Newsletter (8-3-94)

Is TMW online?

It will be soon -- stay posted for details. I'm going to put up a few perennial favorites in an archive, and make newer ones available one at a time. They'll be a month old, because I don't want to step on the toes of papers which pay me for the right to reprint my work, but for those of you who don't live in a city where TMW runs regularly, at least it will be available.

How many cartoons do you do a week?

One. I'm a very slow writer and a very slow illustrator, so that one car- toon takes me about two days, usually. On top of that, I am running my own small business, dealing with 70+ papers each week, acting as my own accountant, publicist, and secretary. Add it all up, and each cartoon takes me about 50 hours a week. Which is enough...

Do you do TMW on a computer?

No; it's an odd mix of montage xerography and freehand pen-and-ink. I've drawn cartoons all my life, and have long been fascinated with the obscene cheerfulness of old advertising imagery; This Modern World is what resulted when I combined the two.

How many books do you have?

There are two books -- Greetings From This Modern World (St. Martin's Press, Sept. 1992) and Tune in Tomorrow, due out next month, same publisher. You can write St. Martin's at 175 Fifth Ave., NY NY 10010 -- but any bookstore can order the books for you given the above information.

What happened with SPIN?

I was doing an exclusive color cartoon each month for Spin (called Tune in Tomorrow also -- I hate to waste a good title). That lasted four or five issues, during which time I received no editorial feedback from anyone there, and at the end of which, the strip was arbitrarily dropped. If you enjoyed seeing the work there -- or didn't even know it *was* there, but might have bought the magazine if you *had* known -- please drop them a line and let them know. They have three online addresses: 74227.3034 And of course there's always snailmail: 6 West 18th St., NY NY 10011.

Any merchandising?

Not really, apart from the books. The Northern California Independent Booksellers Association has printed up a full-color t-shirt featuring a cartoon which sings the praises of independent bookstores (as opposed to chains), and various other organizations and papers have printed up shirts from time to time, but that's really about it. Not that I wouldn't love to see a full line of Sparky the Penguin battle action figures; but oddly enough the toymakers haven't been beating a path to my door.

Special note to readers in Portland:

After Willamette Week dropped the cartoon, they received a flood of mail complaining -- and thanks to all of you for that. They wanted to pick up the strip again, but I had already agreed to go with a paper which will be starting up in Sept. -- and, frankly, which sounds a bit more lively than WW. It's going to be called "Tonic", so watch for it...

Finally, thanks to everyone who takes the time to write me. I don't always have time to respond to every message personally, but I do read everything. If you have any questions, please send them along, and I'll include them the next time I send one of these things out. For those of you on the WELL, I can be found hanging out in Media and byline most of the time, though I do visit Genx occasionally as well.