Autism, Scapegoating And That Which Is Revealed by Rick London

It is said that if you are patient, especially regarding an issue that has been bothersome, “more will be revealed”.

autism flap hands

I decided, for the first year to alert my contacts in the autism network regarding my entire story, so that if anything happens to me, the story will be written.  The whole story. Not just the very late discovery of the condition, but the scapegoating, the being hidden in an attic for 12 years, the current flying monkeys, etc.  So the world is aware.

(For those who aren’t aware flying monkeys are generally low self-esteemed persons recruited by narcissists, who often give the FMs money or material goods or both and pretend to be their friends), in trade to do “their bidding” and purvey lies, rumors etc about the scapegoat in their family-of-birth. This can, and often is a “lifetime friendship”.  Flying monkeys can also often be narcissists as well).  Though most are unaware of “their roles” they’ve been given,  many are aware and enjoy further damaging the real family victim to receive favor from the narcissist.

The second year, I plan to get more formal education on the topic and write a book, and the third year release a film.  I don’t feel those are lofty goals, and I will have more education at that time to temper my knowledge with more researched information, making for a better film.

Autism_Awareness_Penguin_by_shugo974

But back to the people with whom I cyber-associate.

For the several years I’d looked up to one, given that he has a descendant in his family with autism, and he showcases her, especially regarding her accomplishments.  That made my heart flutter; to see a family that embraced the condition, and is actually quite proud of it.

I posted an Anne Lamont meme, one of her famous cynical quotes regarding “If you wanted me to write nice things about you, you should have behaved better”.  I didn’t say I was going to follow that “order”, I only posted it.

npd 12 scapegoat rspons

This kindly grandpa (and good man) wrote under it,  “Oh so now you’re going to write about them”.

Am not sure what he meant by that.  I am in hopes he was just having a bad day rather than projecting double-standards; that it would be okay for me to be abused, but not his own.   Those things happen.

But much more important are the positive aspects of learning of this condition and how to deal with it.  It is part of life. It is biological. It is inherited. It is not something I necessarily wanted.  But it is something I ended up with.

autism not me x0x0x0x0x0x0x00x0x0x

I learned that the woman I chose to be my wife is the best wife anyone could ever have.  She is not deterred in the least by the condition. If anything, she is my greatest advocate.  We both make fun of, and laugh at “some of my little rituals”, mainly because they are, indeed funny, and it’s fun to laugh at that kind of silliness with someone I love dearly.  I like to scrape paint off our walls (really); even in my sleep, I occasionally flap my hands, and other funny things.  Really.

npd flying monkey 2 meme

Also, emails and messages have come in almost weekly, many from my hometown who have told me they have children or other family members with autism, and discrimination is alive and well there (in Hattiesburg).  In fact, they still “eat their young”.  That is sad to hear, but really not so surprising.  Hopefully the next generation is ahead of us in such ignorance and will do the right thing.

I also have received emails from scapegoats of NPD (narcissist personality disorder) families in which they are just now discovering what happened to them, why they are not liked, why the lies have spread to everyone except them, etc.  That is also alive and well.  NPD is a disorder (not a condition like autism) that is addictive and people with it are in denial.  If they are parents they tend to “triangulate” their children creating a “golden child”, a “scapegoat” and often on that overlaps (or leaves) who is the “lost child”.

npd laughter meme

They often don’t help their own, yet are hyperactive in community affairs, doing far more than anyone else in charitable work, but of course it is all a show.  They almost always have “to advertise” all the good that they’ve done.  True charity is very quiet.  NPD charity is fired with a cannon.

Those of us who are survivors of both autism and NPD families will continue to pray for them.  Miracles do happen. People do get better. But only if they want to.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist, and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts.  He is married to nature/wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London who is best known for her popular hiking blog HikeOurPlanet.com.

Advertisements

My Old Friend Aqualung The Story Behind This Londons Times Cartoons by Rick London

aqualung

I loved Jethro Tull…..and I still love them, though I’ve not heard them in quite awhile; though I did listen to “With You There To Help Me” on iTunes yesterday, just because I like to hear some of my favorite old JT songs every now and again.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who, upon first hearing of the band, though for sure that guy with the flute’s name was “Jethro Tull”.  I later found out it was/is in fact “Ian Anderson” and felt like a nut for many years….okay still do.

