To sign up for SPARKY’S LIST please click HERE. To find out what SPARKY’S LIST is, keep reading.
As you may have heard, the newspaper industry has been undergoing some difficulties of late. Far 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 almost three decades ago. But as my readership expands exponentially, my income continues to decline. I’m no economist, but that doesn’t seem sustainable to me.
The uncertainty of my future was recently compounded by my divorce. For years, I counted on the security of my wife’s income as a way of cushioning the unpredictability of my own; unfortunately this is no longer an operative safety net. 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, I just hit an iceberg in my personal life, and I need to keep figuring out different ways to stay afloat. “How can I help,” you are undoubtedly asking yourself at this moment, perhaps out loud, to the annoyance of your co-workers or the random pedestrians around you.
Well, you can subscribe to SPARKY’S LIST.
“And what is this thing called SPARKY’S LIST,” you would ask, if I were to continue with that particular framing device, which I think I will not. But to answer your imaginary question anyway: it’s a weekly email subscription service, which allows TMW’s most devoted readers the opportunity to get a sneak preview of the cartoon each Sunday, before it goes live the following week, as well as providing 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.
(It’s like a Patreon, except that I had this system up and running before Patreon ever existed, and have a sizable enough subscriber base now that it’s not worth trying to transfer over.)
For subscribers to SPARKY’S LIST, each week is 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.
SPARKY’S LIST also features occasional extras, such as short (or sometimes not-so-short) essays to accompany each new cartoon, alternate unpublished drafts of cartoons, contest/giveaways, “classics” from years past, personal photographs, and other bonus content depending on my mercurial whims. 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 $10 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 $10!
And in all seriousness, you’ll be helping to support my work and keep TMW alive in an ongoing moment of great uncertainty in my career, my personal life, and in the world at large.
To sign up, click HERE.
(PS: apologies to those who don’t want to sign up with a credit card for whatever reason, but I am entirely at the mercy of the interface which allows me to integrate payment processing with the mailing list management software, and for the foreseeable future, other methods of payment like Paypal, personal checks, etc. are not possible.)