Once, we had two cats – a fluffy, savage, rollie-pollie dog of a cat named Samurai Jack, and a cute, sweet, skinny, slightly skittish cat named Miss Jilly. Somewhere in the late 2000s I began drawing silly cartoons featuring these cats to amuse our children. We’d make silly jokes and goofy voices for them and it was a lot of fun.
Eventually, I turned them into a cartoon called Magnificatz, and I fulfilled a life long goal in getting that cartoon syndicated through Universal at their GoComics portal.
When Samurai passed away early in the strip’s run, I saw continuing Magnificatz as a way to keep alive his memory. Along the way, I lost my sister Janet, who loved the strip dearly and often offered me advice and support, and last year, I lost my father, who loved collecting the books, always asking me when the next on was coming out. Again, I continued the strip as a way to keep their memories alive. I thought of them often while drawing it.
Of course I have other people out there who love the strip – many fans and of course my wife and our kids, who really were the reason I started drawing this, after all. But the kids have grown up and moved out, my wife and I have turned our attention to more challenging art projects, and it’s become harder for me to find the inspiration or time to keep drawing Magnificatz.
Sadly, last night, Miss Jilly passed away. It’s probably no secret that I have been struggling creatively over the past year to find my footing. I tried out a bunch of new comic properties during the COVID times – Taraniki, Pandora’s Bones, Cubicle Pigs, Dani and Dax, Doc and the Deathbot – all while returning here and there to my beloved Magnificatz.
But I think the passing of Jilly last night has sort of shut a door for me. Maybe the wound is still too fresh to make any decisions, but I’m just not in the mood to make funny jokes about my cats any more now that they’re both gone. Magnificatz should be a labor of love. A labor of joy. It was once and it’s not now. I’m finally ready to let go.
I won’t be drawing any new strips, and Magnificatz will be leaving syndication APR 15. For those of you who have loved and supported Magnificatz over the years, I am very thankful. And I know you will miss enjoying the strip online as you have for so many years. But I will be releasing Magnificatz Collection #2 and #3 this year (summer and fall is my plan, however, I’m the publisher as well as the artist, so we’ll see if I can find the time and energy to do it justice).
But for now…. Jilly is gone and I didn’t realize how much of a Last Straw that would be for me until it happened.
Take care of yourselves out there. See you online.