I practiced this trick until I became good enough at it to get pats and treats sufficient to live on. At age 23 I began what eventually would turn into a 36 year career of unemployment at least in the eyes of those who have to work at a "real job" everyday.
But that wasn't enough for me. I wanted to be my own publisher!
I wanted to pat my own head and have all the treats from the start. Sadly the world did not work that way. Print publishing, the only publishing there was until just a short time ago was complicated, expensive, labor intensive and the logistics were simply too big a hurdle. There were those who did try to self-publish with mostly limited success and doubtless they worked themselves to exhaustion to achieve it. But remember, I am a cartoonist. I don't like work. It's what I was born to avoid if at all possible. Mind you I work very hard at what I do, but as I am reminded of now and then by folks with those "real jobs" I'm just drawing funny little cartoons. That's not work, that's fun!
They are right. It is fun. It is also fun to make books. The most fun of all is making your own books and being able to sell them to readers all over the world without the obstacles of print publishing. Granted it is easier these days to publish your own print book with digital print on demand and services like Smashwords and Create Space among others. That's the next step for me; doing a print book of my cartoons.
For now though I am studying this amazing new artform they call epub. The multi-discipline art of creating a digital file that looks and acts like a real book but with added functionality a book could only dream about. It can go with you in your smartphone or tablet and you can carry an entire library of them. It shows movies, plays music, reads aloud to you, connects you to the world on the web but most importantly it does what every book does. Tells you stories, takes you on adventures, makes you laugh and makes you cry.
This is where it begins. This is when the dream finally becomes a book and it couldn't have happened at a better time with print on the decline and publications cutting back drastically on the amount of cartoons they purchase. There are other cartoonists like me out there who desperately want to stay "unemployed" or start their own careers of staying at home to work at what you love, being able to watch their little baby cartoonists grow up and living a life with less stress and more laughter. Cartoon e-books are the future. Paper is better left in the trees.