I took Turbo Schlock in to Jiffy Lube yesterday, and saw a guy who looked kind of familiar sitting in the lobby. I turned back to the check-in desk, and the fancy screen that faces customers told me it was Sam Cardon.
Background: when I was a music student at BYU back in 1990 there were a couple of famous and successful local alumni we variously admired, respected, and envied. Sam was one of these guys. Here’s the official CV, if you want it.
Anyway, I turned back to Sam and said “Sam Cardon! I thought you looked familiar — the screen here helped me out.” He told me that I looked familiar too, but he wasn’t placing me. So I introduced myself — “Howard Tayler – I studied music at BYU.” He recognized me then, and immediately asked if I was still “doing music.”
I told him I wasn’t — I was now a full-time, independent cartoonist. He was genuinely thrilled.
And there began a very enjoyable and enlightening 15 or 20 minute discussion. We dicussed the “cult of the amateur” in our various fields, and how the free content model was or wasn’t working well there. He seemed happy to know that it wasn’t just the music industry falling apart, though we agreed that they’re being pressured less by a rising tide of free-content amateurs than by file sharing among their customers.
We also talked about how technology has provided such cool tools for our jobs. Sam wistfully spoke of the $100,000 in recording equipment that he and Kurt Bestor put together years ago, whose functionality now exists in a single laptop Sam carries around.
I wish we could have talked longer. I hope we’ll have the opportunity to talk again. I gave Sam a Schlock Mercenary URL card, along with my email address and phone number. Not that I hope to illustrate his music, or have him score my comic, mind you.