Winner of the 2013 Herblock award; 2015 Society of Illustrators Silver Medal recipient; 2015 first place AAN award for cartooning; 2015 Pulitzer finalist.

Hey! Don't forget to visit the online store for t-shirts, plush Sparkys and all-new dry-erase boards! NEW: if you missed the Kickstarter for 25 YEARS OF TOMORROW, not to worry! IDW Publishing has just released a second, expanded edition! And of course the most recent trade compilation, CRAZY IS THE NEW NORMAL, is still available as well!

READ THE LATEST CARTOON Mondays at Daily Kos and Tuesdays at The Nib!

New toon

Unspeakable! (Hint: vaginas are involved.)

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 10:35 AM | link
Thanks Matt Groening

Never mind the Simpsons — thanks for all the great years of Life in Hell. Thanks for making cartoons an integral part of the altweekly papers, until they weren’t. Thanks for leading the way, and changing my life in the process.

I have said before that the continued survival of this little corner of cartooning in which I toil is largely dependent upon the support we receive from publishers, which is increasingly in decline. Lloyd Dangle tossed in the towel awhile back, as did Lynda Barry, and now Matt Groening himself has retired his long-running, ground-breaking strip.

“Life in Hell”‘s newspaper count has dwindled over the years as cutbacks and consolidation forced out many features. Syndicated by Acme Features Syndicate, which Groening created, the strip hit a peak of nearly 380 papers in the early 1990s. In recent years, the strip appeared in less than 40.

One high-profile cancellation came from LA Weekly, which removed the strip back in 2009 due to budget cuts. Pandora Young, an editor for Mediabistro’s FishbowlLA (and a former LA Weekly staffer), was incensed by the news.

“Groening has been good to the Weekly over the years — making himself available to the staff for interviews, illustrating covers for the Weekly for the paper’s small standard fee despite his enormous success, and continuing to read the paper itself,” Young wrote when she found out.

“Dropping the cartoon seems incredibly short-sighted, so it’s probably safe to assume it was a decision made by the corporate offices in Phoenix.”

I’ll never understand why so many altweekly publishers have become so indifferent to the art form that helped define and establish their papers, to the extent that said art form is now dying on the vine.

But for now: thanks, Matt. Thanks for all the years. Thanks for the inspiration.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 10:20 AM | link
Catching up

Catching up after a week at Netroots Nation and another at an undisclosed vacation location.

–Last week’s cartoon is here, the latest is here.

–Josh Holland interviews Matt Bors and me, here.

–Americablog’s Gaius Publius asks me Five Questions, here.

–many thanks to everyone who subscribed to Sparky’s List while I was travelling. Not sure if I got a mention somewhere or this is just the natural progression of these things, but it was great to come home to.

–I’ve got a backlog of signed print orders due to the vacation; I’ll try to get those out this week. Also, I owe some people thanks for recent donations. Apologies for the delays.

–from @drreganc, a picture of Droney in front of the Pentagon.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 9:54 AM | link

Me, Jen Sorensen and Matt Bors, visiting the studio (and borrowing the handiwork of) Big Nazo.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 11:23 PM | link
And a quick note of thanks

Response to Sparky’s List has been extraordinary, and I want to sincerely thank everyone who has signed up so far. This level of direct audience support can go a long ways toward keeping the cartoon sustainable.

If there area any SL subscribers at NN this week, please be sure to introduce yourselves.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 11:25 AM | link
Maker’s schedule

Note to every editor, publisher, and/or anyone else I’ve ever offended by avoiding a lunch meeting: please read this.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 10:46 AM | link
Netroots Nation

I’ll be on a panel with Matt Bors and Jen Sorensen on Saturday, and we’ll all be hanging around the Daily Kos booth the rest of the time. Please stop by!

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 10:44 AM | link

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