And I just learned today how they got the name “Jethro Tull” straight from the horse’s mouth…okay flutist’s…Anderson says, “Our agent, who had studied History at college, came up with the name Jethro Tull (an eighteenth century English agricultural pioneer who invented the seed drill). That was the band name during the week in which London’s famous Marquee Club offered us the Thursday night residency.”

What was it about Jethro Tull that was so special?  They used phenomenal engineering to enhance the music, though it was not only engineering. I noticed upon seeing them in concert several times that the music was every bit as stylish and listen-able as it was in the studio.

I also remember the novelty of when I first heard Blood, Sweat, And Tears and Chicago and their risk-taking adding brass to their repertoire.  The same is true of adding wind instruments (flute) to Jethro Tull. It was new, it was different, and the fact that they made music, a lot of music that remained classics makes me still want to listen to them.

And why this cartoon?  Well the entire song is about being good friends with an inanimate device, an aqualung (used for deep-sea diving).  I imagine it is probably symbolic for someone who provides oxygen but that’s only a guess.

In any case, I envisioned what it might be like if the two ever parted.  And this was the result.

To see (or buy) this image on over 100 items such as tees, cases, mugs, home decor, and much more…..

shop now buttonr resize

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist, and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts.

Spam Spam Spam The Meaning Behind This Londons Times Cartoon by Rick London

 

 

spam FB

 

Before my discovery of the Internet, television was one of my greatest escapes.  I even worked in that “industry” for a decade or so.  For those who have not worked in it, please take my word, it is nuttier in real life than it appears on the tube.

But occasionally, there is a moment of sanity.  A slice of solace. A bit of serenity; that is, a part of television that not only mocks the industry itself, but all authority and anything of arrogance.

That something for me, in my young adulthood, was Monty Python’s Flying Circus.  To me, John Cleese was a genius (and still is).  In his prime, during this production of his show (and subsequent films), nobody could do it better.

Even Lorne Michaels, producer of SNL gives Cleese and Monty Python credit for being “the trailblazer to the absurd. Perhaps one of Cleese’s most popular sketches (aside from dead parrots and wearing women’s clothes) was the Spam Spam Spam skit.

And though his version was decidedly about the atrocious meat called spam, this cartoon attempts to take it a step further; predicting his behavior upon receiving unwanted email.

Hope you enjoy.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer. He is best known for his Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons And Funny Gifts.

 

Invasion From A Very Hip Planet The Story Behind This Londons Times Cartoon by Rick London

facebook hip planet

Being a child of the 60s didn’t necessarily make me interested in popular culture.  But it turned out to be “one of my favorite hobbies”, that is, to look at each era, the 60s, the 70s, etc.

And though it appeared to us, even this many years later, those of us who were involved in “building the 60s” that is, the fun and creative side of it, the music, the art, etc. it was by far “the most hip” or at least the most original.

I say that without rose-colored glasses.  The 60s children, the hippies, the wanderer, the explorer etc. had plenty “of issues” that didn’t work, and some that were downright unhealthy.

Most of us were able to “get rid of the baggage” that didn’t work, and move in another direction.  And though I (still feel) the 80s and part of the 90s yuppie movement was also not without its flaws, it turned out to be a positive thing as, whenever a country, community, family, etc. turns out “too far left” or “too far right”, it is automatically going to be more flaws.  It swung the pendulum further right, and it continues to swing (left to right and vice versa) each decade or so.  That’s actually healthy for any country, though many don’t view it that way.

Too far (of anything) creates an unhealthy extreme, and it is virtually impossible, unless someone really examines their lives, impossible to see one’s own participation in helping steer it “too far left” or “too far right”.  The road in the center is the sanest, but often also the loneliest as there is a tendency to feel one is “abandoning their cause”. Not the case at all, however. It is a sign of maturity and healing. And yes it is the “Road Less Traveled” in real life.

So you might ask, “Who needs healing?”  Everyone does.  Anyone who has “made it” through these eras to the other side did not get through them without scars.  There was much confusion and disdain.   Babies are not born with hate or prejudice, yet we were able to pick that up along the way (yes whether on the left or right).  We learned along the way to be paranoid, to mistrust, and, as Rod Serling and later Scott Peck came to realize, scapegoat others (whether in groups, individuals etc).

