The time has come to start a slow slide into retirement. It’s going to take me a few years to actually get there, but I’m going to begin by retiring from drawing editorial cartoons. I’ve been drawing them for 43 years and I’m kind of burned out. Arthritis has rendered my drawing hand useless and I don’t enjoy “drawing” the cartoons on the computer as much. My enjoyment of putting ink to paper for hours at a time is gone.
This has been coming for a while now. I’ve reached a point where I don’t really have much to say that’s new or original. I’m finding it harder to come up with a fresh take on New Hampshire’s unfair tax system for the umpteenth time, for instance, or the latest crop of pompous gun nuts.
I also need relief from daily immersion in the cesspool of the current political climate. It takes a lot of time to read & research topics for cartoons and I weary of being down in the muck created by the Republicans who have given over their party to the insanity of Trump and their right-wing extremists. Frankly, they just piss me off and I can’t find any humor in a lot of this stuff anymore. Also, it’s hard to make fun of people and portray them as evil or idiots when they’re actually evil or idiots to begin with. Parody may be dead.
I may still post a cartoon with InDepthNH from time to time, but for the most part I’m done.
Thanks to all who have supported my work over the years and especially to Nancy West who kept my work afloat at IDNH when the newspaper business went down the tubes.
I’ll continue to work on my R.F.D. comic strip and write the gags for Snuffy Smith
so, I’ll see you in the funny papers. Or rather, on the funny web.
Blogs are annual, right? ;)
Yeah, I'm bad at this.
Anyway...more changes in the drawing department.
My hand has abandoned me and I'm drawing almost nothing with pencil & ink these days.
I can draw loosely with a pencil okay, but inking has become quite frustrating. I can't draw curved lines without wobbles and can only draw straight lines if they can be done with short, quick movements. And I have to stop frequently to "crackle" my fingers. I've given up lettering entirely.
Fortunately I can still draw with a computer mouse so that's what I'm doing mostly.
Photoshop is much more forgiving of my spastic line work, I can erase and redraw with the click of the pointer. My latest editorial cartoon for InDepthNH was drawn entirely in Photoshop on my iMac.
I have a large library of previously-drawn artwork to draw upon (literally) which I can recycle and use as elements in new cartoons.
Needless to say this process takes a lot longer than the ol' pencil it, ink it, scan it, color it method, which is one of the reasons you're seeing fewer cartoons from me.
My R.F.D. comic strip is drawn the same way now also:
And the roughs I draw for the gags I write for Snuffy Smith. These roughs go to the strip's artist, John Rose. All of the finished artwork you see here is his.
Old school pencil with computer lettering on the left, current all-computer on the right.
Further below are some of the sheets from my digital library of Snuffy character art that I continue to build. I'm all about the cut & paste now.
That's it for now.