How Fan Artists Avoid Starvation

Jim Barker, a leading British fanartist in the Seventies, was in Baltimore for last weekend’s Bouchercon, reports Martin Morse Wooster. (Martin saw Jim but did not manage to talk to him.) Barker now sells magnets with his cartoons to tourists, and also does promotions, public relations, and “personalized cartoons“. To see his latest work, check out Monday Cartoons. You can add yourself to the distribution list, if you like:

Every Monday I send out a cartoon to brighten up your Monday mornings. This is a free service and is designed only to get your week off to a good start. You can see an archive of previous cartoons here. To be added to the list of people receiving the cartoon, simply sign up here.

Dave Langford’s account of the 1978 Novacon quoted in Then shows why Jim Barker was a leading fanartist of the Seventies:

“Famed fanartist Jim Barker — inspired by evil Graham Charnock — lovingly created the cardboard Peter Weston Moustache. Soon this Fuhrer-like symbol was affixed with Blu-Tack to scores of upper lips, and scores of clenched-fist salutes were given — to the dismay of Chairman Peter. Some loyal Westonites found it difficult to adopt the new insignia: Kev Smith, for example, discovered that he already had a moustache with which Blu-Tack could become irretrievably intermingled. In a burst of lateral thought, he compromised by wearing his Peter Weston Moustache on the end of his nose. (Who said the sense of wonder was dead?)”

Update 10/16/2008: Martin Morse Wooster e-mailed a small correction: “I never actually saw Jim Barker at Bouchercon. I only saw his brochure. But thanks to you, I did sign up for his weekly cartoon! Yours, Martin (who did NOT expect to see 1970s fan cartoonists at Bouchercon.)” / Update 10/30/2008: Corrected attribution of Novacon report.

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