So, if things go as planned, this will be my final issue as editor. While I still love doing the Notebook (no, really), I know the signs of when it’s time to move on from a project. After the convention I will be handing things over to the energetic and able Stephanie McMillan, who, no doubt, will bring her own altie aplomb to this venerable rag.
Her DIY background as a cartoonist will come in handy as we move into whatever adventures the “new business model” has in store for us, and finds us relying ever more on our wits and creativity to make a living. (Another reason we picked Stephanie is that she actually knows how to layout a print publication, also a “dying art” in the age of the web page.)
Yes, you sometimes want to scream, we get it — things are different now. It is still stunning, however, when you look at just how much has changed in the last decade; my favorite example of this is, conveniently enough, my time with the Notebook of the AAEC.
A while back I packaged up all of the materials and submissions you’ve sent me over the years for the Association archive at Ohio State University’s Cartoon Library. Tearsheets, press releases, photographs, original artwork scribbled on napkins— everything from my first five years as editor took up an entire legal box. 2002 alone filled two fat manila envelopes to bursting. When I deliver the remaining archives to OSU this fall, covering 2007-2010, it will be a DVD and a couple of letters in an envelope so thin it won’t even disturb my cat when I pull it out from under him. That’s change you can believe in.
Does this mean it’s time to change the Notebook as well, go all blog all the time? I don’t think so — in fact, I would argue just the opposite. While the original mission of this newsletter to keep the membership informed and in touch has long been subsumed by the web site, e-mail, and the unstoppable “L”, it has taken on a more important role — as scrapbook.
When Cullum and I did the Golden Notebook, it would have been impossible to tell the history of the AAEC’s first 50 years without that hardcopy archive. I hate the thought that there might be no record of our future struggles, victories and pub crawls because someone forgot to make a backup, or, more likely, there’s no more electricity.
So here’s to the Notebook; long may she scrape.