I don’t press this over and over, but I guess with the start of the year this would be a good time to emphasize what a lot of my fellow cartoonists are also saying: the financial climate right now, as you might have noticed, is utter shit. A lot of them are struggling to keep the clients they have, and others like me are unable to find clients at all. It never, never, never hurts to send an e-mail or letter to the editors of your local alt-weekly or newspaper and tell them how great you think mine or anyone else’s work is. That’s the best way for a cartoonist to get and or keep getting paid.
I’ve lost a couple papers in the last few months — one editor decided they couldn’t afford the exhorbitant couple of bucks it costs to run my cartoon each week anymore, while another freaked out and decided that the solution to crashing ad revenue and so on was to try a different cartoon! I’m not naming names — it doesn’t do me any good for an editor in unnamed city X to suddenly start getting email from around the globe criticizing his or her editorial judgment — but if the strip does stop running in your local paper, please be sure to send a polite note, or ten, on the topic. Because I expect to see a lot more of this sort of thing over the next year.
And to expand on what August says, it’s never a bad idea to send a note letting them know how much you appreciate being able to read the cartoon in their paper, it’s the reason you remember to pick it up each week, etc., etc. There’s no science to this, they’re just trying to figure it out as they go along, and a little feedback can go a long way.
(August has a new book, by the way.)