Friends of the Fiend 16: Dee Adams.
DA. Hi Fiend, thanks for asking me to be a part of such a great group! I always feel like I'm an imposter when I get around professional cartoonists!
CF. Okay, what are your current projects, anything exciting in the pipeline - that you can tell us about?
DA. I'm trying to finish my first Minnie Pauz book, but I've been working on this for about 6 years so who knows if it will finally get done.
CF. Did you always want to be a cartoonist, and set out to become one, or was it a gradual process?
DA. Becoming a cartoonist (or an imposter cartoonist) was a complete surprise at about 49 years of age when I got the idea for a menopausal cartoon character.
CF. The work you do at the moment, can you tell us something about the process?
DA. My cartoon has grown into a business, Minnie Pauz Enterprises, so I actually spend more time working on my website and marketing than I do on cartooning. By promoting my cartoons to the appropriate market online, I have developed a following and created a community where women can discuss midlife concerns and share experiences. The large following, 15,000 subscribers, and top-ranking in the search engines has attracted advertisers and sponsors who are scrambling to reach this huge market segment, which has allowed me to make a living entirely from cartooning. No one is more surprised about this than me!
CF. I know you've been asked this a million times, but what tools do you use, and what format do you work to?
DA. Very simple. I do a pencil sketch on copy paper, ink it with a Zig calligraphy marker, scan it and color it with PaintShop Pro. (still haven't learned to use PhotoShop with any skill). I save a high res copy for future use (in books or presentations) and have a low res jpg or gif for my website. When I first started though, I was in such a hurry to get a new cartoon on the website, I would forget to save a high res copy and now I have to find the original, rescan it and color it from scratch when someone wants to use certain ones.
CF. Is the cartoonist a proper artist? I mean, does cartooning have the same cultural impact as some other artforms, in your opinion?
DA. I believe that anyone who has a creative thought and produces something tangible is an artist, so that would absolutely include cartoonists. The fact that cartoons have come through history as a form of self - expression, as a learning tool and as entertainment, tells me without a doubt they've had incredible cultural impact on society.
CF. Is there any other area of cartooning you'd like to work in, if you can find the time?
DA. I would like to do Minnie Pauz as a strip, in addition to the single panel format. It's on my "too learn" list.
CF. Who were your major artistic influences?
DA. I didn't really have any until I ended up on the Wisen, looking for help on how to draw cartoons and how to market/price my services. Getting advice from some of the successful cartoonists on there has been a blessing.
CF. Who was/is your favourite cartoonist/writer, of all time?
DA. I don't have a favorite, but I tend to study the women and their road to success in this business.
CF. There's a lot of talk about a new 'paper-less future' and 'new digital reading habits', do you think this will affect cartooning, at some point.
DA. The internet has actually created my life as a cartoonist and I will be forever grateful.
CF. If you had the time, and you were helicoptered in to work on anything you chose, any publication, strip, panel, character, book, show, what would you like to work on?
DA. I wouldn't mind having Hallmark wanting me to start a complete line of Minnie Pauz products!
CF. Is there anything you'd rather be?
DA. Wealthy and retired.
CF. Thank you for visiting with us.
DA. Thanks for the opportunity to be here!