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CSotD: Twitterfall, with unsolicited tips for cartoonists
I particularly like that Bliss (tribune)because my life consists of walking the dog twice a day which combined with my 35 hour work week pretty much reduces me to being her driver and yes I am grateful that she gets me out of the House.
Here is the excerpt that I put online today, to invite people to come here. We will come back to this later.
Harry Bliss bought JD Salinger’s house about 20 miles south of here, which may explain why so many of his cartoons have peaceful, woodland settings.
I didn’t know Salinger lived here until he died, but stories then emerged of how his neighbors protected his privacy by sending literary groupies out hunting wild geese that never led to his house . Apparently everyone in Cornish knew Jerry, who was not a hermit and came to town regularly, but they respected his desire for privacy. Good neighbours!
Which brings us to the impending death of Twitter, the impending demise of print newspapers, and the need for cartoonists to straddle that barrier between being essentially private people and still wanting to make a living doing what they love.
Salinger had enough royalties that he didn’t have to worry about money, and there are also cartoonists who are hugely successful, and that’s fine for them, but the starving artist is more typical.
For example, I paid my bills by writing for half a century, but it was cash-for-work, not creative stuff, and I know that even writers with book deals live in a world of chicken and feathers the next.
This is why this Kliban classic is so often posted by cartoonists. It wouldn’t be funny if that were true, but, as it is, it’s hilarious and more and more every day.
No artist – caricaturist, painter, musician, actor or dancer – should expect a life of luxury and, if you have never read W. Somerset Maugham of human servitude, you should. You can even load it for free on your Kindle, because it’s long dead and won’t care.
Or go see Bohemian or, for the youngest, Lease.
However, be prepared for the starving entertainer to be far more romantic in the books and on stage than in real life.
Still, if that’s what you do, that’s what you do, and if you can’t afford to do it full time, just stretch the week and squeeze it in somewhere.
The alternative is to give up, and that’s even less romantic.
Comic Book Page Chain-Scale Massacre by Lee Enterprisesand an even more terrible cut from News Corp in Australia leaves many cartoonists with dramatically reduced incomes, if it leaves them with any income at all. As this darkness descends, the question is not how to get rich but how to survive.
So what does this have to do with Twitter?
juxtaposition of the day
Elon Musk’s destruction of firewalls like verification, combined with his chaotic management style and constant meddling, makes Emmerson’s prediction likely: he renders the platform unusable, despite, as Smith notes, the people’s reluctance to give it up.
The relevance for designers is that due to the impending destruction of the print market, they need to completely change their approach to marketing.
Until now, the goal — whether by cartoonists or their unions — has been to sell their cartoons to publishers.
Readers had an influence on these decisions in the 1930s, when the Kliban caricature was perhaps less fanciful. Editors and publishers were much more in touch with their readership and people like George McManus and fisher bud really were celebrities.
But, like this classic Jack Ohman illustrated cartoon 30 years ago the installation of corporate-approved buttoned-up editors left newspapers in the hands of people whose interest was to please a distant HQ, not their local readers, and who were much more adept at spotting split infinitives than choosing over metaphors, sarcasm, and creative hilarity.
They didn’t understand, for example, why a band like Detail would appeal to potential readers under 30, and they still persist in thinking that any cartoon with black characters is the same as any other cartoon with black characters, a form of blind symbolism highlighted at a demonstration in February 2008here is a sample:
I was, for a time, the target of group sales, and when they had a new tape to market, I wasn’t approached with “Here’s the audience that it will please” but, rather, “C ‘is by an award-winning cartoonist’, which is a call for more of the same, which is the right approach in a business-driven world in which readers are the product, not the customer.
But with print markets declining, the task of selling a tape becomes a matter of direct appeal to readers.
The popularity of memes is clear evidence of an appetite for graphic humor and commentary, although it’s been nice to bring in a publisher who represents 50,000 readers rather than having to round up the crowd yourself- same.
Still, that’s the mission ahead, and, as long as you don’t mind driving a six-year-old car and eating beans and rice a few times a week, it’s not impossible.
And, yes, it’s a hell of a bad time for Twitter as a medium to reach those individual readers.
However, as the ancients say, “what cannot be healed must be endured,” and the loss of a major platform is just one more factor cartoonists should keep in mind going forward. forward.
A few suggestions:
I’m on both Mastodon and ConsSocial, but the awkwardness of the interactive response seems off-putting. However, they exist and it would be foolish not to use them, as well as instagram and anywhere you can find a place to hang your work.
And ex-Twitter head Jack Dorsey is planning a new platform which is worth watching.
Facebook, meanwhile, remains a substantial presence, but, dear lord, it’s a cluttered mess. My solution is that I have a personal account that I follow on Firefox, and a second, more comic-oriented account that I follow on Brave. The first is happily filled with messages from friends and relatives about their dogs, grandchildren and cranberry bread recipes, the second is organized to try to keep clutter to a minimum.
But here are some tips, wherever you choose to work the magic:
- Post teasers, not your finished cartoons. Crop and post a tantalizing snippet (see above), linked to the last piece on a page you control. Posting the entire cartoon on social media is giving it away for free, and that’s not a reasonable goal.
- Make sure the page you’re sending people to is open. It’s okay if you’re on GoComics, Comics Kingdom, or somewhere similar, but don’t have them banging their heads on a paywall, either in your personal journal or your own Patreon. They won’t come back.
- Make sure your page is regularly updated and maintained. If you don’t publish your work manually, check daily that your bot did what it was supposed to do. People will not continue to visit a page that is not regularly updated.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for their support. It’s “Salesmanship 101” – No matter how good your pitch, people don’t jump in uninvited. And also consider some self-published books and other merchandise. Selling isn’t the fun part, but it’s how you pay the bills.
Above all, remember that being a starving artist is better than starving without the consolation of art, and your self-image shouldn’t be tied to money anyway.
REMARK: You’ll still see my daily reminders and links on Twitter for now, but you can also find me here:
Social counter:@[email protected]