I have long been a fan of political cartoons, I love the ability of an artist to convey a poignant message in a minimal amount of space. I've enjoyed both Conservative and Liberal cartoons if the imagery and message is delivered well.
I've long been a fan of the creative musings of Berke Breathed, Garry Trudeau, Cox & Forkum (John & Allen) and many more... One of my recent favorites, I stumbled upon a couple of years ago in a blog post, is Chris Muir, the writer and artist for Day By Day.
Chris blends a edgy even sexy artistic style, with mainstream political issues we face daily. He weaves together thoughts and philosophies of both Left and Right through the lives of 4 main characters and often illustrates the simple naivete of a position taken by today's political headliners, PAC's, and fringe groups by pitting one against the other in his characters' actions and words.
Chris obviously falls more on the Right side of the political spectrum, which I find refreshing (Duh...) because as seems to be the case with everything artistic or media related, the majority of cartoonists come from a left leaning slant, understandable considering idealism and passion often drives great art. Two traits the left has a PLETHORA of and two traits we conservatives often have to ask advice on how to.... um....
fake... learn! Yeah... learn!
So I was a bit dismayed this morning when I read the following from Chris Muir:
Unfortunately, technology finally ended my main job ... , which left DBD my only income.
He is left to turn to his readership for donations in the form of a fundraiser to continue publishing Day By Day. Which I actually respect a great deal. It is never easy to ask for compensation... when was the last time you asked your boss for a raise? But Chris has a bit more of a difficulty, we are his boss, all of us who enjoy his strip daily, intermittently... whenever.
Chris is following capitalism in the truest form... he is asking for donations to the cause. Personally I think it is more an issue of we consumers, pony-ing up and paying for the quality of writing and creativity we all enjoy. Idealistically Chris obviously produces Day By Day because it is what he enjoys... Pragmatically however he cannot continue to focus on creating these daily gems and pay the bills without some compensation. He is truly an independent publisher. And much like a server at your favorite restaurant... his livelyhood weighs heavily on... for lack of a better analogy... "TIPS!" from his patrons. So if you like the service/product you've been consuming and want to consume into the future, he requests that you show your support in the most pragmatic way... with your wallet.
Here's his deal... He is looking for donations to keep things going, in his words.
...according to 'The Long Tail' theory of Internet readers, there's usually a core 1% that come through for Internet publishers. All donations are critical, and I also ask again of that '1000'. Look what Leonidas did with the 300-except I don't have a 6-pack, I'm not a leader, and the thought of all of you in G-strings frankly worries me a bit.
But we share the same beliefs, I think.
The site's been redone, there's a forum coming up, there's an email subscription, searchable archives, new avatars, a new DBD banner that shows the strip in a popup (so you have more advertising space on your own blog),twitter, free Wowio DBD ebooks, and when you donate to DBD you receive pdfs of never released drawings of DBD's start back in 1998 (yes, 2 years before DBD went up), examples of just how different Jan, Damon, Sam, and Zed were before 2001.
Depending on which of the 4 Donation Levels you select, there is also a DBD Playing Card deck, Sam posters, plus Original DBD hand-written script sheets complete with hand-signed strips that derive from those scripts.
That was the carrot, now for the stick, and...I don't have a stick.
I'll still try & get DBD out.
I think you can tell from the strip that I'm something of a minimalist. I drive a Honda that was new when Arsenio was hot. My first vacation in 12 years, and I go to Iraq to research for the characters. This isn't for sympathy, but clarity. I love doing DBD. Every hard-earned dollar you send here is for one purpose-to make it possible for me to improve and continue DBD for you (and me!).
In a PC correct era, DBD's characters speak with you on issues you find important. PC still rules the MSM, whether newspapers, the networks, or well-funded 'pundits'. DBD connects with people directly, the only comic where the readers are the source and the feature. You might depend on DBD, but the reality is DBD depends on you.
Help keep our voice out there. In one day, all of you got DBD more than halfway through 2008. Again, whatever amount is donated, I'll give directly back in DBD strips.
And yes. This time I will leave the Fundraiser up for a month, not a day.
If you too would like to contribute to Chris's work, I recommend you go here and throw a few bucks his way! [Link]