The Fiffe Files: Mark Badger, Part 3

12.Beat.Bullet.3.Wammo
By MICHEL FIFFE for The Beat

Previously in part 1 and part 2, Badger spoke of his breaking into comics, his approach to character icons, and his collaborations. In this final installment, he catches us up on the Instant Piano anthology series, being an activist, digital drawing, unionizing artists, and prioritizing the cartooning lifestyle.

Michel Fiffe: I’d like to talk a little about Instant Piano and how it came to be. Was it just a bunch of friends getting together to make comics?

Mark Badger: It was Robbie Busch who really started it. He started out at Pratt and I don’t even know how Robbie and I met. Probably through the inker, Art Nichols, but Robbie was my assistant when I was living in New York and he was friends with Evan Dorkin, who I was incredibly cruel and arrogant to. I think at some point in San Diego, I was drunk and Evan had 2 comics out. I looked at one and just bashed it.

F: No–

F: It’s the kind of thing where you go, “OK, I feel really bad.” It’s one of those things you don’t remember doing and feel really guilty for. “That was me? I was that much of an asshole? I can’t believe it, I’m so sorry that I was such an asshole!” The drunken arrogance of me, 25 years old, and poor Evan, he was 21 or 22 or however old he was. Anyway, so Robbie brought Evan in and was hanging around in the offices and Kyle Baker and I were hanging out so we all started going out talking about doing something. We pitched it to Dark Horse and then their lawyer took a hundred years to negotiate a contract because heaven forbid you can just do a book. So many policies at Dark Horse. But it was really just 5 guys hanging out, doing a book. It had no grand pretension. You got Kyle doing the Shadow, I was doing Batman, and we thought we’d make some money, not lose money. We sold some copies, though. What happens is that you get older and you analyze why it all fell apart. But there was a fun period of hanging out in the West Village before there were any McDonald’s there.

13. Beat. Instant Piano

F: You were all in New York at the time, or were some of you West Coast by then?

B: I was in Hoboken, Evan was in Staten Island I think, Robbie was in Brooklyn maybe, and Kyle was in the Village. Stephen DeStefano was in Brooklyn or Queens. It was like if you work at an office and then you kinda hang out afterwards. It was just hanging out.

F: Instant Piano came out around 1994. Were you one of the first to use computers for your art?

B: Yeah, it’s got Painter or Sketcher or something. I started learning the computer on that stuff. That was the beginning of the digital age.

F: Sounds like you were one of the early guys to use that stuff, you and Kyle. I’m not counting the “digital” comics Marvel and DC put out years before, which were more novelty than anything else.

B: I think we were the first guys to pick up the Wacom tablet and really draw on a computer. We were just sick of dealing with the production people, which was sort of the first impetus of the computer. I can’t stand dealing with the production people. That was the beginning of it all.

F: The other thing that’s interesting about your stuff in Instant Piano is that you used the comics platform to talk about things, about immediate problems like politics, personal health issues –

B: Multiple sclerosis is a chronic illness. I was diagnosed with it when I was 30. It’s a pretty mind blowing experience. At that point, I pretty much figured I would live forever, but then I was diagnosed and I was like, “Ok, how do I deal with this?” There was no model for that at all. One of the things I’m very clear about is that the activism is a model for dealing with it. It’s depressing when you say ’94 because at that point there was a single-payer health care system in California that I was working on, and Hillary Clinton was thinking about doing her thing in ‘94. Now, 20 years later, Barack Obama and Congress are screwing everything up all over again. So the personal stuff in comics, I tried to figure how to get it to come out. I mean, guys your age grew up with a model of people doing comics like that. There weren’t many models for that kinda stuff back then. But I’m lucky, I married well. She’s an artist, a Tin Tin fan, and she was able to transition from running her own business to working on the web at a big company so we would have health insurance. And eventually drugs came out for MS and they work on me. It’s pretty sad that the artist health plan comes down to “get married to an office worker”.

