Yes, this must have been close to the time when the post office introduced the zip + four code. It never really caught on, did it?
In July 1983 I started an interesting relationship with Boardroom Reports, Inc., and in particular with one of its divisions, Boardroom Lists. At that time, Boardroom Reports, based in New York City, was publishing a line of very popular personal and business newsletters, with titles like "Boardroom Reports", "Bottom Line" and "Tax Hotline". (Update: according to Google, Boardroom is now headquartered in Stamford, Conn., and is still apparently doing quite well in the newsletter publishing business.)
To get back to my story, in 1983 the Boardroom editors were occasionally using cartoons in their various newsletters, so I sent in a batch of my cartoons, on speculation. The batch was rejected, but along with the rejection was a letter from Brian Kurtz, "List Manager" at Boardroom. He said that he saw my cartoons and was interested in buying and printing at least one of them for his "Boardroom Lists" newsletter, which was targeted for users and purchasers of mailing lists for direct mail promotions. The cartoon posted above was the one that he wanted.
Brian also asked to see any other cartoons I might have relating to his particular field, and wanted to know if I'd be interested in doing any special cartoon projects that he had in mind. Of course I was interested. My relationship with Brian lasted about three years, and in all that time I never met him — all our discussions were by mail or phone. (Another update: again according to Google, Brian Kurtz is now Executive Vice-President of Boardroom, Inc., in Connecticut, and I have to assume he is also doing quite well.)
Getting back to my story again, Brian began using my cartoons in his newsletter and in other promotional material. He also volunteered his expertise in creating some of the gags, and whenever I felt that his contribution was important enough, I signed the cartoon STEIN + KURTZ (the only times I ever shared a by-line with anyone).
In a burst of inspiration, Brian even based an award-winning print advertising campaign around my cartoons. I'll be posting all the cartoons and the ads in the future, under the publication category of "Boardroom Lists" (even though the ads appeared in other trade publications, such as "Direct Marketing", "Zip Target Marketing" and "D.M.News"). I received a royalty payment each time an ad appeared in a publication. What was the award that the ad campaign garnered? It was the coveted ECHO award from the Direct Marketing Association. Brian was nice enough to send me this Certificate of Creative Recognition: And he also sent along this note: For all these years the certificate has been languishing in a folder in one of my file cabinets. But now I plan to frame it and give it its rightful place on my studio wall. Okay, it isn't an OSCAR or even a CLIO, but it's an ECHO!
Now let's see . . . how many postal rate increases ago was this? Today the caption would have to read ” . . . the penny postcard is still only 26 cents.” Tomorrow — who knows?
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