Bizarro is brought to you today by Socially Bold Deserts.
As a change of pace, here is an old old old Bizarro from the late 1900s. I just realized a few minutes ago that Friday, January 22, 2010, marks the 25th anniversary of the first Bizarro cartoon that appeared in newspapers. I had seven client papers on opening day: Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, and I can’t remember the other four. Now I have something under a million client papers. (Keeping in mind that any number under one million qualifies for that statement.)
Wow. I don’t want to bore you with a lot of talk about how the time has flown by and I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for a quarter of a century, but damn. All of that is true. To be honest, it fills me with a mixture of pride and sadness. Time is a mindf*ck.
Twenty five years is a long time to be doing anything. Before Bizarro I don’t think I held any job for an entire year – as I recall, 11 months was my record. Of course, this job is more like freelancing than a “real” job, in that nobody cares what I do all day as long as I send them seven cartoons each week.
Things that have changed about this job in 25 years:
- 1985-1987, I finished my cartoons a week ahead of deadline so I could send them by U.S. post to my editor. I was making so little money that I could not justify any other means.
- 1988, I started making enough to get by and began overnighting them with Fed Ex. Now I could work on the cartoons up until 6:30pm the night before they were due and get them to the Fed Ex office by 7.
- In the early ’90s I got a computer and email, but it was still a few years before Internet was fast and secure enough to send large images easily. I hadn’t yet learned to color my Sunday panels myself yet, either, so I was still marking them up with colored pencil with CMYK percentages and having them done at a coloring service that the entire industry used. This was the way everyone did it then. I had no idea what the image would really look like until it printed in papers many weeks later. It was difficult, required a lot of guessing and the early Sunday panels were not as intricate as they are now, but I tried.
- In the late 90s I began doing all my own coloring and things haven’t changed too much since then. Now I can achieve almost any coloring effect I can dream up and can wait until the last second to finish my work and send it by Internet in a few seconds. Usually, though, I send them a day or two after they are due. I’m bad, I know, but this creativity thing is difficult to do on schedule.
More reminiscing tomorrow, unless I die of old age in my sleep.