#365: Best of New York Cartoons, A Clown Car of a Year & 2023 Sketchbook Megapost
+Paris sketchbook, and Morris finds a Christmas treat!
I hope you’ve had a relaxing break and are ready to kick 2024 directly in the conkers.
I’ve gotta be frank; looking back on this year has not been a pleasant experience. It plays less like a highlight reel and more like an In Memoriam package (and we know how much I love In Memoriam packages.)
I remember sitting at a Boston bar on New Year’s Eve and ordering a Happy 2023 from the bartender. He returned with a warm pint of dogshit and a stale vomit chaser. (Classic Boston.)
Before I bellyache any further, I should make clear that I’m abundantly aware of how lucky I am to have my health and to have a roof over my head. A lot of people have it far, far worse than me. I have friends and I have you— my readers. I’m grateful to you all.
With that said…
…2023 was a fucking clown car of grief.
I lost my dad, I lost my dear friend, I lost my job, I lost my publisher, I lost my regular ad clients to A.I., and when two more immediate family members ended up in the E.R. with life-threatening health issues, I nearly lost my fucking mind.
While I was lucky to have good friends to help me through it all, the stress took its toll and grief has been playing me like a broken clarinet.
I said goodbye to my time as President of the National Cartoonists Society after 4 challenging years. The unexpected Bill at the end of the awards dinner put a bleak stain on an already pain-soaked ordeal. It didn’t help the clarinet solo.
It was, however, a year of new beginnings.
I quit drinking in July, began running (wobbling), and lost 25lbs.
I quit Mailchimp and moved over to Substack to build a valuable relationship with real people (not bots). The vacuum created by lost work has left space for creating meaningful art that I enjoy sharing with people who genuinely value it. I’ll also be starting Process Junkie in 2024. The dream is to pay my rent by creating something of substance for you, here on Substack.
Speaking of which…
Because I just want to add to your already overflowing inbox of “2023 Wrapped” emails, I now present to you:
The 5 Most Popular Posts of 2023:
This week’s Sketchbook is a double-dose: The first is from this past weekend in Paris, the second is one giant omnibus edition of every sketchbook post from 2023 in a single unified page:
While I do love the convenience of an iPad/Wacom/Xenselabs tablet… I can’t ever replicate the joy of using analog tools. I’m starting a new Substack in 2024 called “Process Junkie” to explore all of the joys of the Process of making art. If you’re interested in that kind of thing, you can sign up here.
Until next year,
“Did u say Christmas Treat?”