One of the few syndicated strips I still follow with any regularity is Mutts. Creator Patrick McDonnell first came to my attention as the author of a definitive tome about George Herriman's "Krazy Kat" back in the eighties. Then in the nineties a cute, funky feature made it's syndication debut, which also had some similar characteristics to Herriman's work - particularly between the lead cat characters. I even sent off a letter to McDonnell noting the hat-tip to Herriman's Kat character's signature inflection with Mooch's particular phonetic phrasing.
And he actually wrote back (including many bonus personalized doodles customizing the envelope, a couple of which I've posted here), which reaffirmed my own dedication to paying careful attention to each and every interaction with anyone who cares enough to notice my own work, if not an outright fan. Interactions at a convention table, booth at the fair and book signings carry a lot of weight, and even seemingly inconsequential asides can go a long way. Almost without exception all of the fellow practitioners of the cartoon craft I've encountered over the years have been generous with their time, accommodating, conscientious and kind to all comers.
Via a post from Daily Cartoonist + one from Comic Strip of the Day (including an excellent bonus point about the increasingly rare real estate in print media being bottlenecked by legacy strips) came recent mention of McDonnell's series homage to "Peanuts" (link to Daily Ink archives). As opposed to most vapid derivatives that don't do any justice to the memory of Charles Schulz, this is a genuinely heartfelt homage that fits