For those of you wondering about the workload of a cartoonist, the above picture may supply an answer. I got the two plastic containers (in the back) for The Family Monster, but I was buying them so quickly I realized I’d need to start getting a bigger box. I now have filled three of the acid free cardboard boxes (in the front). One holds The Family Monster, two hold Welcome to Falling Rock National Park.
I’ve done two comic strips since graduating from college. The first, The Family Monster, ran in the Colorado Daily for four years. I drew 940 comics in all. I switched things up three years ago and started Welcome to Falling Rock National Park for the MCT Campus. So far I’ve done 558 comics.
With practice comes improvement. I couldn’t have done this without outside deadlines. Can you imagine drawing this much without anyone outside yourself pushing you on? For that I am grateful to the Colorado Daily and the MCT Campus for taking on an unknown cartoonist and letting me do pretty much whatever I want. There has been a lot of experimentation these last seven years; I’ve enjoyed that freedom.
When I visited the Cartoon Research Library in Columbus, OH, I got to see a few original Calvin & Hobbes comics. I didn’t get to see the stacks and stacks they had in the (climate-controlled) back room, but I imagine it is an impressive sight. Think about this: what you see pictured is roughly five days a week with two or three comics fit on a single piece of Bristol board paper, for seven years. Bill Watterson worked on Calvin & Hobbes every day (with the exception of two vacations) for ten years. That’s a lot of paper.