Discover more from New York Cartoons
#352: Jazz Scribblin' at Dizzy's, Sneaky Art Podcast, & Birthday Lunch w/ Nick Galifianakis
+ Anna Codrea Rado, CXC, Your Shout#2 & Morris Barks at a Cow
I hope you’re having a tremendous Tuesday.
This week I’ll be appearing at @cartooncrossroads in Columbus, Ohio talking about subscription-based audience building using
With the established markets for cartooning in flux, the work cartoonists do away from the drawing board/tablet is more important than ever.so you can spend more time doing the thing you actually like: Drawing!
In this session, Chatfield will share some of what he’s learned about finding and growing a direct audience of true fans (with and without social media), getting paid what we’re worth, finding your ‘enough,’ and building a cartooning business fit for the 21st century using
Your Shout is a collection of New York stories from you, the reader that I illustrate with cartoons. Think of it like the Metropolitan Diary in the NY Times. But on Substack. And longer.
Leaf (Bridge)-Peeping in Upstate New York
I’ve spent the past week amid the early leaf-peepers, hiking and exploring upstate New York with my in-laws. The trip nearly took a violent turn when my father-in-law, Geoffrey, revealed that day’s Wordle before my mother-in-law had solved it. A death-defying stunt Evel Knievel wouldn’t even attempt.
A highlight was watching Geoffrey, a retired metallurgist, enjoy the plethora of tremendous bridges along the Hudson River.
A Birthday Lunch with Nick Galifianakis
Nick is like a magical Greek sprite who appears only when I need him most. It’s a neat party trick, but one that was particularly welcome when I drove through Saratoga Springs on my birthday last week.
Nick gifted me an incredible collection of sketches by Austrian illustrator Erich Sokol. This was the era in Sokol’s career where he was still closely following after Searle, but bringing in chunks of himself he was withholding in his more formal magazine work.
I wrote about Searle’s vast influence on generations of illustrators and cartoonists here.
Sokol’s style in these illustrations has so much vivid motion and grotesque caricature, with mad scratches of paint and pencil— Every page is a riveting take that holds up beautifully. I do wonder how large he was working for some of these. It was the perfect gift for the perfect moment.
Nick and I had a nice wander around the local art shop after lunch and geeked out over Windsor & Newton Series 7 sable brushes before I drove back to the cabin with an armful of new drawing supplies with my little navigator here:
Talking About Sketching with
SneakyArt Podcast is the audio adjunct to one of my favourite Substacks:. Nishant has a great story, and he shares it with me in this episode of the pod:
I am pleased to present the latest episode of the SneakyArt Podcast! New York-based cartoonist and comedianJason Chatfieldspeaks about taking over Australia’s iconic daily comic strip,Ginger Meggs, at the tender age of 23, and how he sees the path ahead for syndicated comic strips and the newspaper industry.
Other topics include - The evolution of humour over time, Not doing political comedy, Derrida, and people-watching at the MoMA. Big stuff. Also, the difference between meme-ification and mummification.
(This is the first episode of a two-part conversation.)
Amid the topics covered:
🖋️ Getting over perfectionism, and using ink and nib to do it
📚 Oliver Burkeman, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
📚 Dr. Norman Rosenthal, The Gift of Adversity
🗞️ What is Ginger Meggs about? And what is Australian humour about?
🗞️ How comics syndication works across the world, and its links to migration and expat populations.
🤳🏼 Maintaining the continuity of a legacy strip while keeping step with social and cultural change.
[30:48] “Was it much easier or much harder to take on the responsibility?” - Nishant, on Jason becoming the sole cartoonist of Ginger Meggs at age 23
📺 The death of newspapers and the fracturing of the media landscape
“When you’re writing comedy what you’re relying on is a common truth.” - Jason, on not doing political comedy anymore.
“When you’re writing jokes for people … you’re really keeping your audience in mind.” - Jason, on writing across different media to different audiences
✍🏼 Nishant, on Derrida and deconstructionism, and the meanings of words.
🗓️ Jason talks about how jokes and comic strips change over time because of how words evolve.
[62:00] “Words are so bad at meaning things and that’s like the one job they have.” - Nishant, on words.
🖼️ The importance of art in an age of text.
🎨 Going to the MoMA, art history, and why people like to see art.
“How do [digital natives] relate to something and if it's memefied, then do they give it a second glance? What do they stop at and what makes them suddenly look again?” - Nishant, on Meme-fied vs mummified and people-watching at the MoMA.
🤳🏼 How does Jason deal with people taking his comedy out of context because of meme-ification and the content mill of social media? Has Jason changed his act at all with TikTok or Reels in mind?
✍🏼 Goodhart’s Law and how it applies to numbers on social media
🌏 Going back to the start in Perth (Australia), home of Jason Chatfield and a famous cricket stadium.
📺 Obligatory Kath and Kim reference.
Scribbling at Dizzy’s
Before hitting the road, we stopped in for a night at Dizzy’s for a night of jazz.
Brother and sister team, Vanisha & Victor Gould were taking the stage for the hour, with a mix of comedic banter and interesting covers of some great standards.
Harry’s Sidebar downtown at Hanover Square used some of my napkin sketches for their social media channels. Let me know if you have a fun idea that could use cartoons to bring some interesting light to your business.
If you enjoy my work, there’s a hefty chance you might like the people I enjoy, too. Each week, I share a new person who tickles my fancy. This week’s person is…
In 2024 I’ll have been a freelancer for 20 years.
Not only does that make me feel old, but it makes me realize just how much I’ve had to learn about being one’s own boss, being accountable (financially and otherwise), and trying to run your own shit.
It’s hard. It sounds fun and liberating, but it’s really, really hard.
When I started to properly panic about the Pandemic (I’m a late bloomer) in March of 2022, one of the most useful posts I’ve read dropped into my inbox. It was a newsletter aimed at freelancers called A-Mail written by Anna Codreo-Rado. It was the most useful information packed into the shortest amount of words, and forever more I have been subscribing and reading her work with great interest.is a writer and journalist with bylines in the New York Times, Financial Times, Guardian, Wired, Vice, and more. She is candid about how she makes her money, how she does it, and what challenges freelancers face in real time, now. (not in 2004.) If you’re a freelancer, I highly recommend you support and subscribe.
She always posts something with some swift illustrations by
I just made her a spinning avatar (above) using her logo. One day later, both of us were laid out with back injuries. Coincidence?
Anyway, Anna sums it up:
If we met at a conference and you asked me for career advice, would you buy me a coffee to say thanks? Probably. Why not support A-Mail instead – you get the same wisdom for less and you don’t even have to leave your sofa.
A-Mail is a newsletter about work, money, and power. You know, just the main forces in our lives.
Paying subscribers get access to my roundup of productivity recs, as well as my quarterly income reports where I share exactly how I made my money in the previous three months. Reader support also funds my stories, essays, and critical thinking on the chaos of modern work.
Here are two recent A-Mail posts:
Read and Support A-Mail. Your career crisis will thank you for it.
Until next time,
…to some cows.
He is not a fan of cows. Not at all.