February 8th, 2014

My 20th Anniversary!

by Sandra Bell-Lundy

I have some news.

This month is the 20th anniversary of syndication for Between Friends!  Actually, I’ve been creating my strip for 24 years.  From 1990 to 1994, I self-syndicated my comic to a number of southern Ontario newspapers: The St. Catharines Standard, The Brantford Expositor and the Hamilton Spectator as well a few other weekly newspapers.  But…in February of 1994, Between Friends was launched internationally in 31 newspapers by King Features.  It now appears in nearly 175 newspapers worldwide.

It’s a little hard to believe I’ve been creating my comic for all that time.  When I was first launched, my husband was in a panic.  He kept asking me if I would be able to keep coming up with ideas indefinitely.  I kept telling him not to worry.  I’m not saying there haven’t been some frantic times when I wondered if I was done…if there just wasn’t anything else left for me to say…but taking a little time off to have some fun with family or friends always seemed to recharge my battery.

I have a few things planned to celebrate the year.  I’ll let you know about them as they unfold.  And I’m going to post some reflections and tidbits about my career here periodically throughout the year.

It’s been great so far.  I can’t thank my friends at King Features enough for the opportunity to draw a comic strip for a living. Their editors and promotional people are the most creative, friendly, professional and supportive group of people a cartoonist could have.  Their sales team is an outstanding, well-oiled machine and the international agents are just as wonderful. The folks at Torstar Syndication (the Canadian arm of King Features) are the best. Thank you all.

Now…want a peek at some scrapbook shots?…

Sandra-1990-Standard-small

This is the photo from the debut article in the St. Catharines Standard when they added my strip to their comics pages in May 1990.  See the little note from Lynn Johnston on the board behind me?  I’m still using the same drawing board…a gift from my mom and dad.

Early-strip-1990-self-pity

This is what my strip looked like in 1990.  That’s Susan and Maeve…they’ve changed a little over the years, wouldn’t you say?  *cringe* More to come…

 

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