14.Beat.Presents

F: You were actually giving out phone numbers in your comics for people to call up and be active.

B: I think if I wasn’t an activist I probably would’ve been a much more successful comic book artist. I would’ve been more focused on making money and being a good cartoonist and not putting together demonstrations. People don’t appreciate how much work it takes to get a demonstration together. Elliot S! Maggin said it best when he was like, “That’s the whole point if you read superhero comics. You become a Democrat if you read Superman comics.” You’re supposed to go out and fight for truth and justice. As far as fanboys go, I’m the 6 or 7 year old that always feels, “That’s what you’re supposed to do!” It was very life affirming for me during the Obama election and Gerry stuck up on his blog the famous Ditko Spider-man scene where he’s buried beneath the machinery and it goes on for several pages. I was like, “Ah! They finally get this! Yeah, that’s good! There’s a reason I like working with this guy!”

F: What happened after Batman: Jazz? Did you say you were blacklisted from comics?

B: I don’t know if it was blacklist. I’m sure DC doesn’t have a list of people you can’t hire. They’d probably get into antitrust laws if they did, but I certainly couldn’t get any work at all. The style I had was just too out there. I’d done a bunch of stuff for non profit people, I’ve been teaching Flash and ActionScript. Eight years of that, and then I burned out on a lot of teaching. At this point I qualify as an Internet guy who can do Flash applications and stuff. It’s frightening. It’s totally frightening. Part me thinks, “You draw comic books, you’re not capable of putting together an application!”

F: Were you also trying to build a union for cartoonists?

B: The Graphic Artists Guild has been around forever. When I got diagnosed I had to have insurance, so I joined the Guild which was mostly illustrators and graphic designers. There weren’t a lot of cartoonists. I helped the California chapter expand, and not fall into bickering by applying the techniques of community organizing. All the things I had learned in doing CISPES [Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador] I started teaching to the California Guild members. Basically, our chapter went from 3 or 4 activists and 100 members to 300 or 400 members with 20 to 30 activists because of all of these organizing techniques I had. This kind of stuff works really well and can benefit almost any organization. The Guild ended up affiliating with United Auto Workers. The affiliation gave the Guild some more economic power to higher organizers.

15.Runriddlerrun

F: That would’ve been a big push to have that kind of support.

B: Yeah, we had an honest to god lobbyist in Washington who could work on artists’ rights. And so I went to work for the Guild for about a year. I went from teaching it locally to teaching it across the country and started getting some success with some of the chapters. The executive director being a white male — as a white male I can bad mouth white males, right?

F: Feel free.

B: He didn’t want a grass roots community. He wanted to put on conferences to get his people to treat him like something special. Because I was able to talk to the artists and get them organized and working together, he and the presidents didn’t want that. And that’s the way they went. At that point the Guild started falling apart. The Guild still exists but the local chapter’s gone. Every year or two they put out a Pricing and Ethical Guidelines Handbook, and they make a lot of money off of that. As an organization, it’s really sad. They wanted what they got. They didn’t want to be a union. They didn’t want to work with blue collar commies, big labor. And they didn’t want to be a community where you’d have members working together to improve conditions, but a bunch of people make a living off of publishing the Guidelines.

F: That’s too bad.

B: It’s probably the saddest part of my work life. All artists need an organization working for them, but unions and campaigns don’t just happen. Organizers are the glue and structure that hold things together and make stuff happen. I think it’s fair to say at that point there weren’t any other artists who had any organizing skills so I was in a perfect place to fight for “truth justice and the American Way.” So I did that and taught for 8 years and lots of web development. Now I’m doing a bunch of comics. Suddenly I’m back doing comics.

F: That’s a shame about organization, too, because it’s true that artists don’t usually organize. They have no training in doing so, maybe not even the interest.

