September 15th, 2008
by Terri Libenson
As you probably know, the much-beloved comic strip, â€œFor Better or For Worseâ€ has gone into a modified rerun format. I have always been an admirer of FBOFW, but as an up-and-coming comic strip artist hoping to get into papers and make a living from something I love, the cartoonist part of me is gratified that some papers decided to publish/test Pajama Diaries in its place.
There has been, of course, controversy surrounding any strip that has taken this golden spot in the funny pages.Â SomeÂ readers welcome the change, some thinkÂ it’s a travesty.Â Â For the cartoonist, it’s a catch-22. We donâ€™t want the backlash, but would be crazy not to jump at the opportunity. So we patiently wait out any controversy and hope the readers give it some time to (at first begrudgingly) embrace the new feature.
Letâ€™s put things into perspective. Comic syndication is a dog-eat-dog business. Usually the only way a comic can get into the papers isÂ if something else is booted out. This makes it tough for new talent, especially when dealing with tight real estate. IÂ really hate this part of the business because I love so many other comic strips myself and know how much work goes into them. But I also knew the rules going in, so I deal.
Which leads me toâ€¦
I recently came across this archived article by Dave Kellett (â€œSheldonâ€). It really explains the business side of cartooning in a humorous, inclusive way, so I thought Iâ€™d share (side note: I definitely identify with the â€œbag of tricksâ€ reference when it comes to writerâ€™s block).
Cartooning is tough: writerâ€™s block, competition, relentless deadlines. But knowing my cartoon is following in the footsteps of a beloved classic or even running side by sideâ€¦well, thatâ€™s what makes it so rewarding.
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