It impresses at high school reunions but that and $2.50 will get you on the subway as far as getting work is concerned.
§ Kinda tangential to this, the Megahex press has begun as Simon Hanselmann’s emblematic webcomic is getting it’s first collection next month. The local Australian indie paper profiles him, with much frank talk about the economics of being an indie cartoonist:
“Hot Shave” took 30 hours to produce and paid $200, which breaks down to less than $7 an hour. Like all artistic enterprises, the value of the work is triangulated through a complex equation that balances the publication’s credibility, its reach and the regularity of the work. Securing weekly strips from Vice is what allowed Hanselmann to get off Centrelink.
Hanselmann is good at making money from his work. “It’s really great to have the prestige of Fantagraphics, but I’ve got 12,000 Tumblr followers,” he says. Any time he posts a piece of original artwork, or a zine, it sells out within a week. “I had some guy give me a grand last week for a couple of pages,” he says. In this context, his work for The New York Times, Pitchfork and The Believer is a hobby.
§ StocktonCon is now TWO DAYS!
§ The Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack is now the #1 album on Billboard, meaning lots more “Ooh Ooh Child,” but disturbingly, director James Gunn did not use any ELO tracks in the movie although he considered it. GotG 2 we’re looking at you to bring us the Mr Blue Sky we deserve.
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.