• Steve and Melissa Burnett

Gold in the Sand Box



Good morning Monday on Tuesday, ugh my weeks is dragging, or is it blowing by? I am so tired I cannot tell the difference. I am a prop cartoonist. I like to tell a story with the props in the cartoon. My narrative is simply to set up the props. It is amusing, at least to me, to look back on and review my cartoons to see what I struggled with and what I should done differently. It is my process of the continuous improvement business model (CIBM). On this cartoon I spent a lot of sketch time struggling with my driller DI sitting on a tricycle. You may notice the tricycle did not make the final art. I finally, out of frustration, just put DI on a bucket. I also had a lot of ideas on stuff to add on my suggestions sketch, fishing reel, cheese grader, thread spools for the bop, GI Joes, toy dump truck, water hose spray nozzle, and an umbrella. One important thing I have learned through my CIBM is that too many props can be as fatal as not enough props. The idea is to engage the reader and amuse them within 8 seconds. It is more like bull riding, except I do not smash your face in with my ink pen if I throw you off. So for 8 seconds I am going to give you a ride and in the process hope to entertain you enough to get a grin from you. And that is not my research on the 8 seconds on the cartoon, I read that years ago and it stuck with me. So I spend 4-6 hours per cartoon to give you an 8 second ride, ugh I am not getting paid enough for this. Now that I think about it, I am not getting paid anything.

Not getting paid brings me to my second thoughts on my cartoons. I have told my wife on a few occasions that my cartoons are like gold mining, I am confident there is some money there we just have to figure out the right process to retrieve it. My business model is the Ace Reid business model. Ace had his cartoons in newspapers and created his revenue through his calendars and book sales. My cartoons are in 38 newspapers and what little revenue I get has been in the calendar sales. I know too that newspapers are not as popular as they used to be, nor are calendars but I have yet to figure out another process that will allow us to retrieve some revenue out of my cartoons. Of course Ace Reid was a great self salesman and story teller neither of which I am. I hope that is not the final key to figuring this out because if it is, we are in trouble.

So this cartoon has been very popular, and while I am trying to figure out a way to keep my audience on for longer than 8 seconds a thought came to me. In the past I have had request for cartoons to be in posters which I am always glad to do. I thought what I need is to come out with a poster while the rodeo is still going on. So I am offering this cartoon as a poster and will repost on my social media where it has been popular. I will also add any kind of message a person wants on the image, which I can do since we are a small time studio.

Who knows this might be my opportunity to make as much money on my gold as Parker Schnabel does with his Alaskan Gold Mine. I can see me next year traveling to Australia trying to find some cartoons to mine.

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