What to do if you want to see my cartoons…and a bunch of other stuff…

My game plan for the coming year…

Let’s start here: the internet has provided creators – writers, musicians and artists – access to a platform for our work. We no longer need the OK of some editor or publisher to show our creations to an audience.

So far, so good.

But without a newspaper or record company or book publisher promoting that work, we’re also on our own when it comes to building an audience.

I’ve read the advice of people explaining how to build an audience on the internet and frankly, it just makes my ass tired. There’s no way I’m going to Tweet 20 times a day or share the moment I have a chocolate chip cookie on Instagram.

I figure we all have a limited amount of time, energy and creativity and I have no inclination to put any of that into self-promotion.

When Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld were working on their ground-breaking show they decided they would put absolutely no effort into coming up with cute titles for episodes. If they had any extra energy leftover they would put it into the scripts and that’s how we wound up with shows called “The Contest” or “The Bizarro Jerry” and maybe the best sitcom of all time.

Pretty sure it won’t work out as well for me, but if it was good enough for those guys I’ll go the same route: any creative energy I have will go in to producing content and after that I’ll let the chips fall where they may.

BTW: I also suck at “branding”

Besides self-promoting and living every moment of your private life on social media, the people who give advice on building a blog audience strongly suggest “branding” which is defined as:

“The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identified and differentiates a product from other products.”

After looking at some blogs that have been deemed a success at creating a brand and carving out a niche audience, they seemed incredible specific and narrow – The blog for albino Chihuahua owners! – and therefore limiting.

I mean what if the Chihuahua guy woke up one morning and felt like writing about miniature poodles? If he gave in to that impulse he’d screw up his brand.

I started this blog back in August because I wanted to write down some of my family stories before we all croaked or went batshit crazy, but found I enjoyed the process of writing and kept remembering stories that ought to be reserved for posterity’s sake or FBI files.

So I kept on writing.

Family stories morphed into rants about old guys with ponytails and detailed explanations of why true baseball fans should root for the Washington Nationals over the Houston Astros…and boy…did I get that one right.

I recently spent the holidays out in California and also spent some time thinking about what I wanted to accomplish in 2020. And now – after going 15 rounds with a cold upon my return to the Midwest – I’m finally getting around to explaining what I plan to do this next year.

After giving it some thought I have decided my brand is going to be whatever the hell I feel like doing at the moment and I’ll post that stuff here.

And so far, my creative impulses seem to fall into three categories.

Political cartoons

A number of people have told me how much they miss my political cartoons and while I realize people say a lot of stuff they don’t really mean I’m going to give those people a chance to see what I’m up to.

I still draw political cartoons almost every day for King Features and those cartoons are distributed around the country, but I never know what newspapers publisher them or when they appear in print.

So I’m going to post those cartoons here for the people that subscribe – $5 a month to see a daily political cartoon.

But…as they used to say in those Ginsu knife commercials…wait, there’s more.

Baseball from the player’s point of view

Back in 2010 when the Kansas City Star gave me the “Judging the Royals” blog and let me do whatever I wanted, I decided to write about baseball from the players’ point of view. Focus on the process instead of the results and ask the players why they did what they did.

Turned out the players liked talking about inside baseball and explaining what the hell was going on that most of us missed.

  • Why they might take an extra base after a rain delay. (The grass gets wet and so does the ball and that makes it harder to throw out a runner.)

  • How to have an argument at home plate without letting fans know. (Everybody keeps staring straight ahead at the pitcher while telling each other to go to hell.)

  • How buddies on opposing teams say hi. (The hitter will tap the catcher’s shin guard or an infielder will tap an opposing runner’s ass with his glove.)

I know there are people who find baseball boring, but the more you know the more interesting the game becomes and I’m hoping some of you will read what I write and give baseball a second chance.

This coming season I will still write about baseball for the Kansas City Star, but the stuff that doesn’t make it in the paper will appear here.

Funny shit

Despite the fact that I’m supposed to be very specific about what my blog will be one of my creative categories is “funny shit” and that includes whatever makes me laugh.

Recently it was flying on Spirit Airlines, before that it was a movie starring Mexican wrestlers fighting a gang of vampires and back in December it was dumbass guys buying exercise bikes for their wives for Christmas. (Turns out I was right about that, too.)

I can’t tell you what I’m going to write about until something makes me laugh and I never know when or where or what that’s going to be.

So there you go.

If you want to see a bunch of political cartoons, read interesting stuff about baseball or just laugh at some of the stupid things us humans get up to, I’m your guy.

Five bucks a month and I’ll do my best to be entertaining.

And that’s my damn brand.