John Klossner

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Klossner: You’re new around here, aren’t you?

Having never lived in the greater Washington, D.C., region, I've never experienced a presidential transition on the streets. From the stories I've heard, it sounds like every August/September in a college town (an experience I have had), only with better dressed people and less drinking (I'm referring to the college town). I imagine it helps that this happens only once every 4 or 8 years. Is it like giving birth, where you forget the pain, allowing you to go through it again?

Whenever the community I'm living in is going through transition, it's the little things I've found most annoying. Having longer lines and waits at my favorite small eateries. Having to find a new easy parking space all over again. I think this is why they created tourist sections of most communities – to shepherd all the new folks into a section of town where they won't bother the regulars.

On a related note, Federal Computer Week has a new editor, David Rapp. This is the sixth editor I have worked under in my 12+ years working with FCW. There are similarities to college and administration transitions, only with fewer people. The poor dressing continues on my end, however. (I can't speak for David.) I have mixed feelings whenever I start work with a new editor or art director. Being – or, more accurately, fantasizing on being – a creature of habit, I'll grump about having to begin a new relationship and all the work that goes into establishing a working relationship. This includes figuring out the best times and means to communicate, learning this editor's particular vision for the magazine and how I can best fit in that vision, and worrying that they want me to draw Garfield. (For the record, I can't.)

David has already assuaged one of my biggest fears – the editor who wants to be a cartoonist. I've worked with editors in the past who want me to render their ideas. They think of an idea, and ask me to draw it. I have no problem with people sharing their ideas – it can help me get a better understanding of the situation and, if it's really good, I don't mind stealing it. However, one of the best parts of cartooning for me is the concept phase. I like thinking of the cartoons, and it feels like an integral part of my work. Fortunately, I've never worked with an editor like that at FCW (trust me – I have elsewhere). I'm not sure if this is due to their respect for my abilities or that they are so overworked that they don't have time to think of their own ideas – much less someone else's – but I'll delude myself with the first option.

Fortunately, editor transitions don't usually mean increased crowds in D.C. (although, once again, I can't speak for David. For all I know, he's brought an entourage with him. Having a small familiarity with print budgets, however, I would doubt it is too big a crowd.) or at my favorite hangouts. Of course, being a self-employed cartoonist, my favorite hangout is my kitchen.

Posted by John Klossner on Jan 13, 2009 at 12:18 PM


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