It can’t have escaped the notice of many comics fans that the print periodicals industry has been going through challenging times in recent years, with even the biggest names in the business looking to cut costs wherever they can. Now, it seems the latest casualty of this cost-cutting trend is Tony Millionaire’s wonderfully idiosyncratic weekly newspaper strip “Maakies.”
The cartoonist behind Drinky Crow and Uncle Gabby the sock monkey announced his decision to end the long-running strip in a Facebook post entitled “MAAKIES IS DEAD,” in which he first recounted the origins of its main character, saying “since that cruel icy winter in February, 1994, Drinky Crow and Maakies have been my constant companions and lifesavers. With a broken heart I sat in that bar in Brooklyn and drew comics for beers. The black coal of my heart cracked open and a bird popped out, a drunken bird, a crow, Drinky Crow. It grew, I grew, people read my little strip and they grew.”
He then went on to lament the dwindling market for weekly newspapers and their comics sections, saying, “…now we’re all grown up, the weekly newspapers across the world which carried the strip have almost all disappeared or dropped their comics sections for one reason or another, and here I sit, at the edge of a granite boulder, jutting out into Gloucester harbor, watching the good ship Maak sink… I was a hard-boiled newspaperman, I was proud! The world has changed, the only comic strips that can sustain themselves anymore are those who have ambitious young strong-arms with the self-discipline to set themselves up on dedicated home-made sites or those that can land a spot on a big website or two, which could support it financially.”
And for all those Drinky Crow fans seeking to give the beloved bird a fitting final wake, Millionaire had one further piece of advice: Buy the most recent Maakies collection, “Drinky Crow Drinks Again!”
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