B: That’s the thing. Every artist wants to get together and drink beer. You know any artist that would not want to get together to drink beer, or coffee for those who’ve been alcoholics in reform? The interesting thing is everybody I’ve ever worked with, the union people I worked with are self employed artists. They all know how they’re being screwed, they all wanna get out of their studios and they’re all really capable of doing stuff. They can all take on a project, do it on their own and not have it fall apart. People who have regular jobs, you have to hold their hands all the time. They don’t realize how good our skills are. I mean, if you can draw comic, you can do almost anything. Comics are a shitload of work. That’s the interesting thing about being out of comics. Suddenly I have more respect for all the people doing comics than I ever did when I was doing comics. Artists need a little bit of support and skills, superstar artists need to get hit over the head because of their egos, but then artists just run with it.

16.Badger. Spidey

F: Evan Dorkin recently blogged about the health care issue, about cartoonists living in New York. His wife, Sarah Dyer, did the bulk of the research but he put up all this information which was great. We need all the help we can get, y’know. It’s a little weird and pathetic how we make no money.

B: There was this one person who was into design and she was on the Guild and she would say how she had all these degrees yet all the union guys were making 3 times the money, and paid vacations, and health care, and that’s not fair! Well, yeah, they’ve got a union; they’ve worked their ass off for it. We haven’t. We’re creative and we do it all ourselves. Partially, artists are legislated against. If you and I wanted to form a union legally, we can’t, because if you and I form a union for comics, that’s an antitrust move.

F: No kidding.

B: Yeah, that would be antitrust. You would be doing something with the Competition law. That would make it antitrust to bargain with Time Warner, who are what, owners of 70% of the universe or something?

F: Sounds about right.

B: Part of the legislation is to prevent individual workers from unionizing because unions are bad. So that’s good that Evan’s pushing stuff out there. The question is can Obama get the country back to the point where there’s a middle class or not? He’s got to get it back to the point where there’s less of a feeling of intense pressure. Once you have a middle class, you can have artists existing as part of the lower class. There are a few artists that make it up to the upper class, but we need a middle class. Everyone should go read Elizabeth Warren, don’t listen to me. She heads up the TARP Oversight Committee and is pushing for more regulations. Jon Stewart clearly has a huge crush on her. What’s sad is when I was working with the Guild, a rival organization started up. It was all the big name illustrators who started in the 60s and 70s and they felt the Guild worked with too many peons and was the problem. They hated “Leftist Big Labor.” The UAW was evil to them because they felt they were the equal of Time-Warner. Single artists were the equal to large corporations, and only the really successful were worth supporting and working with. To them, Time-Warner is good and the UAW is bad. So supporting the civil rights movement, single payer health care, equal rights for gays, bad. Making as much money as possible for a few people at the top, good… if those at the top give you a cupcake or two.

17.Beat.Excalibur

F: I think a lot of cartoonists may be technically poverty line now.

B: I mean, there’s a lot of money to go around, it’s just not going around to everybody.

F: It’s not circulating down to us.

B:  Yeah, there are huge loads of money out there. Somebody posted how much money the board members of the recent Marvel/Disney buyout made. It is a big deal. I didn’t recognize any of the names. They didn’t make any comics I ever bought! I never saw any of the movies Marvel made but they’re all making 30, 40, 50 million dollars. There’s plenty of money going around now. You’d think Marvel can take one million from 10 board members and set up a creative independent arm and spread all that money out to a bunch of the artists that make their comics. But y’know, what’s more important, making comics or a board member making another million?

F: Clearly, the board members need all the money they can get.

B: I’m happier now that I can teach and do flunky work for Pixelpushers as a programmer so I can do comics and just put them out there. It’s great to work with non-profits where the idea and the story are important, not sticking to the company’s house style. Ultimately… comics are like poetry now, where you make your comics and have a day job to support them. It makes the lines clearer about what’s important, so if I want I can go off and draw an 8 page abstract comic without a publisher and the success is linked to the drawing not making the editor happy. I’m so out of comics it’s ridiculous. It’s sweet that you wanted to do this and Heidi is running it, but I’m just a guy who flitted through comics for a little while, fit into some of the cracks in the business and went on with his life. I may be dumb but I think what I’ve done working with CISPES, working on health care, working with the Guild, working in my kid’s school are all more important than Batman. We lose perspective and think “comics” are the only thing, but the world and how you walk through it that’s what really matters.

