If you’re wondering why the absence of any work on here lately, it’s because most of what I’m working on are private commissions for people giving caricatures as gifts. While the likelihood of the recipients randomly finding my blog is very small, it wouldn’t do much for my reputation if I ruined Christmas for my clients. I’ll be taking a break from private commissions for the next year or so to devote my time to other projects, but more on that in the coming weeks.
Went to a lunch on Friday for the retirement of the editor at The Rocky Mountain Outlook, the local weekly I do exclusive toons for. Great food and excellent company. The staff of the Outlook have had a rough year so it was nice to get together. Both Bob Schott and Larry Marshall passed away this year, leaving Carol Picard as the last of the original three founders. I can’t imagine losing two close friends in the same year and I’d imagine the experience would change me.
Many cartoonists will complain about their editors and I’m sure some of them have good reason to do so, but I can’t say anything bad about Carol. She has always been very encouraging and were it not for her, I might not be doing this for a living right now. When the first issue of the Outlook launched the week after 9/11, she asked me why I wasn’t syndicated. At that point, all I had done was a weekly cartoon for The Banff Crag and Canyon for three years. When I told her how difficult it was to get signed to a syndicate, she simply told me to do it myself. Seems silly now, but at the time, I didn’t know you could do that.
I often wonder if I’d have gone down this road had it not been for that moment. I very well might not have, and since I now make a very good living at it and am pretty happy drawing pictures and making smartass comments day in and day out, I am very grateful, as I am to so many people that have pushed me forward over the years. The list is extensive.
I’ve learned a lot from Carol. Most recently, that it’s never too late to reignite old dreams and to explore new ones.
Thanks, Carol. You will be missed.
Here is one of my first Outlook cartoons followed by one of my first syndicated cartoons, both around this time in 2001. That’s supposed to be Paul Martin in the second one. Yikes! But, if nothing else, these show that there is always LOTS of room for improvement. I wonder what my work will look like 7 years from now.