Ollie & Quentin Book

Ollie & Quentin Book
125 pages in full colour!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Year 1: The Good and The Bad

Ollie and Quentin turned one yesterday so I thought it would give me the opportunity to look back at my first year in syndication. Here are the good and the bad of year one.

The Good:
1. The writing. I've enjoyed this much more than I expected.
2. Other cartoonists. They are all wonderful, kind, generous and particularly beautiful people. My thanks to the gorgeous Alex Hallatt (Arctic Circle), the very wise John and Anne Hambrock (The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee), the ludicrously gifted Richard Thompson (Cul de Sac), the delightful Sandra Bell-Lundy (Between Friends), the heroic Kieran Meehan (Pros and Cons), the scarily clever Mark Tatulli (Lio), the godfather Mike Lynch and the genius that is Dan Piraro (Bizarro) who all got in touch this year.
3. Brendan Burford. My brilliant editor at King Features (and only just out of shorts).
4. Comics Kingdom. A chance for us small guys to be seen and heard (and O&Q looks sooooo much better in color).
5. Fans. Make those late nights worthwhile.
6. Janine Pineo at The Bangor Daily News.
7. The dollar. Worth so much more against our weak pound here in the UK.
8. The Daily Cartoonist. Invaluable.
9. King Features sales guys. What a terrible year to be doing that job.

The Bad:
1. Comic Polls.
2. The state of the newspaper industry.
3. Comic "Experts" who aren't.
4. Nasty commenters. C'mon guys, it's just a comic strip.
5. My dwindling stock pile.
6. Strips past their sell by date.
7. My other cartoon illustration work. It's a nightmare to fit in and I'm really bored with it.
8. My family still don't really understand what being syndicated means.

Finally, if you're thinking of trying to be a syndicated cartoonist make sure you have a very understanding wife, husband, partner, girlfriend, boyfriend and kids because a comic strip is like introducing a new and particularly demanding member to the family. It shouts "Me Me Me" all day, every day. It's loud, selfish, nagging, frustrating and, in my case, not potty trained.

But it's worth it.


richardcthompson said...

Happy Birthday and thank you, Piers, and what an excellent description of a comic strip. You only left out the bit about how it eats 10 times its body weight in ideas every day.

Sandra said...

Congrats on your milestone, Piers! I really enjoyed this post...I was reading the list of bad things and was nodding my head in agreement and then I got to #5 ... "My dwindling stock pile" and I burst out laughing. My stockpile dwindled after 9 weeks so I'd say you're doing pretty good!


Congratulations, Piers. Hard to believe it's been one year. I still have some crumbs left in my stockpile. Once a month or so I'll pull them out and read them, groan, put them back away, and sit down to write new stuff. It's as if I expect them to get better with age.

May you have many successful years with O&Q!

Piers Baker said...

See? This is what I mean about cartoonists being beautiful people.

hungrydog said...

Happy Birthday, O & Q!

We launched at a tough time, but I'm so glad we weren't a year later...

Janine Pineo said...

You are as charming as your strip, Piers.