How One Man Overcame TRD (Treatment Resistant Depression) To Become The Internet\’s Top Cartoonist PressZoom (press release), Netherlands – Nov 22, 2006 — Rick London likes to talk more about overcoming depression than the funny things he creates. One of his favorite lines is from Charles Schultz’s biography..\”I became a cartoonist because I couldn’t do anything else very well.\” Schultz also suffered from TRD and died before the cure was discovered. London says, \”Though I never met him, I felt I knew him through his work. He was like a ‘cartoon father’ to me. I felt if we ever met, we would understand each other immediately and be best of friends.\”
Rick London, raised Richard Stetelman, always knew he was different. Though in many parts of the U.S. ( and the world ) it is not only tolerated to be different but celebrated. Not in Mississippi in the
racial turbulent 1960’s. London wore long hair, purple bell bottom jeans and a pony tail. He had shoulder length hair. He experimented with drugs. He dropped out of college in 1972 after his freshman year at age 18.
After moving around the country taking a series of odd jobs, London came home. The year was 1997. He found himself homeless until a kindly social worker offered him a metal warehouse with no air conditioning or heat, and no hot water or bath. London bathed in the sink. He bought a $100 computer, a phone line, and learned the Internet.
London had always suffered from major TRD ( Treatment resistant depression ) but was always considered one of the more creative writers around.
He had a box full of cartoon concepts and captions he’d written over the years.
By 1998, he was recruiting artists to work with him on speculation to create the “world’s largest private inventory of cartoons”. Though most didn’t believe he could do it, they were
lured by his enthusiasm. The concepts were very offbeat.
It was far from an overnight success. Several web servers went under, London didn’t have back up disks and had to start over.
Fast forward to 2006. London now owns Londons Times Cartoons which Amazon’s Alexa.com system considers one of the leading sites on the Internet with an inventory of over 6000 original cartoons all created and written by London and rendered by his illustration team. His site receives about 4000 hits per hour or 5.6 million hits since January of 2005 ( today is Feb 22, 2006 ).
In September, London launched Londons Times Superstore which is said to have the largest inventory of cartoon gifts and collectibles. He even started his own private label brand of gourmet coffee gift baskets that include a cartoon mug and coasters.
London tells this story, not to promote his site, yes, he realizes it can have that effect.
“London says, “I look back over my 52 years and realize that depression played a very major role in my decision-making, or lack of practical decisions.”
“There was no treatment that worked for my depression. In September of 2005, the Vagus Nerve Stimulator VNS, was approved for depression. I was fortunate enough to be approved for the procedure and for the most part, I am once again functional. I still have a long way to go, but with my trust in G-d and the medical community and their gifts of healing, I have a second chance. That is the real reason this story is important to tell.”
“My method of treatment for depression might not be the one that works for you. But please keep trying. There is one that works and when it does, you will know it. And you will live life once again. G-d bless you all and may you have joy, freedom and prosperity for the rest of your days.”
The London Group