One finally has to ask, “Did that ever serve me well”?  If so, “Is it still serving me well?”  My guess is probably not.   Have a great millenium and laugh a bit.  Say hello to your neighbor.   Learn to speak your mind.  Learn to draw healthy boundaries.  Learn to love.  We all deserve love.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and funny gifts.  He is involved in autistic/Asperger’s, children’s, animal, and environmental causes.

Fruited Plane The Story Behind The Londons Times Cartoon by Rick London

 

I imagine I am not the only one who heard this as a kid…..I wasn’t sure what “fruited plain” meant, and since it seemed like everyone else did, I didn’t want anyone to think I was ignorant.  So through most of elementary school, I was fairly sure this was to what the song referred.  Sorry. I guess it wasn’t.  🙂 

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & #Funny Gifts.  He is active in autism/Asperger’s, environment, animal and children’s causes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedtime For Gonzo Journalism The Story Behind This Londons Times Cartoon by Rick London

aug 444 bonzo FB

I was a big Hunter Thompson fan, which also means, of course, I was also a big Ralph Steadman fan (the illustrator of his Fear & Loathing Series). 

As mentioned in earlier blogs, I had big reading problems, and never even read a book cover-to-cover until my late 20s.  One of those books was the late great Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear And Loathing In Los Vegas”.  It is an amazingly sardonic satirical piece 

The book is incredible. The film, though,  included one of my favorites, Bill Murray, was disappointing. 

Many “60s druggies” felt the book was glorifying drugs, but actually many scholars believe quite the opposite, that it mocks the very drug culture of which Thompson was a part. And I saw it as that as well.

Though the book is full of mocking; not just the drug culture, but the whole idea of “hippies”, journalism (of which Thompson’s
alter-ego, Raoul Duke who is contracted by “Sports Illustrated” drives with his attorney Dr. Gonzo to Los Vegas.

On the roadtrip, “Gonzo Journalism” is created. Until this day we’re still not positive of what Gonzo Journalism truly is, but we know it may just be a ploy to keep us curious throughout the book, and we discover early on nobody quite knows what the story angle really is (including the journalists). We do, however, stay curious all the way to the end. It has so many discombobulated twists and turns, it’s very difficult not to be at least a bit curious. 

There’s a lot more super hyper action in the book, but nobody bothers to share what it is. We just know the book is about human appetite and instant gratification; Maslow’s Heirarchy Gone Wild, if you will.

Even better news to my friends and fans, other than my reading skills being lacking (and I don’t say that proudly), a lot of heartache would have been saved had local schools and parents known enough or cared enough to help learn of and/or diagnose my condition (autism). But so it goes.

In addition, I couldn’t hear very well…or see very well. I have to hand it to one smart teacher who noticed that (when I was 13 years old) and I
was able to get glasses. But the hearing issues went on and on; and continue to.  I was fairly sure I read, and heard “Bonzo Journalism” for many years. 

And of course we all remember President Reagan’s “Bedtime For Bonzo” film from his early career as an actor. How the Academy overlooked that one, I’ll never know.

Kudos to illustrator Tom Kerr (our collaborations are always special to me) for recreating “a tribute of sorts” to Ralph Steadman.  If I’d not known of our collaboration, I know I would have thought this, in fact, was also one of Ralph’s creations.  

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts which he launched in 1997.  London is also active in various causes including autism/Asperger’s, animals, children, and the environment.

Enlightenment, Anger And Forgiveness by Rick London

Upon my enlightenment of what happened to me (early in my life) up until age 60, I became angry.  That is normal (many scapegoat children-turn-adult) never lose that anger.  Even more,  never even discover what happened to them, as it is “the family secret” and all participants who choose to engage “play a role” and play it well for their own survival.

 One of the main roles is to help “build the hierarchy” of the dysfunctional family model, by helping the parents scapegoat the “weak child”, hence removing responsibility of their own dysfunction and projecting it onto the scapegoat (and if that model scapegoat is created at a young enough age) i.e. vis a vie triangulation, isolation, etc. it works quite simply.

Of course there are numerous downsides to this type “family model” that are far too numerous to mention. One is the deception and manipulation mentioned above.  The family generally then turns to their community and screams, “See what a madman we have?  No wonder our family is in turmoil”.  Of course it is all based on deception and untruths. 

