To sign up for SPARKY’S LIST please click HERE. To find out what SPARKY’S LIST is, keep reading.
Following the path recently trailblazed by my good friend Ruben Bolling, I am unveiling a new feature for the truly devoted This Modern World reader: SPARKY’S LIST.
As you may have heard, the newspaper industry has been undergoing some difficulties of late. As regular readers of this blog are aware, too many altweeklies have decided to save literally tens of dollars a week by cutting their most popular features — the comics.
Thanks to the internet, my cartoons are more widely read than I could have ever imagined possible, when I started out twenty or so years ago. But as my readership expands exponentially, my income remains in steady decline. I’m no economist, but that doesn’t seem sustainable to me.
I’m still fortunate enough to have a substantial number of clients both in print and online, for which I am profoundly grateful — but the reality is that the world is changing rapidly, and we all need to keep figuring out different ways to adapt.
So I’ve decided to add a new component to the overall Tomorrowco strategy for survival, and offer my own email subscription service which — as previously noted — I’m calling SPARKY’S LIST. Like Ruben, I didn’t want to ask for charity — I’ve always been somewhat uncomfortable even having that donations button on the blog. Instead, I wanted to offer something of value to TMW’s most devoted readers — the opportunity to see the cartoon several days before it appears online or in print, as well as the convenience of having it delivered directly to your inbox. If you’re one of those people who can never remember where you left your keys or what day TMW appears on what website, this is the answer for you. About the cartoon, I mean. I can’t help you with your keys.
Think of it as a Kickstarter project to sustain something that already exists, and that you would like to see continue.
(This little effort is unlikely to have any impact on existing print and online clients — even if things work out beyond my wildest expectations, the subscriber list will not be more than a fraction of any given paper or website’s readership — but I will gladly discuss specific numbers with any editor who has concerns.)
For subscribers to SPARKY’S LIST, each week will be like that old tv show from the 90s with the cat who brought the newspaper a day early, except instead of tomorrow’s news and stock prices, you’ll be getting a satirical cartoon by Tom Tomorrow. (Also, no cat will be involved in the distribution process.)
But wait, there’s more.
I’ll also offer occasional extras, such as alternate unpublished drafts of cartoons, contest/giveaways, “classics” from years past, and other bonus content to be determined. But don’t worry, I won’t spam your inbox — these will simply be the sprinkles on the delicious, weekly ice cream sundae that is SPARKY’S LIST.
The cost is $9.99 for a six month subscription, which, for comparative purposes, is literally less than any common item or experience you can think of that would cost you more than $9.99! (Update: if you choose the Paypal method, the subscription is one year for $20 — or more if you’re feeling generous!)
And in all seriousness, you’ll be helping to support the cartoon, and keep it alive. Which is no small thing.
To sign up, click HERE .’