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Drawger Turns 4
posted: February 9, 2010
In January of 2006, I had this odd notion that a site where illustrators posted articles might be a fun place to hang out. At the very least it sounded like a place where I'd like to hang out.

Somehow or another, I got a few other people to think it might be fun as well. Dave Bamundo, Randall Enos, David Gothard,  Don Kilpatrick, Mark Matcho, Hal Mayforth, Robert Saunders,  Michael Sloan, James Steinberg, Nancy Stahl and Steve Wacksman  were all willing to listen to this rather peculiar idea.

Around 2:30pm, February 9th 2006, Dave Bamundo bravely clicked a save button where no man had clicked a save button before and just like that, Drawger was born. About an hour later, Mark Matcho wandered in, clicked on a comment link and  typed a few sentences. The first comment arrived.

The following day Randall Enos published the second article here at Drawger.

On Drawger's forth birthday, there are 7,632 articles here and 82,295 comments. Image galleries here contain over 10,000 things to wonder at. Getting Drawger started, I have to admit, it was a rather selfish thing for me at the time. I just wanted it for me, me me. Remarkably, it's now for thousands daily, because of everyone here.
the original header (awww...it's so cute!)...
A few  memorable milestones (for me)
September 11th, 2006 - The homepage became a spontanious memorial. Without a doubt, one of the most moving experiences I've ever had. I realized then that Drawger was much more than fun, it was deeply meaningful. Sample of that day, from Edel
Monkey Song - October 2006. A completely blank post by David Flaherty got 151 comments. I try to derive meaning from this, but never arrive at any.

November 2006 - Enos published his first My Life on the Slanted Board. I hoped there would be more. There are.

January 2007 I notice a very real spike in traffic and wonder what's going on. I track the traffic back to a rather obscure, politically right-leaning site. The reason people were showing up here? To convince themselves that the "artistic intelligenicia" were suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome. It suddenly dawned on me that Drawger was having an impact. Until then, I thought we were all here just talking to each other. We got 50,000 unique visitors that month. 50,000 visitors is often a daily occurance here now.

September 2007 - Drawger is officially on radar as sites like BoingBoing (here linking to a Nancy Stahl show) and others start to take notice that something might actually be going on here.

June 2008 - Note to self: The most popular content at Drawger is Lou Brooks' Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies, with over 375,000 unique page views for the week.

July 2008 - Barry Blitt's New Yorker cover, titled "The Politics of Fear" just about crashes the server as thousands arrive hourly to send him hate mail (pro-Obama hate mail), even though his page here has nothing on it at the time. Fortunately for Barry who wasn't even able to eat solid food at that point, his email box was full and all that stupid crap bounced back to Drawger.
June 2009 - The New York Times refers to Drawger in print and then online, regarding Google's requests for free art in exchange for links. After getting an average of 10,000 hits per minute, Drawger goes down hard and we get a new server.

July 2009, Tim O'Brien posts Eyes, a portrait trubute to Neda Agha-Soltan. Visitors from around the world arrive by the thousands, we're linked to by sites I can't read. The portrait is displayed at her memorial service.

This is an amazing place to call home

A good neighborhood is made up of people who you learn to know and love, where you don't mind the guy next door throwing a trash can in the street at 2am, where your neighbor is willing to help you jump-start your car when it's 10 degrees outside, and where you don't have to lock your doors. To me, that's Drawger.

Happy birthday Drawger! I love you!


