All About More

I've drawn more than my fair share of gags about the wonderful people we often work for. The managers and executives we characterized as, “suits.” I've attended pep talks, rallies, lunches and brunches. I've listened as virtues of the company were extolled and I've been told how grateful I should be to be employed by such a stellar organization. To a degree they were correct. There were indeed worse jobs out there.

Since I've worked for a number of companies during my long career in this wacky business I've notice there was one thing they all had in common. It would appear they could never earn enough money. Even when the gods smiled on the company and money poured from the sky, the windfall was never enough. Not only did they want the miracle to continue they actually wanted more. I guess this is what makes us different from our overlords, I suppose. As artists we simply want to do our work because oddly enough we find it satisfying. And, being paid a decent wage to do so was usually enough for most. In my long career in the cartoon business I noticed money was seldom discussed. Those who focused on having a fat bank account usually left for greener pastures. They saw early on there was no way of getting rich in the cartoon business.

As much as I mock them, I've always had a fascination with “suits,” and I've had the opportunity to sit and have lunch or a drink with many a corporate big shot during my career. I never envied or desired to be one of them. I guess we had different goals in life and I was quite content with my choice. Plus, I grew up in affluent Santa Barbara where my parents and grandparents often worked for the wealthy. Because I had access to the mansions and estates of Hope Ranch and nearby Montecito I gained insight at an early age. I saw first hand how a life full of “stuff"could ultimately remain truly empty. The Malibu beach house or the second Mercedes would clearly never be a part of this cartoonists' life style.

I suppose that's why the continual talk of "more” often drives me batty. Why can't a company simply work to be profitable and not greedy? I suppose that's not even possible today because public companies dance to the tune of Wall Street. If I ever ran a company it would definitely not be a public one. My desire would be to make a great product whatever that product might be. The idea of simply making money is something I continue to find disgusting. So today whenever I hear an executive - any executive talk about earning more, it's a total turn off and a “religion” I have no interest in following.

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