Tony Millionaire has announced he's throwing in the towel on his long running alternate press strip, Maakies. Maakies was Millionaire's alternate take on his delightfully charming & surreal Sock Monkey stories...
...but while Sock Monkey was for children and adults, Maakies was a festering pool of violence, vomit, bile, blood, blasphemy, sewage, suicide, desperation, dysfunctional relationships and rampant alcoholism.
It was hilarious, but as in the famous critique of John Carpenter's Big Trouble In Little China, it operated on a frequency few could hear.
Tony Millionaire is a draftsman of extraordinary talent, successfully balancing the tension of extremely realistic and highly detailed art against gloriously vulgar cartoon sensibilities. Maakies was a marvelous meld of 19th century illustration sensibilities with the skid row aesthetics of Charles Bukowski. Would that it have run a hundred years. It's gone and yet Drabble continues to be published. There is no justice.
Maakies flourished during the brief reign of alternate press news weeklies in major urban markets. Relying solely on advertising revenue, these weeklies were distributed freely to young readers interested in edgy counter-culture.
Maakies was a perfect fit.
But the weeklies' free business model has been severely undercut by the even easier access to information through the Internet. As a result many features carried by these papers found themselves cut from publication, forced to turn to the Internet to try to survive.
It's been a tough journey with few survivors. Max Cannon's Red Meat has been struggling to survive, Julie Larson's Dinette Set (Suburban Torture when it was in the weeklies) make a successful leap to mainstream newspapers (but now finds that existence in peril as well).
Tony Millionaire had made a gallant effort to keep Maakies afloat, including animation projects, market, ancillary merchandise, etc., etc., and of course, etc. Alas, it has not proved successful enough to keep the strip going.
I salute you, Tony. You fought the good fight, you stayed true to your vision, and while you may not have succeeded as you hoped, you sure didn't fail.