Tuesday, January 02, 2007
STRIPPIN' FOR THE MAN...?
Back in late October I mentioned an offer from a local newspaper wherein I'd produce an on-going comic strip for them. They offered me a price, I talked to some industry pros, and consequently deemed the newspaper's offer unfit for the service I would provide. This ended up an ongoing saga with the newspaper, which I'm now comfortable enough to credit as The Bay City Times. Much as the editor disagreed with my asking price, he was relatively determined to get my services as a staff cartoonist. He upped the ante in the form of a contest.
He said if I created a comic ("I already have one ready to go", I challenged) and allowed him to run five of my strips alongside several established syndicated comics, The Times would hold a contest and allow readers to vote on their favorite strips. If mine turned out to be one of the favorites, we would then, in the words of the editor, "Talk turkey." I understood everything he said up to the turkey reference. I assumed it meant that popularity of my work with readers would incline him to sweeten the pot in order to bring me aboard his paper. However, I recalled him saying in an earlier meeting that he wouldn't allow himself to pay me more than the standard weekly rental fee that he paid for the established syndicated strips ($15.00. Per week. Try not to choke.). So I can only assume that whatever the new offer would be, it would amount to more than that.
So anyway, I agreed to allow him to run my five strips gratis, and then we'd see what came of it. The first strip ran Christmas day, and the subsequent strips ran until Dec. 31st, when The Times issued ballots in their New Year's Eve edition for which readers could votes for their favorite strips and mail in the results. It's now January 2nd, and I have no idea what's gonna happen. The mail hasn't run since the day the ballots were printed, so people won't be able to send out their votes until tomorrow. And let's face it, with almost four days having passed since the ballots were issued, I doubt anyone will remember or care to rush out to the post office and make their cartoon preferences heard. However, I am hoping that between the end of this week and the middle of next that I'll know one way or another if my strip will have been deemed worthy for consistent publication. Even still, if the money isn't green, I'd still pass on the offer. A guy's gotta pay the bills, after all, even if doodling silly cartoon characters 365 days a year is his source of revenue.