Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The Five Year Plan Doesn't Go As Planned, Or Does It?
So, by the middle of 1996, I had worked on Pipe Dreams for nearly five years. I had submitted many comics to the syndicates only to be rejected time and time again. It had come to me that I may not make it as a cartoonist, so I got desperate to prove my fears wrong. I tried looking for work in the art field in the Seattle area. I gave up on any hope of having an acting career when I realized what was involved with how much effort it would take with no guaranteed payoff.
I had applied for a t-shirt graphic design company, but no go. After I had taken a job at a bicycle factory (To this day the worst job I had) I got even more desperate. I saw an ad for a cartoonist in one of the free weeklys that came out in Seattle. I knew it wouldn't be a career move but thought that if it led to the publication of my work it would lead to bigger and better things.
So, I met up with the editor/publisher of Seattle Scroll, Matt Asher. He was a young man, a libertarian Ayn Rand disciple who liked what he saw in my work. I had shown Pipe Dreams, and some single panel cartoons I had worked on. He gravitated towards the single panel ones and gave me Carte Blanche to do what I want on my cartoons. The only thing I was restricted on was proportion.
Anyway, Matt wanted to challenge the Seattle Weekly and the Stranger for readership in the Seattle area. He came up with the scroll format to generate interest. I thought it was interesting, however I thought it was too weird for it to grab everyone's attention.
He paid me though, so I was on my way.
Like I said, I had Carte Blanche, but I was a little timid at first and published this cartoon in the first issue.
Later on I started to give Matt Asher what he wanted. Like one of the cartoons I showed him at the interview.
I then attacked beloved cultural icons with my satire.
I then entered in even darker themes. Like suicide and lynchings.
So, with hanging on my mind I came up with this chestnut. It was my take on the absurdity of the idea that believers of Jesus Christ wear the object of his execution as a way of showing support. Years earlier, but years before I heard the routine, Bill Hicks did his take on the same subject.
I'm no Bill Hicks.
So now I was off to the races. I decided to do some increasingly blasphemous cartoons, from the mild dealing with consumerism.
To the outrageous, linking sacred worship with the celebrity worship.
So, of course that meant I was in with Satan by this time...
I then backed up a little, focused on less dark themes than Satan worship and suicide. Light hearted fare like murder...
But like all good things it was soon to end. After getting away from the scroll format Matt Asher had a hard time keeping the Seattle Scroll afloat. He didn't have much money and was unable to sell enough ads to sustain the paper. It was a good run for me but unfortunately it did not lead to bigger and better things.
I liked the fact that I made weekly trips to Seattle to break up the monotony of living in Federal Way. I had a huge crush on this girl who contributed to the Seattle Scroll. I was still in a serious relationship but wanted to get out. The cancellation of the Seattle Scroll put an end to it. However, years later I ran into her and dated her for what was a passionate but volatile relationship.