It’s been a great pleasure interviewing Mark Badger, who was kind enough to let me ask him anything to begin with. Make sure to bookmark Mark Badger’s Art Blog and check in frequently. Visit right here for tons more Badger artwork and comics. –Michel Fiffe

Comments

  1. “F: I think a lot of cartoonists may be technically poverty line now.

    B: I mean, there’s a lot of money to go around, it’s just not going around to everybody.”

    So what’s the solution? Legislate that artwork should be 500% more valuable? Cartoonists should make more money because…well…they just should?

    As a cartoonist/illustrator myself, I’m so embarrassed and ashamed by this defeatist, loser attitude. Grow up. Find another job that pays more, ya buncha whiners.

  2. Since when has talking about the lack of funds that cartoonists receive considered “whining”? We were stating the current conditions of a portion of the industry and the workers that drive it from the bottom up. The point was that there IS money to go around; it’s not “defeatist” to think you deserve some of that if you work your ass off. I’m glad your business as a cartoonist is successful enough to support you and your family, but cut the shit, we’re not going to ignore this issue because it’s not polite to talk about these things at the dinner table.

    Thanks for the comment, though!

  3. “The point was that there IS money to go around; it’s not “defeatist” to think you deserve some of that if you work your ass off. “

    Define “deserve”. Doesn’t EVERY profession believe they “deserve” more money? In other words, once we get the utopian central committee that determines how much every occupations deserves, why do cartoonists deserve more than teachers? Or nurses? Or librarians? Or fast food employees?

    At the end of the day, the only money you “deserve” is the amount you are paid from a customer that values your product or service…which only comes from hard work, diligent self-promotion, networking, and a whole lot of hustling in between. It’s not enough that you perceive that you can draw well or tell an amusing story via illustration. It’s not enough to form a like-minded group who all agree you “deserve” more money. You have to get out there and convince people you can deliver a product or service that they will happily pay your asking price…rather than begrudging artists who have managed to do just that without sharing in your whining collectivism.

  4. B: “The executive director being a white male — as a white male I can bad mouth white males, right? … He didn’t want a grass roots community. He wanted to put on conferences to get his people to treat him like something special.”

    How exactly is the executive director’s attitudes exclusive to white males? I’ve met plenty of white females and black males (and white males) with the same personality flaw … and they’re not always people in authority, either. Maybe Badger wasn’t getting any work because he said stupid things that insulted the wrong people.

  5. Fiffe, thanks for taking your personal time to conduct, transcribe, edit, and deliver this great interview [kudos to heidi for hosting it, too]. By exposing Mark Badger’s comix career, thus far, it compels me to shrug off some of my adolescent perceptions and take another look at his stuff.

    I wanted to weigh in on what Engblom whined about [sure, who "deserves" anything in this world?] but I felt sad for him that the only thing that compelled him to react to this 3-part interview was THAT one little exchange? Go get a late pass, Engblom. I guess he can make a one-panel gag out of it for his comic strip.

    Yay Balls.

  6. I think the statement I chose was representative of the spirit in Part 3 of the interview….which reached almost parody level with the helplessness and toxic envy that so characterizes Leftists like Badger and his sympathetic interviewer.

  7. Tim Hamilton says:

    I think most people can agree with Engblom that you work for what you get. I’m willing to work hard for the money I get as are most the people I know. I also feel that what Badger was talking about in regards to this and Unions was the idea that Union are perceived as bad. Yeah, sometimes they are bad and or corrupt. And sometimes corporations are bad and or corrupt. And sometimes you need to fight fire with fire.

    The point at which the “money issue” seems unbalanced to most is when Spider Man and Iron Man make millions for the movie studios and the people who created them (many of them at least) see none of that money. Some signed contracts willingly and some were kids (like the creators of Superman) who had no idea what they were signing.

