Although I celebrate the traditional U.S. Thanksgiving in November, here in Blogworld I take the opportunity of New Year's Eve to express gratitude for the people and events that made the past year good.
Top of the list are my wife Karen, my daughters Laura and Robin, and my larger family of sisters, dad, aunt, in-laws, cousins, and nephews. Everyone managed to stay pretty healthy and happy this year, which I don't take for granted.
Thanks to friends and fellow travelers in the comics world, including Mike Lynch, Otis Frampton, Jeff Kinney, Paul Giambarba, Stephan Pastis, Richard Pini, Neil Kleid, MK Czerwiec, Sarah Leavitt, and many others whom I may have met only briefly (including Nick Meglin, John Shableski, Carol Tyler, and Paul Dini) but were invariably kind. Others whose blogs provide regular entertainment and education. Also, my online communities at ToonTalk, rec.arts.comics.strips, and the Wisenheimer for their camaraderie and complaints.
Thanks to readers and especially commenters on this here blog, because it's nice to hear more than an echo when shouting out into the void. Especially my regulars Mike Peterson, Sherwood Harrington, Ronniecat, Marion Deeds, Jennifer (Namowal), Mike (Sligo), Mary Ellen (Xtreme English), Ronnie Peterson, assorted persistent lurkers (I see you there!), and others. Also, people who've supported my new 2009 efforts on Facebook, especially Jim O'Kane and Nancy Gleason (thanks for all the photos!), and everyone who signed up as a friend or fan. It's been especially great to hear from old friends.
Big thanks, affection and respect for the people at Abrams ComicArts who made me a second-time author in 2009, including boss Michael Jacobs, publisher Steve Tager, publicist Amy Franklin, designer Neil Egan, and especially my friend and editor Charlie Kochman, whose wedding to the wonderful Rachel I was honored to attend. Still don't know what took him so long. If we don't work together again in 2010, it won't be my fault.
Thanks to the owners of Four-Eyed Frog Books in Gualala, Judy Weinberg and everyone at the Toledo Museum of Art, and the organizers of the Miami Book Fair International, who gave me opportunities to speak and maybe sell a few books. Likewise to the journalists who thought I'd make a good interview subject and spread the word through print, radio and web, hope I didn't disappoint. Also to the people who reviewed WHTTWOT; although I'm naturally more thankful for those who loved it than those who didn't, I don't think giving my book a bad review necessarily makes you a bad person. But it does increase the odds.
People who bought and read WHTTWOT, especially those who took the time to tell me I captured the story of their lives. One thing I've learned from both my books is that making that intimate, mysterious, one-on-one connection with a reader is the best reward of all. The second-best reward is money.
People who continue to discover Mom's Cancer and tell others about it. That book has an enduring impact that sometimes surprises me, and is unimaginably gratifying.
My real-life friends who suggest dates, invite me to parties, drop me e-mails, and otherwise make sure I have a life despite all evidence to the contrary. Jonas, I owe you lunch.
I'm thankful for our cat Marbles, whose loss is a fresh wound of absence keenly felt.
Everyone I forgot: it's not you, it's me. I'm getting older. Thank you all.