Speaking of the Prospect

Some of you may be understandably confused, given that the American Prospect (a) just sent out a mass mailer which prominently features my work, and (b) has not, to my knowledge, made any mention in the magazine itself of the fact that I am no longer a contributor. You know: long time regular contributor Tom Tomorrow has moved on, we’ll sure miss him, that sort of thing. But just to be clear, I’m not actually doing work for the Prospect anymore. This was my decision, and there’s no sinister backstory — it’s just part of my ongoing effort to avoid burnout and stay in this game for the long run. Feedback is important, and I wasn’t getting any from Prospect readers — my wife and I used to joke that we were the only ones who could actually see the cartoon, that in everyone else’s issue the page on which it ran simply appeared to be blank. Basically, after more than five years I realized I was getting very little out of my association with the magazine other than the paycheck, and I was just tired of the extra deadline. The weekly cartoon consumes most of my creative energy, and that’s as it should be. And there are never enough hours in the day, days in the week, especially if one hopes to have a life apart from the endless bitchfest in which we political junkies are constantly immersed.

None of which should discourage you from reading the Prospect — there’s always something worthwhile in it. Just not me, anymore.

…well, at least one other person saw the work:

I assure you that your cartoon did run in my copies of The Prospect. The Prospect introduced me to your work back in 2000 when I read my first issue. Like you, I was expecting some sort of acknowledgment and thanks for your inimitable contribution to their magazine. Your cartoon was the first thing I read when a new issue arrived – in fact, your work was the primary reason I kept my subscription going since most of the articles were available online.

Please accept my gratitude and appreciation for doing a wonderful, if thankless, job.