    This is all old news though, and I think what should be taken from this interview is that in this age of instant information you should know to NEVER sign away your creation just to get published. You should NEVER sign a contract you don’t understand. Everyone out there working in comics should know this at the very least.

    Oh, and don’t draw a graphic novel for no money up front because a movie studio is making a movie out of it and you’ll get lots of money after the movie comes out.
    That lie ranks right up there with “I won’t —- in your mouth.”

    I kind of got off topic, sorry.
    Be smart is all.

    Good interview, Fiffe.

  8. Great interview.

    And I now hate Mark Engblom.

  9. Yup. Don’t say anything contrary to the comic book groupthink. Better to just agree and stay victims together.

  10. I’d be interested in reading more about Badger’s pioneering efforts in “cyber” or web comics. ;^)

  11. We’re not victims, Engblom. Read what Hamilton wrote and allow cartoonists some conversational latitude to gripe, fer craps sake. Besides, there was a lot of proactive stuff talked about in this article. Sheesh.

  12. Man, look at all this action I’ve been missing (while at work earning my money to fund my comics). You’d think this post was about the recent Avengers line up.

    So… Engblom, instead of stating your gripes with a reasonable back & forth in mind, you start off being hostile, rude and offensive… then you feel ganged up on when a few folks disagree with you? It’s hard to take your points seriously when they’re littered with sloganeering (no one uses the word “collectivism” anymore with a straight face). If you actually read the interview, you’d notice that none of us said anything begrudgingly about any other artist in terms of the money they make, we were talking about the corporate structure. If a cartoonist isn’t working for Marvel or DC, they’re probably don’t make a lot of money for the work they do, so don’t confuse us being open abut our situation as begging for a handout.

    Who deserves money? WE do, artists do, the minds and talents that create the intellectual properties that outlive their respective creators and make millions for those who’ve never even read a comic book. Oh, you mean a person should be compensated for what they produce accordingly? NO SHIT. Thanks for the lesson in the Way Things Should Work. While you’re at it, teach that lesson to the artists that toil to entertain you for year and get scraps in return like the Shusters or the Siegels, John Ostrander, Bill Loebs, Ed Hannigan, Dave Cockrum… tell it to the Kirby Estate, and try not to be as pompously condescending when you do so.

  13. I totally agree that one should be willing to work hard for what you get. And I can only speak for media professionals, because those are most of my social group, around the world, but pretty much every where I see people being asked to do the jobs of two people and/or work for free or for a small wage that isn’t going to pay for food or rent, let alone health insurance. I am assured than in other industries hit by layoffs and voluntary pay cuts the work of the missing people is similarly being given to those still left and grateful to have a job.

    It’s a terrible time in the economy for just about every level — unless you are a Wall Streeters who got us here in the first place.

    Based on the art appearing with this interview, it’s obvious that Mark Badger is an artist with gifts who deserves some compensation for his work. But given his health issues the only way he can even continue to do art is by having a wife with a job to pay for the drugs he needs. I don’t really see Mark whining about this situation so much as calling it like it is.

    And a word to everyone: I’m proud of the lively comment section here at the Beat and while most of my posters seem to have liberal tendencies, I’m happy that folks who go the other way feel comfortable enough to post here and give the other side. So let’s all take a deep breath and step back and try to have a conversation and remember what brought us all here in the first place.

  14. “At the end of the day, the only money you “deserve” is the amount you are paid from a customer that values your product or service…which only comes from hard work, diligent self-promotion, networking, and a whole lot of hustling in between.”

    First of all, nobody is saying they should be given money for the sake of their being an “artist”. There is an imbalance is what creators make and what is made off their creations, which is finally, albeit slowly, being dealt with as this immature, ass-backwards content-providing industry grows up a little bit.

