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I used to be a self-published cartoonist until I turned the craft into writing plays, scripts and novels

In 1976, I wrote and published a paperback book of cartoons. But the cartoons were only of my own travel experiences and dialogue. They didn't focus on strangers or values, just specific travel experiences I had in 1976 when I visited Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sedona Arizona, and walked through Jerome, Arizona, and the cartoons were based on my own personal experiences of that travel experience. I loved to write and illustrate the cartoons, the story, and the dialogue.

The funniest thing happened when I showed the published book of cartoons and dialogue to a woman I had just met in a group meeting of a local women's social club for friendship of writers and artists. Instead of commenting on the story line of the cartoons, her only comment was a loud reply, "But I'm an artist, a real artist!"

That comment was surprising. I thought she'd look at my cartoons, the dialogue bubbles, and smile....Seemed she didn't realize I, also am an artist and writer and majored and minored in the university in both writing and illustration. Her expression of an upturned expression seemed to be that I should have hired her to illustrate my book.

Yet as a person then about 35 years old, I considered myself both a writer and artist, and my cartoons were only about my experiences on that August 1976 journey with actual dialogue spoken and behavior (like gestures and tag lines to show facial expressions) in the cartoons. I didn't have to explain I majored in creative writing and had a double minor in illustration and anthropology. Yet her response was to repeat, "but I'm an artist, a real artist." What's the point? I already published the paperback book as a graphic story of cartoons and dialogue.

So as to not act too surprised at the response, I smiled and said, "May I have your business card?" After all it was a networking social at this women's club meeting. She didn't have a card to show me. Well, the book is already published, and I'm happy with my cartoons of my travel experiences. I might add the the practice of writing the dialogue bubbles in the cartoons was great training for the various plays and scripts I wrote between that year and 1987, my script and playwriting time frame.

Sure, I wish she just would have smiled, nodded, or complimented the work because I put in a lot of hours of work, editing, revisions, re-writing, and cartooning my own expressions in the book, including choosing the dialogue tersely to fit into the dialogue bubble. Amazing how people comment on art work to the artist's face when the artist and writer shows a person a published work that doesn't requiring doing over again.

After all I spent good money to publish the book back in 1976. In the end I donated all the copies to a local bookstore who eventually dumped all the copies into a large carton box and offered "free books" to anyone entering the store. Guess not a lot of value was placed on the books. That's why I at least value what I've published. You'd think someone would be interested in the unique travel experiences and dialogue. I was on my (belated from 1974) honeymoon, at that time in August 1976.