And though it “works”, this model harms a lot of people (even outside the family unit) as well as the children (not only the scapegoat child).   All models from the golden child to the lost child are angry (at whom, they are a bit confused/misguided) but that’s merely a fact of the NPD family model (they all think they are angry at the scapegoat). Sadly they are not.

Mix in a heaping tablespoon of  Autism Spectrum (with which I was born),  didn’t only make life difficult, it made it impossible.   Believe me when I tell you, Clark Kent couldn’t have changed into his Spandex and flown out of there without some heavy duty kryptonite burns.

Jung and Satir’s psychological and psychiatric papers are chock-full of these dynamics which are the “fingerprints” of any NPD family.  Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled) penned his 2nd book “People Of The Lie” on this very family model.  It is much more commonplace than people know.

So how to heal?  I’ve been reading a great deal on that, and consulting with several top professionals in that field.  I am also now hooked into several large networks that allow me support, and the ADA has assured me they would assist in any external issues that might arise while I attempt to begin my life, possibly for the first time;   and of course my wife Lee is a tremendous support.  Together we are walking through this.

Anger and fear are actually healthy responses to “my enlightenment”.  In fact, I’ve learned that had I not had such emotions, I should be worried.  It would mean I had likely gotten to the point of dissociation and void of all feelings (which would put me right back in the mud, wallowing with the narcissists and their“flying monkeys”)  who continue to occasionally pop up (I choose not to engage with them anymore, however; and that is healthier for both sides

As Katy told Boon in “Animal House” when asked to be his date to the toga party, “I’ll write you a note. I’ll say you’re too well to attend”.  And actually, just as promised from various therapists, once I purged the anger and blogged it, the anger subsided. Have I forgiven the culprits yet?  Of course not.  I know, I know, forgiveness is “the solution” to many things, and I agree, and feel I will forgive one day.

 But if I give a “fake performance” (just to show “how spiritual I am”),  and not feel the anger and “loss of innocence” if you will, that’s exactly what it will be, “a fake performance”.  Fake performances were the very foundation of what I had to do in that original family unit to survive. I refuse to be involved in that kind of behavior ever again.

So forgiveness is on my agenda in the future, but not forgetfulness. It is every bit as important to remember who did these deeds to me, and who enabled them (and who continues to enable some of them) and never, ever allow them in my life again.  They do not deserve that honor.  To be forgiven?  Yes one day.  To be forgotten would be naive and myopic.

Will I write a book (and/or screenplay) regarding my life? I have been approached by several very capable people “interested parties”, and am tossing that idea around.  I’d say “probably so” but I don’t want to do so while my moods are still volatile.

First I want to allow those around me who really love me (Lee) to help in the healing, which she has been doing, and that doesn’t go unrecognized, and continue our hikes as I’ve learned late in life that God’s handiwork aka nature is a healer like no other I’ve ever seen.  Lee agrees, and together our hikes are like magic. 


In college, my first time around, I was not a great student. Now of course I understand more clearly as to why.

I could barely read, and, I actually had never read even one entire book cover-to-cover until age 27, and again, now I have a greater comprehension as to why that occurred too.

A combination of struggling with both autism and scapegoatism, hindered my ability to do so. 

When I finally learned how to read properly (using a ruler or other similar object), it made things much easier.  And though I loved some of the great nature/spirituality writers such as Emerson and Thoreau, I didn’t fully comprehend their core message until experiencing it.  In fact I used to snicker at some of it, sadly.  Now I know how much smarter/wiser they were than I will ever even hope to be.

Lee on the other hand is and always was an avid reader and comprehends what she reads.  Using her instincts, one birthday she got us both Kindle Fires.  Suddenly, due to the brilliant background lighting and large font, enabled me to read and absorb the words (without using a flat object to keep the letters from jumping all over the place).

And though I realize the autism will never go away, I am slowly learning to accept it.  It is in fact a gift after all (I had always heard otherwise). It is why I am able to do a lot of the things I am able to do (especially on the creative side).  In my diagnosis, which was done by the top neuropsychologist in Arkansas, (and allegedly one most respected in this whole region) who does most of the neurological evaluations in this state as she is that respected, and has sat on the Ar. State Autism Board about 35 years who wrote a letter to my GP (which is the result of the evaluation).  She says that even my work is autistic in nature.  (I gave her the URL of my web site). 