    Secondly, you might not understand the idea of actually creating something from whole cloth, because going by your website, you do nothing but stale superhero and superhero fan “gag” cartoons already done to death, exploit fan and pop culture phrases, and draw Marvel and DC characters created by others. Part of your own incredible work ethic — part of “your” “service”, some of “your” “products” involves slapping something designed by someone else and selling it on a t-shirt — The Marvel “Still only 25 cents!” bullet and The Comics Code Authority emblem, for two examples. Oh, and The X-Ray Specs design, for a third example of “your” work. Or your Justice Leagie logo parody t-shirt which I guess one can argue you “created”, but like everything else on your site, it’s based on something else, or references another person’s work or a phrase floating in the pop culture air. You’re a grabber and a user, you need to crow about self-promotion, hard work, and hustling, because you can’t crow about creativity, originality, skill or imagination. You’re a hustler, all right, a third rate one at that, a small-time flea-market curtain-jerker blowhard who grabs at the crumbs dropped by others who did the work before you. You’re a bottom-feeder, and the only thing sadder and more irritating than a bottom-feeder is a ignorant bottom-feeder with a smug attitude.

    Look, I don’t care about your politics, I care about the junk you spewed here towards people I like and admire, who actually make comics and create things and have had to deal with some really negative garbage towards that end. You are ignorant about some of the things being discussed here because you don’t know much about Badger’s history and what he’s created that he arguably was not compensated for. Maybe if you ever actually created something original you’d understand what can happen in this business to actually creative people. No one’s playing the violin for themselves here, no one’s asking for things they don’t deserve. And the collective isn’t beating up on you here because the commies are out to get you, it’s because you are coming off as a prize jerk.

  15. And re: Mark’s interview — Dark Horse didn’t delay Instant Piano in the contract stage, Kyle Baker’s legal representative at the time caused the logjam. There were no problems until issues were raised by this person that pushed everything back at least a year. Which is why the original finished first issue was redone for the most part (I still have xeroxes of the entire issue). And I’m not saying this because I am freelancing for DHC at this time, for the sake of disclosure. I’ll knock anyone, but in this case, DHC wasn’t the instigator of the delays.

    I also didn’t remember Mark beating up on me back then so badly. At least not that time (ha ha). I do remember Mark and Kyle pointing out a lot of things that were amateurish and inept in my work at the time, and that those tips helped me a lot in getting my work in better shape.

  16. Hey, Evan! Thanks for looking at (and promoting) my wares. And gosh….it’s like you know me or something! “Flea-Market curtain-jerker” is going right onto the resume’.

    See, that stuff you mentioned was more of that “making stuff people might want” thing I was talking about. I don’t do the “toil in obscurity making stuff nobody wants” thing. Plus, none of the stuff you saw was what I do for my day job, which is stuff geared toward the classroom and educational content….which, while I don’t own it, brings me as much joy and satisfaction as your lofty original created works might bring to you.

    Because you’re clearly a joyful person.

    See, I’m completely satisfied with the niche I occupy in the art/graphics biz without feeling the pressure to meet Evan Dorkin’s standards of lofty art…or moan about the sad lot of creative types and how I “deserve” some subjective amount of money that’s “floating around” out there somewhere (the grasp of economics is stunning).

    See, I’ve been around whiney fellow-artists for decades, and it just never stops or gets better. The perpetually wounded “We’ve been SCREWED” supine position plays well with your fellow travelers, but how about actually doing something about it instead of bitching about it for another twenty years?

  17. You’re still missing the point, and you’re still not funny, and you’re clearly on a roll and won’t be deterred by the actual conversation or what Badger said besides the quotes you got your Underoos in a mess over, so I’ll just end with this:

    I never said a word about your art, only your sad concepts, some of which utilize other people’s design work, which I think bears repeating in a conversation about creative work, income, etc (imo you actually have solid cartooning chops, but that’s not what I was talking about).

    I think slapping someone’s design or logo on a shirt and selling it is rotten behavior, I’d rather be joyless, as you say, than creatively and ethically bankrupt. I have a feeling the Comics Code isn’t public domain, but I may be, and certainly could be, wrong about that. Cutting and pasting is still the lowest form of creativity, if you even want to call it that, but obviously you need the crutches for your hustling endeavors.

