“Cartoons Drawn On the Back of Business Cards”, 15-year anniversary

[“Shark Bar”]

It’s a story I’ve told many times over the years:

When I first lived in Manhat­tan in Decem­ber, 1997 I got into the habit of dood­ling on the back of busi­ness cards, just to give me something to do while sit­ting at the bar. The for­mat stuck.

It was 15 years ago this week that I started this adventure, Christmas, 1997.

Of all the early ones, “Shark Bar” is the oldest one on record [Backstory here]. Here’s a picture I took of the original, five minutes ago:

Over the years I’ve done lots of them. Ten thousand at last count, and that was a few years ago.

I’ve had many adventures in my career; this by far has been the greatest of them. I am so thankful, there are no words.

Merry Christmas, Everybody.


  1. Wow, that’s awesome! I’m grateful too. Your work inspires me. Thanks for keeping at it.

  2. ‘Shark Bar’ is the most eloquent scribble I have ever seen

  3. The minute I started to “Ignore Everybody” my life changed immensely.

    As you can tell, a certain book inspired that change. 😉

    It’s amazing what we can start, create, or accomplish once we “let ourselves go” for even a little while.

    Thank you Hugh, and have a great New Year.

  4. I’ve been a subscriber for a while now; couple of years or so… I always look forward to your creative posts and stop by to look, laugh and ponder. Just wanted to check in and wish you a happy holiday season!
    ¸.•*¨*•.♪♫♫♪ Happy Holidays to You & Yours! .♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ♥
    ˜”*°•.˜”*°•.˜”*°•.★★.•°*”˜.•°*”˜.•°*”˜” ♥ ˜”*°•.˜”*°•.˜”*°•.★★.•°*”˜.•°*”˜.•°*”˜”
    Best wishes,

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark