I admire Bill Clinton for a lot of reasons. First off, I just LOVE adultery. …Kidding! I just thought we’d haul that elephant in the room right out of the corner and into the light before moving on! Ok, so that’s adultery, not so fond of, Bill Clinton? Love him. The reason I like him so much is that he’s so different than me. He’s charming and outgoing. A people person who is also fiercely intelligent and well-educated. He appears to have been a good father to Chelsea and I thought he was a good President. Oh, and I adore his wife.

What in the world does all of this have to do with cartooning? Well, I am getting to that, in my roundabout way. The other day I posted about my experiences being syndicated. I was nervous about putting all of that into the everlasting print of the internet, but I thought it needed to be said. I posted it on my first day back because I kind of wanted to sneak that one in under the radar when no one was reading over here anymore. Yes, it’d still be in print, but soon enough it’d be pushed back in the archives and you REALLY have to love a blog to pour back over the archives. But then it was picked up by the Daily cartoonist (Great site, but the way) and suddenly I am getting a lot of traffic and emails about a subject that I’m still uneasy that I wrote about.

It would have been much funner (not a word. I KNOW!) to write about being so wildly successful that people were literally shoving money at me from all directions. To be able to shit and have it turn to gold. To have newspaper editors chasing me down and throwing great handfuls of money at me (like I assume they do to Jim Davis). 😉 To have it falling out of my pockets and tripping the masses, instead of bleeding money like my cartoon actually did. Sigh…

Oh, I don’t regret writing that post. Not REALLY. I’ve wanted to tell this story for a year and I’m not embarrassed by my story or about my honesty. It’s just that I am an intensely private person who just aired their laundry publically. For good or bad you’ve seen me bloomers. But, at least they were clean…

I do have regrets about my syndication story. Mostly that I chose to stay in the background and in the dark about so much that was happening with Clear Blue Water. I am NOT like Bill Clinton (no, I didn’t forget him. I’m bringin’ it on home!) I am not a natural salesman. I am not a bull-shitter, a charmer, a glad-hander. I am a natural wallflower. I like to watch people but not actually interact with them too much. I’m a shy loner, not to put too fine of a point on it, and I think that not being able to overcome my natural personality was a detriment in this instance.

If Bill Clinton had drawn and written Clear Blue Water, if he hadn’t changed a thing, if every gag was exactly the same, I GUARANTEE it would have been wildly successful. It would be in every newspaper in the country. The gags would be on everyone’s lips. Not because I think Clear Blue Water is better than everything out there, but because I’ve come to realize that the person behind the cartoon really can make or break it. They really can. He would have made it a success DESPITE the marginal art. Despite the niche audience appeal. Despite all of it’s flaws.

Bill Watterson does not need to be like Bill Clinton. …I did.

What would Clinton have done differently than me? First, he would have charmed the pants off of everyone he met. By the time he got off the phone or left the syndicate every person he met would have been desperate to work their tail off to make him successful. I’m sure he’d have worked the phone and sent out letters and by golly, somehow, coming from him it wouldn’t be irritating. At the very least he would have faced his checks with complete confidence that they were going to keep increasing rather than fear that it was all going to fade away…

What I’m trying to say is that Clinton would have been a success no matter what he was trying to do in life. If film making had caught his fancy, he’d be Spielberg. And if cartooning had caught his fancy, he would NOT be me.

What I wanted to do was cartoon, not be a businessman. I let the syndicate handle everything. I rarely questioned them and I never made waves. And this did not work out too well for me. If I was to get syndicated again, I don’t know if I could do anything differently. I would WANT to, and I would try to, but moving out of my comfort zone is hard for me.

Hence this post…

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