PICTURE QUOTE OF THE MONTH:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing
sound they make as they fly by."
- Douglas Adams
And March. I've been through alternating periods of business and laziness
since New Years hence, no Big Picture newsletter. The lack of a February
newsletter makes up for the long-windedness of the Dec. and Jan. newsletters.
the midst of a Nor'easter. It's March 6 and here on the South Shore of Boston,
the sleet is pelting, the streets just one block away are flooding at high
tide, the temperature is dropping, and the wind is howling off the Atlantic.
What better time to write my dopey newsletter...
The news headlines
yesterday here in the eastern U.S. were dominated by the stoopid giant storm
we're experiencing. That is until the noon news came on. The Big Picture
is blessed with many MANY readers in Southern California and there's not
much more to say except that our thoughts and prayers are with all the people
connected in any way (come to think of it, that includes ALL of us as humans)
to the victims of the Santana High School shootings in Santee, Ca. today.
I'll leave it at that simply because I admit I have no words for something
that seems so senseless. It's pretty rare I have nothing to say.
On to the much
creator of the Foxtrot comic strip, is correct in his words of wisdom (and
thanks, Dan D., for reminding me)- "Newspaper editors generally try
to follow the path of least resistance when it comes to comics they run."
Meaning, "don't bug us editors and we'll keep feeding you the same
comic strips for the next 40 years."
The Big Picture
can be found on lots of websites and we're grateful for that. BUT...there's
nothing like seeing it in the paper, no? The best advice, for those of you
that have asked, is to write, fax, e-mail, or call your local paper (most
search engines will get you to most newspapers). Simply contact the comics
editor or features editor and give 'em your two cents (make it three) worth.
They do listen. Most of 'em. Eventually.
it helps A LOT, even if they hear from a couple dozen people on a specific
strip. Imagine if you tell your friends, family, and goldfish to do the
but loudly ask them to carry The Big Picture syndicated by Universal Press
Syndicate. They know who we are and the crack sales team (yeah, yeah, not
the sales team on crack) at Universal will get right to them. If you need
help with contact information, don't hesitate to e-mail us through Planetlennie.com,
TELEGRAM AND GAZETTE
is doing a survey (i guess over the next 8 weeks) asking for comic strip
suggestions. They are FINALLY replacing "Peanuts", Praise the
Lord. I mean, don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Peanuts, y'know? I mean absolutely
NO disrespect to the memory of a man i consider a GENIUS. Charles Schulz
had a HUGE impact on my life, ALL of my life, never mind our very CULTURE
and language. Funny, thought provoking, a HUGE influence, a legend, blah,
blah, blah... but, um...time to turn the page on the Peanuts, y'know? Actually
thinking about it now, it's time to turn the page on ALOT of comic strip
geniuses and let 'em rest in peace...but I digress...
It's just strange
to have The Big Picture running in so many markets from Toronto to Tennessee
to Ohio to California to Russia (yup. Russia.Weird, huh?) to Australia but
i ain't getting arrested in Worcester, Ma., my native community and home
of some of the best Clutch Grabwell fans in the whole wide world. Okay,
i can get arrested (hi, officer Tom H.) but you know what i mean....
Anyway, I digress
once again. If you wanna see The Big Picture (carried by Universal Press)
in the stoopid Telegram, you can put the word in at www.telegram.com/comics.
Thanks as always. See you at the next Clutch thing.
GLOBE and/or THE BOSTON HERALD
I swear, I'm
asked at least once a day (and at least three times on Clutch gigs) by readers
how they can help get The Big Picture into the Globe or Herald. Same scoop
as the Telegram (see above for sordid and blatant begging). Here's the info-
the name of
the editor at The Globe is Matt Storin and here is a link to the e-mail
Next up, The
Herald. The editor is Andrew Costello and his contact information is - http://www.bostonherald.com/contactus.htm.
they say, vote and vote often...
that hassling with the OCR? All that writing and calling you all have been
doing out there? It paid off. To a certain extent, anyway. I don't know
exactly what the deal is but this is what happened-
I got word
about 2 weeks ago from my syndicate's west coast sales manager that they
were finally giving into the continuous (you guys are awesomely persistant.
it's GREAT) e-mails and calls for The Big Picture's return. That, plus the
work of the Universal Press sales team out there, convinced them to start
running the strip again, starting this past Sunday, March 4, with their
reformatting. I can't tell you how excited and grateful I was. Then I got
word that, for reasons unknown, they would only run Sundays. Okay, I says
to myself, "whatever(that's me, talking to my computer)... whaddayagonnado?"
