Friday was Londons Times Cartoons 25th anniversary. I was going to write about it then, but since I had already written about it several days ago, plus I was celebrating 25 years, I simply didn’t have time. I do now.
I’ve mentioned the way it all started. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. That has remained the same ever since. But I believe I have learned a few things since that time. While I am not sure exactly what I’ve learned, I feel quite sure when I figure it out I’ll gladly purvey that information to you.
In 1997, it was just something to do. I needed a hobby, so to speak, and this fit the bill. I was a bit late to the party learning the Internet, so I figured then was as good a time as any, and I would “learn as I went” when developing, writing, and marketing the cartoons (and later gifts too).
When we first went online, there were no PODs (Print On Demand) sites. That meant if I wanted to design tees, mugs, cards, or other gifts, I would have to have them printed and buy them by the bulk. Then I’d have to make the trip to the post office in a timely manner to ship any goods. That didn’t work out well, but I was able to sell to the occasional academic book publisher. That increased as time went by. Not enough to retire.
So here I sit, feeling pretty much like everyone else. The world has been through and seems to be going through all sorts of changes and that is not comfortable for many. We’re fighting pandemics, wars, social unrest and you name it. No, it was not exactly how I envisioned our 25th anniversary at all.
The good news is that Lee and I managed to remain healthy and while we lost several friends, and others suffered dramatically (either physically or financially), most importantly, everyone in our immediate lives are okay. We’re all a bit shaken.
I also believe that slowly but surely, people will enjoy laughing again. The LTCartoons team and I discussed a strategy and we will take it slowly, but keep working with no expectations.
And when it feels okay to laugh out loud in public again, let’s all do it together. Until that time, laugh softly, carry a big shtick.
Rick London is the founder of Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoon gifts (since 2005) LT Cartoons & Gifts, founded in 1997 in a small tin shed in Mississippi. He is married to author/photographer Lee Hiller London who is also a gift design engineer.