by Donna Barstow | August 14th, 2008
If he wants to go any further with me. Well, there’s probably more than one. But I’ll let you guess at some of the others.
Here’s the question some – just a few, mind you – guys can’t resist asking me, as soon as they find out I’m a cartoonist:
“That’s cool. So…. do you actually make a living doing that?”
Is there anything ruder? It’s always when we first meet, too. Are they just now considering it as a career?
And often they had been flirting with me earlier, so there was a little buzz going on between us up til then. Good luck, pally, and adios.
Syndicated cartoonists make an ok living at 100 papers, and good at 200, so I’m told. Magazine cartoonists (which is what I do mostly, although I am in some papers, books, etc.) did well back in the fifties, when there were tons of magazines around that used cartoons every week! Sigh. Even when I started, the Cartoonists Association want list, defunct for a long time now, had varied magazines that were buying. Like Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist – I think they’re still around, but I have no idea what they really were looking for. And I remember an opera quarterly that was always looking. I would think to myself, there’s an interesting niche. Even though I hate opera, loathe it. Still, it made me happy it was out there, happily looking for cartoons that someone else would have to think up and draw!
And the New Yorker guys – it’s still mostly guys, and why shouldn’t it be? – do very well. I could go on and on here about how bitter I am about THAT, but I fear I may spiral out of control and end this post on a really down note.
My father is a Sagittarius, so sometimes he’s a little blunt, but I appreciate his advice:
“Don’t worry about it. All artists are 50% more famous when they die.”
Now, that’s the cheerful spin I inherited, and intend to share with others in this blog.