Ironically, Lee’s guess and later my guess was Asperger’s.  She noticed numerous “Aspie” movements/gestures etc. for several years.  It took time but upon deep assessment, finally so did I.  But we found out I am much deeper on the Autism spectrum than the Asperger’s spectrum. And though Asperger’s is considered a type of autism, not everyone with autism has it.  I got lucky and have both.

As each day passes, I learn just how lucky and blessed I really am.  I have what I need; more than I ever desired.  I am alive and, though on some days struggling with health issues, I have survived and I am strong.

I am a survivor, of things that (I am told) most people don’t survive.  I don’t say that in glee.  I say that because that is one of the main reasons I blog this topic, very different than my cartoon/humorous stuff, which I find equally important.  Laughter was not easy on many days.  I have been writing cartoons for 18 years.

I notice on days I am able to find humor on which I could rely for a laugh, sometimes that is all I needed to make it through the day.

But I also needed information like this (on this topic). 

It is not fun to write, and sometimes it isn’t easy to write. But for me, it is very necessary to write.  I’ve already been told of several families who have been helped.  Young lives who won’t have to go through what I did.

Several families have opted for professional help rather than ego-driven narcissism/power etc. to greet and welcome in life.  To them I say, “God bless you” and please do keep the faith.   All that pain, made this day worthwhile for me, and I hope and pray that in your own journey toward recovery, both of us will be able to look back and say, “Now what was that that was bothering me back in July of 2015? I don’t even remember”. 

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best known for his Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts which have remained Google #1 ranked since 2005.  He is active in such causes as autism/Asperger’s, animals, children and the environment.

Title, Tagline and the Journey of this Blog (Blogging 101) by Rick London

  • Note for blogging101 co-bloggers: This blog’s title is Blogging 101: Why Am I Here and it’s tagline is “Art, Autism, And Amnesia”
  • Note for all other visitors: It’s just another blog from me. 🙂

 

I feel honored to be a part of the WordPress 101 Blogging University project.

My name is Rick London and I am a 60 year old autistic author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  I am married to my best friend @LeeHillerLondon (who will also be taking the class) as well as the Branding 101 class of which I hope to be a part.

I mention the autism as I was not diagnosed until age 60, about 3 months ago.  I have much to learn about writing, though I’ve been doing it for about 32 years.

I guess I am best known for launching Londons Times Cartoons (LTCartoons.com) in an abandoned tin shed in rural Mississippi in 1997.  It became Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and offbeat cartoon gifts, a ranking it has held since January of 2005.

I have published about 4500 cartoons but written many more than that. It is a team effort. I create the concepts, write the cartoons, and assign them to one of my three team illustrators. I then design the gift items digitally.

Finally, I have decided to go public, just this year, with the fact that I was a neglected/abused autistic child, never diagnosed, but obviously very different, and hidden away, isolated from my other two siblings in an attic bedroom.  I was scapegoated.  I am public not for sympathy, but because I now know how prevalent such family dynamics are, and I’ve already been told in my last few months of blogging about it, that my story has helped several families.

I have written all kinds of “flights of fancy” and slayed some dragons.  It was my wife’s idea to “get back to basics”, and this seems the perfect place to do so.  When I’m back to basics I am centered, and open to learn.  And I hope to accomplish those things.  Thank you.

 

Words People Places Things Combined The Story Behind This Londons Times Cartoon

bezos

In the real world knowledge is power, and in the cartoon world, to a certain degree, that same principle holds true.  But specific knowledge seems to win the day.

I spoke about my love of the English language, due to all the fun play, that is work, but seems more like play can be done with it.  Puns are my favorite and Shakespeare called puns the “highest form of humor”.  I think they are too…as long as I write them, but don’t you dare 🙂   Am sure you feel the same.

If puns are the golden egg of offbeat cartoons, multiple puns are the Fort Knox of cartooning.  And if there is a way to get numerous word meanings in a cartoon using just a few words, you’ve done your job well.

