Thursday, March 03, 2005

Where Memory Lane meets McKenzie Street

Way back in High School I dreamed of being a syndicated cartoonist. I had the humor, or at least I believed as much. I tried to develop the artistic skills, and my junior year I scored an honorable mention at the state level in the Kansas Scholastic Press Association's journalism competition.

I carried it over to college, and my first semester at Kansas State I launched McKenzie Street, my own comic strip. I named it after a family back in Council Grove that had encouraged me to pursue artistic expression in college, and had given me some money at my graduation from High School with which to do it. I used a bit of that money to buy my art supplies.

I had 4 characters: Laramie, Garrison, Hubert, and Bob; and I tried to turn it into a successful venture.

A friend of mine, Katie, loved the cartoons. Or at least she told me she did so I wouldn't be hurt, and she told me I should apply to be a cartoonist for the Collegian, and I took her advice.

While I filled out the application, I also marked down to apply to be a columnist, since I'd done it before and figured I could do it again.

I didn't get either job, at least not at first. Not long after the semester started, I got an email that asked me to be a columnist since one of the ones already serving had to take a break to run for student office. I took the job, figuring I could get my foot in the door so I could do some artwork.

The columns happened, but they asked me to stop submitting editorial cartoons after 3 attempts that were my best work. I was crushed, and I never made another comic.

Whether it was undeveloped talent or a waste of time, I'll never know.

But I stuck with the columns, and I found my true art calling later on, photography. I used up the last of the money the McKenzie's gift to buy my camera, and I kept with the Collegian and made some great friends.

My photos have won one small award, and have been sent out on the Scripps Howard News Service Wire to newspapers nationwide.

And my writing is getting better each day.

But my love of comics and editorial cartoons did not die. I still read them constantly, and I know many of the current greats by a single glance at one of their cartoons.

I interviewed one of the greats yesterday and again today. It was amazing, me, once a wannabe, now a never-will-be cartoonist talking to a man who was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize last year.

At the end of the interview, he stops me and thanks me for the interview, and he said it was the first time he actually enjoyed being interviewed. He could've just been padding my ego so I'd write about him really nicely.

But he sounded pretty sincere, no matter how cynically I viewed his words.

It's been almost three years since I won that KSPA editorial cartoon award, more than a year since I drew a comic, and it's bewildering to me how I turned out like this. I'm a newswriter, and a photographer, and I'm working in the nation's capital.

I don't draw cartoons anymore, I don't need to.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading this tonight brought tears to my eyes, I'm proud of you Logan.

12:29 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home