Cartoonist’s Note: While I take time away from my drawing board to organize the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention I am featuring the work of some attendees, though in this case it is a prospective attendee. Matt Davies, the winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize, is tied up and may not be able to make it to Salt Lake. He says he’ll try.
Some good Utah vibes sent his way may tip the balance.
Matt is especially busy because, besides his daily cartoons, he has been creating and promoting a children’s book, "Ben Rides On". It is about Ben-of-the-title, who loves to ride his bike, and an encounter with the local bully, Adrian Underbite. It’s received glowing reviews and a second book is in the works.
Many editorial cartoonists moonlight in related fields. Steve Kelley and Jeff Parker collaborate on the comic strip "Dustin". Jack Ohman of the Sacramento Bee wrote books about fly fishing. Some even try their hand at fine art. Pat Oliphant, who may be the most influential cartoonist of the 20th century, paints and is into creating bronze sculptures. (If you have to ask how much they go for, you can’t afford one.)
Someone once pitched me an idea that was a guaranteed money-maker, and would have called on my artistic talents. It really was solid gold, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do what was required. Not that I’m a paragon of virtue when it comes to making a buck, but I couldn’t do this and live with myself.
The idea? Do paintings on commission for grieving owners of dearly loved, recently deceased pets. With Jesus. In heaven.
I’m sure someone out there with different sensibilities is already coming up with a business plan.
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