This cartoon was my first experiment in multiple-punning.  It worked to a certain degree, but due to our culture’s attention span, most viewers might have only caught a few of the puns, when there’s actually about 3 or so…I’m not sure…I think I missed a few too.  🙂

…..Amazon.com, Amazon Rainforest, and Forest Gump (coming down from the sky as if he’s rain).  So maybe three 🙂

For those who want to see all the nifty gift items and tees I’ve designed at my Cafe Press shop, you can………..

shop now buttonr resize

Slug Traffic Cop The Story Behind This Londons Times Cartoons by Rick London

new book slug hwy patrol

I would be less than honest if I didn’t admit to the fact that Gary Larson with his “Far Side” cartoon was the trailblazer (as far as I was concerned) at “making insects and other animals) more human (and vice versa).

Sure, plenty of cartoonists did this “fun cartoon trick” long before Gary did, and even during his cartoon, but nobody did it with quite the fervor that Gary Larson did.

Most know, but a few still don’t, Gary Larson majored and got his degree in biology.  He’d thought about teaching and then changed his mind, thank God.

Though I followed The Far Side it’s entire (nearly 15 year run), and it had a vital impact into my thinking process and which way I wanted my humor to turn (I was younger, more immature and “still exploring” at the time).  Then I was invited by some Ms. friends who lived on Capitol Hill in Washington at the same time I did to see a Far Side Exhibit at the Smithsonian.  They had to drag me there even though I loved the cartoon. I guess I didn’t think I was going to “see anything new” that I’d not seen in the newspaper.

Was I ever wrong.  Whomever put that exhibit together knew exactly how to whet and satisfy the appetite of any/every Far Side fan.  Each Far Side was blown up into an 8-10 ft poster on board and hung from the ceiling. It was as if one was walking around inside the Far Side Cartoon and even talking to the odd characters whether they be human, animal, bacteria or space alien.  That exhibit was 34 years ago and, aside from a trip to the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Fl., I can’t remember any collection of art that had such a life-changing impact.

However it is easy to “take for granted” people of whom have walked this crazy walk with me, many creating their own properties whether they be cartoons or other types of art.

Most know my story of being so naive at the start back around 1997, I contacted some of the biggest names in the industry.  And they were all good to me.   Dave Coverly of Creator’s Syndicate was particularly generous as was Charles “Sparky” Schulz (Peanuts).  Am back in touch with Dave, his cartoon (to me) easily rivals The Far Side but has a “different flair” that is clearly Dave’s own “fingerprint” in his Speed Bump Cartoon.  Dave was generous enough also to leave a positive testimonial on my latest book “Useless Humor” which is (for now) available at Amazon Kindle but soon will have it in other bookstores.  It is our best book I think; and my first to have a mix of cartoons and “useless quotes”.

I’d be amiss not to mention some of the people closest to me such as my beloved wife wildlife/nature photographer Lee Hiller London who is like a “human thermostat”. I can get an idea (often while we are hiking in the forest) and run it by her, and she gives an honest assessment immediately.  I have decided to make cartoons public or toss the ideas away based on her opinion.  Sometimes (on rare occasions) I go ahead with them simply because I like them (and her taste might be different) but she is generally right on target as far as “what is funny to the public” vs “what is funny to just Rick”.  🙂 Lee is also an amazing designer of both gifts and casual clothing and accessories.

Also my long time associate and co-creator Rich Diesslin has steered me in the right direction more than once.  He was with LTCartoons for over a decade and we still work on the occasional project together.  We’ve butted heads, made gains, losses etc together, and stayed friends. He has 3 excellent cartoon properties of his own. I’m in awe of his ability to both create and use left-brain management skills.  Thanks Rich for all you’ve done and continue to do.  Rich also managed LTCartoons the first (most vulnerable decade) and did it well and with integrity.

I’ve been fortunate over the past 3.5 years to work with Tom Kerr who many consider one of America’s finest caricature artists and editorial cartoonists as well as childrens book author.   His latest book is in Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Library and deservedly so.    Tom leans more right than I do, but it is that “slight friction” (I’m more to the center) that makes our collaborations work, and they work almost every time.  Tom knows how to make me look good and I appreciate that.  His blog Despicable Jerks is also well worth reading.  You will laugh. Guaranteed.

So what does all of the above have to do with this snail traffic cop cartoon?   Not a lot, but it may give you a subtle hint into how my mind operates.   As if you really wanted to know.  🙂

Thanks again for 18 years of support.  I am truly humbled and grateful.