Requested Strip:
Sunday, May 5, 2002
* * * WISH FOR MY BOOK! (Nukees:d/dx), not selling at Plan 9! * * *
Guess what?

Still not a scrap of time in my life for a bonus comic, but I'd like to share with you on this auspicious day an article by Chelsea Baker about that noblest of bottom-dwellers, the Cartoonist, which pretty much sums it up for me.

See what others did for "Webcomics Awareness Day"

Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the high school paper this appeared in. I'll get back to you on that. Also, I don't know the title of the article, so I made up a generic one until I hear back from Chelsea.

National Cartoonists' Day
by Chelsea Baker

When many students receive a newspaper, the first thing they do is turn to the comics page to laugh at humorously drawn figures cracking jokes and witty remarks that many of us would never think of. Though they may read comics every day, they may not know that there is a national holiday to honor the people who struggle hard to get their readers to laugh uproariously at those silly little sketches.

"I think it's important because we're honoring people who make us laugh," said Sheena Kunik '03. "If you really think about it, cartoonists change the way we think."

Cartoonist Day, May 5, is an annual holiday created by the National Cartoonist Society (NCS) to commemorate cartoonists of all venues. Whether they are a professional cartoonist whose funny frames are printed in thirty or more languages or just a webcartoonist with a small but dedicated audience, this little known holiday is deemed important to many.

"It's important to realize the hard work that so many artists are going through for so little compensation and to do what you can to encourage its growth. But we all have dishes to do and Easter eggs to hunt on the other days, so we limit our whining to one day a year," said Darren Bleuel, a 30 year old webcartoonist from Berkeley, CA. "The holiday isn't really important to me yet. However, I look forward to a day when it will be. The day when I don't feel the need to remind people of our hard work will be the important day."

For years the NCS has encouraged its members to let people know about it by incorporating the day into their comics as much as they can.

"I'm trying to promote it [Cartoonist Day]," said Kunik. "I was drawing a cartoon and I wrote 'Cartoonist Appreciation Day" all over a calendar in the background."

There are many ways to show appreciation for a favorite cartoonist. Some choose to write a letter or send a card to a cartoonist they know whereas others just tell them that they are grateful for the laughter and insight cartoonists bring into their lives.

"Everyone has individual skills, contacts and abilities," said Bleuel. "If you care about something--if you enjoy something--you should encourage it's continued existence any way you can. If you work for an entertainment company, encourage them from within to advertise or sponsor a major webcomic conglomerate. If you have friends who don't read webcomics, make them. If you live in a small hole on a rocky hillside, tell Thag I said hi. I absolutely think people should get me flowers and take me out for ice cream on this holiday, because I like flowers and ice cream."

Cartoonist Day is not always a welcomed event for all cartoonists. Some say that to promote the event, they have to work harder which defeats the purpose of having the holiday.

" Last year, we were all supposed to draw a special 'bonus Cartoonists' Day' strip on May fifth," said Bleuel. "That's kind of obnoxious for us, isn't it? Here it is, our special day, and we have to work harder for it? I wasn't able to, simply because I am so overworked, so I put up an essay on who we are and what we do and why we are so overworked and don't have time to put up special bonus strips."

For the most part, cartoonists are just glad to receive some recognition for doing a job that is often overlooked.

Copyright © 2002 Darren Bleuel    Redistribution in whole or in part prohibited except by permission

 APR   May 2002   JUN
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