Then, come to find out, we weren't in there this Sunday. Word is, they were
late on their deadline. Or something. They say we'll be in there this Sunday
the 11th. Sundays only, however. Hopefully that is..ahem...a temporary situation.
just passin' the word along.
As I said in
the last two newsletters, I kind of give up on the OCR but i DEEPLY appreciate
those of you that haven't. If it's still not too frustrating for you, here's
the contact info for THEM-
Tonnie L. Katz, senior vice president and editor
END OF THE
WHINING AND CONTACTS
Okay, I'm done
whining and pleading and giving you the contact info you've been asking
for. For now.
I'll be giving a talk at Framingham (Ma.) State College to the Art students
there on Tuesday, March 14 from 12:30 to 2:30. if interested, throw me an
e-mail and I'll see what I can do about getting you in.
I'll be in Kansas City on strip business the week of May 1. I'll keep you
I'll most likely be at this years Cartoonists' convention in May (for those
of you that have asked) as I was last year in New York. I haven't decided
yet. Keep you posted on that, too. If you care. And if you don't.
FOURTH ANNUAL 39TH BIRTHDAY BASH
Yup. I know this is early to announce but MARK IT DOWN PLEASE! We're all
looking forward to this year's bash at The Plantation Club in Woosta once
again. If you live anywhere else, get a plane ticket and come to beautiful
Worcester,Ma. We run this benefit every year for "Why Me, Inc."
a charity organization that helps kids with cancer and their families. The
bash is a GREAT time with GREAT bands, GREAT friends and a GREAT cause.
This year it'll be held on Friday, May 4. For those of you on the planet
that can't make it,I'll post the t-shirts on my website. We sell them for
10 bucks, they're different every year, and there's no better cause in my
opinion. And all the profits go straight to the charity. More details in
mid-April. And speaking of charities...
I want to thank the Eberly Foundation for meeting with me at Harvard University
last week. They're donating a healthy sum of dough to the above said charity,
"Why Me, Inc.", in the name of The Big Picture and in exchange
for some artwork I'll be doing for them. The Eberly Foundation is an educational
non-profit organization based in Pensylvania and I'm happy to be on board.
WE GET MAIL.
strip I did on February 23 about "Melissa" and me? And I was building
a wall around myself? I'm always asked what strips generate the most mail.
That strip generated THE most mail I've ever gotten on a Big Picture 'toon.
Yikes. Apparently pushed a lot of buttons. LOTS o' people identified with
that one. Kind of scary. Males and females, by the way. Just thought you
might wanna know.
The Dawn saga
unfolds to it's final conclusion (for now, anyway) starting this Wednesday,
As you know,
I'm 4 weeks ahead of deadline, from when the strip appears, so all the stuff
you'll see happened about four weeks ago.
word of it (I did 3 weeks worth of strips) is true. You'll see.
And last but
DEFINITELY not the least, all is spankin' with Clutch. Sheesh, We're rippin'
it up these days. In no small part due to Andrew Hickman, our new saxamaphone
guy...The guy is a PLEASURE to be an onstage partnership with in every way.
Just when I thought the Clutch thing couldn't get any better, it got better.
Thanks to the band and the handywork of Jeff The Man (aka; André)
pulling so much together for us at all times, it sure does make work fun.
Jeff's got one of them there thankless jobs where he does all this stuff
that keeps the band propelled while us idiots stand around basking in the
adoration and beer.
the next c.d. and it's long overdue. Mark's written all the kick ass tunes
(we're playing them live), now we're just raisin' scratch to make that happen.
Also, we WILL
get back to the West Coast. We get lots of e-mails asking and we appreciate
it a LOT. We're trying now to figure the most opportune time and the best
way to do an entire west coast swing, Seattle down to San Diego and all
locations in between. It may not be until the Fall but we WILL be out. We
LOVED it there.
all gigs and info at all times can be found at grabwell.com. or by calling
Okay, my house
is blowing away and Fuzzbucket cowers under the bed.... gotta go.
And thank you so much for your support of my work. Oh, and the coffee and
Fancy Feast shipments. And, as always, thanks especially for the read...