Wednesday, May 31, 2017

ComicsBeat: "Graphic novelist quits making graphic novels after trying to live on $10k/year for three years"

Above: a preview page of Hannah Berry's new graphic novel LIVESTOCK.

Go read "Graphic novelist quits making graphic novels after trying to live on $10k/year for three years." by Heidi MacDonald.

It's about Hannah Berry, a British "up and coming" graphic novelist whose career was going along great: her first GN,  BRITTEN & BRÜLIGHTLY, was nominated for a prestigious Angoulême prize. She has a weekly comic in the New Statesman magazine. Her new book, LIVESTOCK, is coming out this month from respected publisher Jonathan Cape.

But she's quitting.

From Heidi MacDonald's article:

"Her advance for LIVESTOCK was £10,000 (about $13,000 depending on the exchange rate.) Of that she got £5000 in advance, and she also applied for an Arts Council grant and got another £10,000. Throw in about £9000 in additional freelance income, and it comes to £24,000 over a three year period, or living on about $10,000 a year for three years."

She says she's a "simple girl with a simple lifestyle," and she thanks her "wonderful, long-suffering, devilishly handsome partner" for supporting her.

"To make a graphic novel takes me three years of blinkered, fanatical dedication, and I realised while working on LIVESTOCK that I just can’t do it again. I’m done. I’m out. And from quiet talks with many other graphic novelists, ones whose books you know and love, I can tell you that I’m far from being the only one."

There's a lot to, as they say, "unpack" here. It's a tragedy that a talented person who has achieved professional recognition is walking away from their chosen field.

She could consider radically changing her style. I was at the National Cartoonists Society Reubens weekend, and just saw Oscar award winning animator Bill Plympton present some of his short films and talk about how he's able to create a movie by himself. One thing: He can do a finished drawing in about ten minutes. With ballpoint pens. And he works A LOT; like from 8am to 10pm. So, production is key!

Has Hannah Berry considered this? Well, I bet she already thought of altering her style to a less labor-intensive one. And perhaps she dismissed it for personal reasons of integrity. It's a shame, since creating good work on an assembly line basis is key for being a creative person who wants to have a commercial career.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

National Cartoonists Society Reubens Weekend 2017 #Reubens2017

Portland, OR: Huge attendance at the cartoonist signing at the downtown Hilton on Sunday. From left: Lynn Johnston, Jeff Keane, Dan Piraro (standing with hat), Wayno (seated with hat).

The 71st annual National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards weekend was held in Portland from May 26th thru the 28th, 2017. There were a series of seminars, presentations, the big awards show on Saturday night, and this public signing.

A complete list of Reuben Award nominees and winners from the National Cartoonists Society's site here:

2016 Cartoonist of the Year Nominees

Division Award Nominees

All of the Reuben Award Winners

Here are a few of my photos. It's a small sliver of what I saw and who I chatted with. There are many more on the web from hundreds of the cartoonists and loved ones and fans I am sure.

Charles Brownstein of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man, The New Yorker, Go the F*** To Sleep). Both are all duded up in black tie for the awards ceremony Saturday night.

David Silverman (The Simpsons) draws on the board at the Wacom Experience Center.

Three great guys: Don Orehek, Tom Stemmle and David Folkman.

 Greg Cravens The Buckets, Hubris!), Dan Nakrosis (Archie and other comics) and Dan's niece Athena Nakrosis, who has been contributing some great work to The Cartoonist NCS newsletter.

Jean Schulz (Peanuts), Greg Evans (Luann) and Brian Walker (Hi and Lois, Beetle Bailey, as well as many great books about the history of cartooning).

Mike Lynch, comics historian R.C. Harvey and The Sunday Press' Peter Maresca.

Pulitzer Prize award winning editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes and Amy Lago, Comics Editor at the Washington Post Writers Group. Ann won the Reuben Award later that day!

PVP's Scott Kurtz.

Terri Libenson (The Pajama Diaries, Invisible Emmie), Mark Parisi (Off The Mark, Marty Pants) and Dave Blazek (Loose Parts).

The New Yorker's Mitra Farmand, "Half Full" comic panel cartoonist Maria Srivan and Mad Magazine's Ray Alma.

Tom Gammill (The Simpsons, Seinfeld, The Doozies) and Mike Peters (Mother Goose and Grimm, and multi-award winning editorial cartoonist).

Friday, May 26, 2017


Here's the rest of the CARTOONS OF THE MONTH paperback, copyright 1965 by the Scholastic Magazine.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


More cartoons from the paperback CARTOONS OF THE MONTH, copyright 1965 by the Scholastic Magazine.