    Your ignorance is again borne out when you ask people like Mark Badger to stop whining and do something when he’s been discussing what he’s tried to do about “it” through his work, volunteering and organizing. Mark, Dean Haspiel, myself, are doing something about it by working for a living, how do you think we get by, going to conventions and crying until we sell art? Whining at publishers to give us work? Selling dopey, lazy-ass shirt designs on the side? Maybe you’d be more upset about certain archaic practices of the comic book industry if you were in the comic book industry, instead of leeching off of it as a professional fan.

    As for your digs at me, sure, I’m not well-known, clearly, and my own work doesn’t sell in large numbers, especially since the 90′s, but I get around, I have my readers and clients and collaborators, fortunately. And I’m not, say, as obscure as…Mark Engblom, if you wanna take that tack. In my defense, I’ve been writing and designing animation for a hit kid’s show on Nick Jr, working for Mad Magazine and doing comics for Dark Horse and Bongo. I’ll take that over peddling your threadbare wares anyday.

    Finally, I hope I do sell you a lot of shirts, pal. Use the money to buy some more hot ideas. How about the F.O.O.M logo on a shirt? Or a Star Trek quote?

    Good night, sweet prince. Keep on keeping on.

  18. Wow. It just goes to show, try to have a open mind and there’s no telling who might enlighten you. I’ve never been a fan of Mark Badger’s work. Simply not my cup of tea. Having stated this, I’m glad to have gotten just a taste of what Badger the art activist was and still is. Perhaps now that I’m older I’ve become more of a socialist than ever. I’m proud to know that Mr. Badger has made a effort towards making illustrator’s rights just a little more fair in the world. Bravo.

    And to Mark Engblom: Clearly you’re not a defeatist, nor a loser cartoonist/illustrator who’s technically not below the poverty line. And you’ve probably got a piece of ALL that mad money that’s floating around. If that’s the case, you mind passing a few dollars my way? I’d greatly appreciate it, and then I could leave my soul-sucking corporate gig [which by the way provides excellent health benefits to me and my partner] and REALLY focus on becoming that cartoonist/illustrator who isn’t a loser.

  19. Mr. Engbloom,
    It’s a fact that in the current economic times the income disparity between 1% of the people and the rest of us is at it’s greatest disparity since the Gilded Age, I’m just talking about facts here, you may dislike the facts but that the last thirty years our government has been working to bring this about and continue those trends.

    It has nothing to do with artists or writers , it puts stress on all the people in this country from commies to tea-baggers. The financial system that has been created that rewards Bank Executives for destroying our economy is just what creates hassles for the teachers, firefighters, librarians, nurses and office workers. The income disparity between CEO’s and workers is ten or thirty time larger then in any other country. I just don’t get it why, do you side with the 1% instead of the rest of America?

    Why shouldn’t the money from the sale of Marvel have gone to the Kirby estate? Cripes they could have thrown them, Gene Colan, Ditko, Don Heck and John Buscema a million each and it wouldn’t have made any difference to those board members lives. Why shouldn’t some of that money be spent in development of the art form, research and development to make them millions more?

    That seems like justice to me and like the funny books I read when I was a kid. I’m just a nerd who read to many funny books as a kid, always have been, always will be.

  20. and I offer my fervent public apologies to Evan for my drunken self at San Diego which was a couple of years before Instant Piano. San Diego was the incident I was thinking of, not the East Village.

  21. I have love Turkey Hill for many years. Living in PA I enjoyed a different flavor each month. I was given a freezer by my father in law when he retired and moved. Now I can fill it with all the flavors I love and try different ones as they come on the market.I moved to Florida when I retired. My brother in law has a big RV and brings me down many Turkey Hill Ice Creams when he comes. Never without my ice cream or a bowl and spoon waiting to dig in.

  22. Bill Blair says:

    Geez, who knew Engblom was such a piece of sh*t? Not visiting his blog again.

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