Clay Jones – They Call Him The Streak

On May 6, 2017, editorial cartoonist Clay Jones began a journey he wasn’t aware he was starting. He posted his day’s cartoon on GoComics like usual, and then the next day posted another, followed by another, and another—until he looked up five years later and realized he hadn’t missed a single day.

While many creators in the syndicated cartooning world update their comics every day, political satirists’ work is dictated by the news cycle. Most cherry-pick an issue and post a couple times a week at most. For Jones, though—who’s been writing, drawing, and taking jabs at politicians since 1990—he’s found the past five years particularly fruitful. So when the pickings were that good, he couldn’t help but just keep going. We chatted with Jones about how he’s kept up this half-a-decade streak, and his plans to carry it on.

Five years! No days missed! Is that correct?

It’s true. When I asked GoComics to confirm it, I wasn’t entirely sure how long of a streak we had.

Clay Jones may have set a record for editorial cartoonists.

I can imagine for editorial cartoonists it’s difficult to separate life and work—do you try to put up boundaries from all the topics you post about?

I don’t know if you pull off a streak without work becoming your life. I’m single and live alone so work has kind of become my life since I was laid off from my last newspaper job in 2012, and I left Creators Syndicate to start my own self-syndicate. I knew to succeed and to make my cartoons as irreverent and strange as I was envisioning, I needed to focus. I cut out a lot of stuff I used to do like playing live music (I was in a band). I feel bad when people ask what the last book I read was because I haven’t read one since I started my syndicate. I haven’t even read the book Bob Woodward signed and sent to me (please don’t tell him). There’s not much separation for me between life and work. Ask my ex-girlfriend.

© Clay Jones

Do you intend to turn your streak into…6 years? 8? 10?

I’m going to keep the streak going but a lot depends on stuff like health or emergencies. Maybe a blizzard will hit, kill all my power to transmit the cartoon, and on my way to a McDonald’s for a McMuffin and free WiFi, I’m attacked and eaten by an urban wolf pack. We can’t predict the future. I don’t have a goal for the streak, and maybe one day I won’t think it’s important anymore, say, “I’m tired,” and sleep in. I think one day at a time is the best approach. The streak is just a bonus for me by trying to stay consistent.

GoComics talks to Clay about his streak, his process, and his fans.