Chattanooga Times Free Press
Oct 26, 2012
Chris Arrant of Comics Book Resources interviewed me about my career, comics journalism, “the industry,” and plans that I’m hatching.
What are the things youre personally concerned about the industry you work in?
As long as we are keeping the whole concept of money around as a society, Im deeply worried about earning enough. Look, staff editorial cartoonists are still being axed left and right. We have yet to hit the level of staffers that we will never exceed again. Who knows how low that number is. Forty? Five? There will always be some, but there arent many people getting in this field anymore. Im the last Association of American of Editorial Cartoonists member in their 20s. Either I have the entire field to myself or I made a mistake on Career Day.
Thanks for all the support so far! After the first week, I am well on my way to funding this project. As I said in my video, I want to make this book as kick-ass as possible, and that means hiring an editor and other positions that normally come with having a fancy publishing house behind you. It’s also the responsibility of job creators, like myself and Mitt Romney, to create jobs whenever we can for the betterment of America. The following folks are officially employed:
Editor: Sarah Mirk
Layout and Design: Masheka Wood
Copy editor/index: Jessie Carver
Sarah Mirk is a reporter for the Portland Mercury, a sometimes-cartoonist, and is currently writing a book called Sex From Scratch. Her writing is smart, funny and grounded in journalism exactly what I’m looking for on this project. Another important factor is that she lives close enough to me to attend Important Business Meetings at a bar of my choosing.
Masheka Wood is a fellow cartoonist who has been helping me color my comics over the last few months as well as work on design and illustration gigs so that I may sleep at regular intervals. He’ll be doing the interior design and production on the book so that I can focus on busting out the writing and continuing to engage in this new sleeping practice.
Jessie Carver is a freelance editor who makes sure every issue of bitch magazine comports to the current rules of the English language. She was one of the first people I showed this project to and immediately committed to creating a hilarious and accurate index after arguing with me about Oxford commas for like a fucking hour.
If you haven’t done so yet, back my book and make it happen.
We’ve been in the Silly Season for a while now, and as we get down to the wire and the polls tighten, we enter what I call the “Do You Want Mitt Romney To Win?!” phase of the election. Partisan lines have been drawn, the tribal mind emerges, and calculations about the lesser of two evils have been heavily weighed. Any mention of things detrimental to that candidate now pose a serious risk of outright electing his challenger. Allegedly.
As a cartoonist you just try to treat these weeks like any other and not pull any punches I’d feel like a hack if I did and I’m not getting paid enough to shill. A number of people have made the case to me that, a Romney presidency being much worse, we need to wait until after election day to unload on Obama about drones and other matters we won’t solve in two weeks.
But the Obama camp is sure making that difficult. This week, Robert Gibbs was confronted about the killing of 16-year-old US citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, son Anwar al-Awlaki who was targeted for death by robot in Yemen. Abdulrahman wasn’t on the kill list and is a minor, to boot. Gibbs’ answer: “have a far more responsible father.”
Even more troubling, the Washington Post has run an incredible series reporting on an ever-expanding kill list and unlimited theater of war with “no end in sight.” If you are willing to give Obama a pass on this, consider the precedent he’s setting for future presidents. Spencer Ackerman sums it up nicely at Wired:
Obama did not run for president to preside over the codification of a global war fought in secret. But thats his legacy. Administration officials embraced drone strikes because they viewed them as an acceptable alternative to conventional ground warfare, which it considered too costly and too public, but the tactic has now become practically the entire strategy. Micah Zenko at the Council on Foreign Relations writes that Obamas predecessors in the Bush administration were actually much more conscious and thoughtful about the long-term implications of targeted killings, because they feared the political consequences that might come when the U.S. embraces something at least superficially similar to assassination. Whomever follows Obama in the Oval Office can thank him for proving those consequences dont meaningfully exist as he or she reviews the backlog of names on the Disposition Matrix.