53 comments
John Dykes February 9, 2010
Amazing indeed. A heartfelt THANK-YOU, Zimm! and... Happy bday Drawger! The day ain't complete without checking in here....
Victor Juhasz February 9, 2010
You have much to be proud of, Mr. Zimm. Many thanks. A great place to be.
Yuko February 9, 2010
Happy birthday Drawger and thank you Zimm!!!
Shout February 9, 2010
Happy birthday drawger! thank u Daddy!
fiedler February 9, 2010
:>)x
Doug Fraser February 9, 2010
From up North & West, thank you for allowing me in the door. Happy Birthday!
Richard Downs February 9, 2010
From out West and slightly North, great job, thanks and Happy Birthday Mr Zimm.
Drew Friedman February 9, 2010
Nice. I'm proud to be part of it.
randy enos February 9, 2010
I did the 2nd post...I didn't know that. Thanks for all you do Zimm...yer a peach.
Brian Stauffer February 9, 2010
Amazing! Drawger doesn't lok a day over 3yrs.
Zina Saunders February 9, 2010
Thanks for creating Drawger, Zimm. It's made the world bigger and better.
Adam McCauley February 9, 2010
Thanks Zimm, you changed the scene with this place. Happy b-day Drawger!
Paul Rogers February 9, 2010
Thanks Zimm, you're the greatest! Your money is no good in any bar with an illustrator in it.
Robert Hunt February 9, 2010
They grow up so fast! Thanks for Drawger, Zimm!
David Flaherty February 9, 2010
goo goo da da
Hal Mayforth February 9, 2010
Thanks for everything, Zimm. It's hard to believe it's been four years. I feel like one of the original astronauts.
Marc February 9, 2010
Thanks for making me a part of it, Zimm.
Brandon Reese February 9, 2010
Happy Birthday Drawger and thank-you Papa Zimm!
Harry February 9, 2010
Ditto, you've changed the scene, and many of us owe you a debt of gratitude for not only giving us a place to hang whilst toiling away in our far flung studios but for the friends we've met, wisdom we've gained, careers energized, and dare I say the work we've received. It's much more than a website to me my friend. Next round is mine. I still can't get over that Obrien portrait, makes me want to cry.
Leo Espinosa February 9, 2010
I'm playing monkey song :_) this is so moving!
Hanoch Piven February 9, 2010
So proud to be Drawger's most 'Oriental' member!
Richard Borge February 9, 2010
thanks for all the hard work Zimm!
Ellen Weinstein February 9, 2010
Thank you for letting me be a part of drawger! Happy Birthday!!
Kyle T Webster February 9, 2010
Happy Birthday, Drawger. Thanks for building this great community, Zimm.
Laura Levine February 9, 2010
Happy Birthday!
Cathleen Toelke February 9, 2010
I've very much appreciated being part of it, Zimm. Happy Birthday.
Walter Vasconcelos February 9, 2010
Feliz Aniversário Drawger! Thanks for your hard work Mr. Zimmmmmmmmmmmmm!
Mark Fisher February 9, 2010
This place is just what I needed at this point in my life and most likely for the rest of it as well. I'm addicted! I want to thank Mr. Zimmerman for making the drug and Rich Goldberg for getting me hooked.
Chris Buzelli February 9, 2010
Thank You Zimm! I love this place.
Christoph Hitz February 9, 2010
Darn time flies when you have a good time. Thanks for making it possible.
Dugald Stermer February 9, 2010
I'm honored to be a recent part of your vision. It's a terrific clubhouse. Thanks!
Eli Harris February 9, 2010
I started reading the content on here shortly after it went live and I've never been want of information or eye candy. I too love Drawger, Happy Birthday!
Dale Stephanos February 9, 2010
Thank you Zimm, the man with the science. This is home.
Tim OBrien February 9, 2010
Robert Zimmerman changed illustration for so many with the creation of Drawger. Speaking for myself, I gained the ability to take stock in things and try to focus on the best parts of my job and life. As a brooding Irishman, this does not come naturally. Drawger is also this permanent water cooler that I've never experienced. I know other illustrators so much better than I ever have. I've learned so much from them as well. Thanks Zimm. Security word: FINEWORK
Donald Kilpatrick February 9, 2010
Thank you Zimm for bringing this great idea to fruition! And a big thank you is in store from myself to Nancy Stahl who invited me here. I am honored to be here, and here's to the future of Drawger!
Randy Jones February 9, 2010
Remember those early documentaries of the pimple faced Bill Gates,and Steve Jobs displaying their plywood computers to the world? There should be the same for the first days os Drawger. Thanks Zimm. We all love ya.
fuchs February 10, 2010
well, i wanted to get all teary eyed and sappy and shit, but all i can say is that my security word is "hairmilk". that says it so much better than i ever could :)
Jeff Moores February 10, 2010
Cool place Zimm... Thanks!
Andy Ward February 10, 2010
Happy Birthday Zimm! So happy to be hanging out here - great company, great conversation, and the wallpaper is second to none. Onwards & upwards.
A.Richard Allen February 10, 2010
Sheesh, the big oh-four already! Cheers, Zimm
Cathie Bleck February 10, 2010
Thanks Zimm...It is quite a feat to cultivate a culture such as this fine forum. You are a great leader and a fabulous dancer. Yes, we all love ya!!
Christian Slade February 10, 2010
Congrats on a great site! Also, a big thanks to Don Kilpatrick for inviting me in its early days! Glad to be here.
Carl Wiens February 10, 2010
Thanks Zimm, Drawger has been a truly positive force during some seriously turbulent times. So many great stories here and so much talent. Vive le Drawger!
Julia Breckenreid February 10, 2010
Thank you Zimm - you know I love this place!
Joe Ciardiello February 10, 2010
Zimm's the best.
Steve Brodner February 10, 2010
Zimm: You are about the best pal to illustration in the world. You have created, and continue to create wonderful things, that allow others to create as well. Thanks to you I can smear all the graffiti I want and never get hassled by the cops. At least not yet. Congrats.
Patrick JB Flynn February 10, 2010
Congratualtions to Drawger and all the terrific artists that make it so delightfully informative and instructive. FOUR MORE YEARS!
matt curtius February 10, 2010
Congrats and thanks for letting me a part of this Zimm.
Stephen Kroninger February 10, 2010
yes yes yes
Steve Wacksman February 10, 2010
Ah, Zimm- thanks loads for building us this super cool clubhouse! It's been a fun 4 years for sure. security word: rockmost. that sez it all.
robert neubecker February 11, 2010
Happy birthday! I second everything that's been said. I've enjoyed reading the site for years. It's a privilege and a pleasure to be a part of it.
Scott Bakal February 11, 2010
It is pretty intense, huh? Four years and no-one was hospitalized yet...that's got to stand for something! Bahahhaa! Great job, Rob...this place is the best! Congratulations to everyone here!
Peter Bono February 11, 2010
Congratulations ! Drawger reminds me of Cheers