October 5th, 2012

How I became a stand-up cartoonist

by Rick Kirkman And Jerry Scott

A couple years ago, I suffered a herniated disc. The horribly debilitating pain that made me lose the will to move was constant. I lost feeling in the lower part of one leg. This was a big one. I’d had back problems before, with bulging discs. This one, in the MRI, looked like a really full PB&J with the J oozing out the side.

Enough about that. Seems that sitting at a drawing table is not really the best thing for your posture or your back. All that slumping over is bad. I’d read that there were people who worked at desks standing up—like Donald Rumsfeld, former Defense Secretary. I thought that sounded like a reasonable thing to try. Not becoming Defense Secretary—working at a desk standing up.

I thought, though, what if I don’t like this, or what if I want to change positions and mix it up? I don’t want to be climbing under the desk every time I want to change the height of the drawing table, especially with a back prone to revolting against me.

After a lot of research, I found a table made by Mayline with a motor that moved the table up and down—low enough to sit in a chair and high enough to stand and draw (48 inches high!). 

It took several weeks to get it. I had it assembled and installed, and now every Baby Blues strip in the past couple years has been drawn standing up. I have a chair sitting nearby, but I have yet to use it since I got the table. There’s still a little bending over to draw. I don’t think that can be eliminated completely unless I tilted the table top vertically, which it will do. Unfortunately, everything on the table would go crashing to the floor.

One of these days I’d like to replace my entire computer setup with one at standing height. I suppose I could get some cinder blocks and put my computer table up on those, but I gave up using cinder blocks for furniture way back in my twenties.

If I’m going to revisit my twenties, I’d rather trade the cinder blocks in for a twenty-year old back.






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