Hello, friends, readers, and fellow cartoonists,
Today I have big news.
After a great 16 year run, I’ve decided to resign from Six Chix.* I made the decision this past June, and as you may imagine, it was a difficult one to make—I really love doing single panel gags for Six Chix; it’s always been a unique feature. When it launched in 2000 with King Features, it was my first experience in the field of syndication, a sort of debut you might say, and since then I’ve grown so much as a cartoonist—and as a person.
It goes without saying that growth brings change, and for the past year or so, I’ve had a revision of career goals. You could say that my parting from Six Chix is the beginning of a new, and exciting time. While it’s too early to tell you of my upcoming project, I could tell you that I am not quitting Six Chix without good reason.
Saying goodbye to a feature is weird. (It’s not as though I’m going anywhere. You can still see me in the funny papers with Tina’s Groove!) Yet I feel the need to say something pivotal about my resignation because Six Chix has been an impactful, important part of my life. It’s the feature that taught me the ropes in this funny business of syndicated comics. It’s the place where I refined my abilities in writing and drawing – allowing me to develop the sorts of skills that would later open doors. Six Chix is where I met Jay Kennedy, its creator. Jay Kennedy was my first syndicate editor, and the guy responsible for making Tina’s Groove happen. He was a wonderful man. It was through Jay that I met my now ex-husband, Brendan Burford. Another great King Features editor, and wonderful man. It was because of Jay and Brendan, and all my friends at King Features, and Torstar Syndicate, that my career meshed intimately with my personal life (I’ve long since stopped trying to disentangle the two).
And Six Chix was at the beginning of it all.
Now let me say something about the other five Chix. Anne, Benita, Isabella, Margaret, and Stephanie– and the ex-chix Carla Ventresca. These women are not only fellow contributors—they are my dear friends. How privileged I feel to have been part of their careers, and their lives. It’s not to them that I say goodbye, but I will miss seeing my work alongside theirs.
Okay, before I get all mushy-wushy (and you know that’s just not my style!), let me brighten up a bit here, and give you the scoop on my replacement.
This Wednesday September 28th you will see my final Six Chix cartoon. On the following Wednesday readers will be treated to the first Six Chix cartoon by my dear friend Susan Camilleri-Konar. What can I say about Susan? The two of us have the same sense of humor. We jam comics together over FaceTime (she lives in Vancouver, and I live in Toronto. Yes, she’s a fellow-Canuck!)
As for her work, you may have already seen Susan’s cartoons. Her gags run frequently in The Reader’s Digest, The Wall Street Journal, Woman’s World, the Harvard Business Review, and more. She also does illustration. (Links below.)
In addition to that, you may remember Susan’s Guest Cartoonist spot on Hilary Price’s comic Rhymes With Orange. It was a great week.
Recently I spoke with Susan, and she told me how super excited she is to be on board Six Chix— really, she’s all over it, and ready to take over my spot. I want you all to give her a good welcome. Personally, I think there is no one more fit for the job, and I’m happy that my Wednesdays will be taken care of by a cartoonist that I believe in.
So that’s the scoop. Six Chix—the comic written and drawn by six women– is about to be injected with a fresh new voice. What do you think? For me, this transition away from Six Chix feels like the end of a chapter in my life, and the beginning of a thrilling new one. Funny, that’s how I had felt, so many years ago, at its launch.
It’s all good.
*For those of you who are unfamiliar with Six Chix – it’s a single-panel comic strip shared by six women cartoonists, each assigned a day of the week for the dailies, and alternating on the Sundays. The cartoonists, in order of weekday appearance are: Isabella Bannerman, Margaret Shulock, Susan Camilleri-Konar (former Wednesday spot Rina Piccolo), Anne Gibbons, Benita Epstein, and Stephanie Piro. It is syndicated worldwide by King Features Syndicate.You can see Six Chix cartoons HERE.