For something that I started on a whim in 2006, I had no idea until recently how much this thing is part of peoples' routines. My thanks to you for reading, for making your comments.
I write a lot about how you sell cartoons, why you need to keep your rights, and why it's important to persist, in spite of the odds.
Which brings me to the Google story that some of you may already know about.
And keep in mind that this company made $1.42 billion in the first quarter if 2009 (an 8% increase over the same quarter in 2008).
This New York Times article by Andrew Adam Newman shares the good news that some illustrators received from Google:
Google wants your artwork for its new browser.
And then, the other shoe is dropped:
Google will not compensate you.
Please keep in mind that the call went out to established, paid professionals.
I'm glad that some artists said no to this working for exposure proposal. After all, many print illustrators are seeing their fees cut. In the meantime, a Google spokesperson says,
" ... we are currently working with dozens of artists who are excited about the opportunity to be involved in this project."And, Google adds, it isn't releasing the names of these excited artists.
I am frustrated that those dozen of artists agreed to this. They are wrong.
I continue to write and draw my own cartoons full-time. But I'm also making choices to cut my overhead in as many ways possible (no Reubens convention for me this year, no MoCCA, no vacation, etc.).
Yoshihiro Tatsumi says in his huge autobiography A DRIFTING LIFE, that being a cartoonist is "like a traveler in the desert, searching for an elusive oasis."
While there is no guide, there is common sense. Keep walking. Keep moving.
Keep moving -- especially when a corporate giant like Google, that as we all know pays a decent wage to many of its employees like programmers, executives, media consultants, secretaries, etc., asks for your hard work for free.
I'll be here tomorrow, ever insanely optimistic that cartooning will work out for me and for all of us.
Hat tip to Tom Tomorrow.