Thursday, April 21, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
I am producing a really good comic here and my editor at King Features is delighted with the quality of my work but 'Ollie and Quentin' is not connecting with newspaper editors. My editor says there is nothing I can do to improve my strip. We are both surprised at the reaction to it. He did not pick it out of the other 6000 submissions that year for nothing. Sadly newspaper sales are the measure by which a comic is judged and it doesn't take a genius to work out that there is only so long a syndicate will carry an unviable comic before it is forced to admit that it doesn't work and will have to cancel it. I suspect Ollie and Quentin is going this way unless something changes soon.
We have one final card up our sleeves which I can't talk about but if that fails we are gone. I am sure of it. I do not expect to still be doing this in a year's time if things do not improve. It will be sad that a lifelong dream that I sacrificed so much for failed at the final (big) hurdle but I won't slog my guts out every day for no reason. It has been very soul destroying to produce great stuff which just falls on deaf ears. Working up to 8 hours a day every day to earn little more than the minimum wage is not what I saw for my career and not how I expected to bring up my two children.
I would be the first to admit it if I thought my comic was garbage. It isn't. I know this is what I am meant to do and will miss it enormously. I have enjoyed the writing more than any other part of my 25 year career. I know I can compete with the best. I don't enjoy having no life outside my comic but am happy to dedicate my time to it because I am good at it and want to share what I can do. 'Ollie and Quentin' is fresh, new and different. It is clever and charming. Even the drawings are unlike anything else on the funny pages. The potential is enormous. Yet, American newspapers don't want it. Perhaps this is where we went wrong. I have a great British sense of humour, it just doesn't translate.
So, if you're a fan (and I do have plenty) please make some noise. It will be no good moaning after we are cancelled. Let people know about 'Ollie and Quentin' now. Write, talk, text, post and tweet about it, write to your newspaper editor or see a really good strip confined to comic strip history.