Evan Dorkin (evandorkin) wrote,
Evan Dorkin
evandorkin

Mad, Bad, And Depressing To Know

We just received a letter from the folks at Mad detailing changes at the magazine -- namely, Mad will now be a quarterly (albeit a larger-sized publication), Mad Kids and Classics are folding, and several staffers were laid off. This wasn't just bad news because of our possibly losing a client or work, I feel really bad about the troubles the magazine, as well as the publishing world, is going through, and this just brought it home. I know that Diamond's recently released policy changes will affect us more, SLG relies heavily on re-lists, and the small press will be crippled, further, by the new minimums, but the comic industry has always been, as Dan Vado put it, "built on jelly", and I've been here for almost 20 years making minimal to moderate comic book money, so this comes as little surprise. But I wasn't aware of how bad magazine distribution has become, and a venerable magazine like Mad, a comic but in some ways never thought of as a comic, well, seeing it take a gutshot like this shakes one up. Or at least me. There are people who live off their Mad income, we're not one of those, and I can see this affecting a lot of  freelancers who relied on 12 issues of material for their income.  There's going to be less room for folks like us, who came to the party late, and have less of a track record, but hopefully we'll still pick up a gig here and there. I hope the new plan works out alright and Mad can stay on the shelves for a good while longer, there's still a large fan base there, but publishing is just so squeezed. Jeez.

On top of that, while checking to see if the Mad situation was made public as the freelancer note implied (I wouldn't have posted about it otherwise), I found mention on The Beat that Bob Schreck was laid off from DC Comics/Vertigo. Bob is a friend of ours, and I am sorry to see this happen. I am sure he'll land on his feet, and soon, but this has to be a real upheaval. I met Bob in 1987 at the San Diego Comic-Con. Bob has helped me out a lot during my career, especially early on, when he and Diana Schutz really looked out for me and kept me in mind for some early freelance work. I worked with him while he was at DHC and Oni, and we talked briefly about doing something together at Vertigo at some point. He also helped me when I was recruiting folks for World's Funnest. So, I wish Bob the best during these insane times. Sheesh.

Despite everything, I've been weirdly optimistic about our own 2009, based on the things that we're involved in, and what work I'm already contracted to do. But...this sure makes my stomach hurt. It barely affects us, I never got a ton of work from mad, but it's bad news, and hits people close to us, and there's so many other shoes left to drop in the coming months and perhaps years.  I've had contracted work go up in smoke before, and to be honest, I don't what I'd do if my freelancing dried up. I mean, I'd go look for a retail job, I guess, but...I'm not qualified for jack crap other than drawing dumb stuff.

My stomach hurts.
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  • The Vanisher

    Some of you folks might remember my posting a pencil sketch of this idiot a ways back. Sarah bought me an Artograph light pad to replace the big,…

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