Cartoon Markets

cartoon marketsCartoon markets for cartoonists who freelance, are essential. It comes as no surprise to many cartoonists and gag cartoonists in general, that the market has dwindled or tightened up. So much of this can be attributed to the impact the internet has had on publishing. This includes everything print related from catalogs and newsletters to magazines and newspapers.

I once recall a time when all I needed was my subscription to George Hartman’s Cartoon World out of Lincoln, Nebraska and / or Lloyd Pallady’s Funny Papers out of Minneapolis to locate reputable users of single panel gag cartoons and boy oh boy there were LOADS of them.

And there is also Gag Recap inspires a lot of new cartoon ideas and generates gags over and over for so many slants and trades. Not to mention the inspiration it provides for the “creative mind” all of us ink-slingers posses!

Gag Recap had a lot of subscribers willing to share left-over markets based on their own work, or even drawing styles not appealing to the editors of other publications so lo& behold, a cartoonist would share that information at times and it would appear as a blurb here in the Gag Recap! Cool stuff for sure.

It is ironic though, that in this information-overloaded world, markets are considered “slim”. However, the keyword I want to focus on is “information” and where to find it. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re so right!

Yes, the internet! It’s now 2019 so let’s throw irony out the window and dive right into information that any Gag Recap subscriber can use.

Cartoon Markets Found Online

No, NOT Google! Let’s refine that window of information down a lot further and take it directly to a web site in particular.

Aside from Van’s listing new and potential markets here, there are other alternate sources. I once bought an annual online access to Cision’s magazine database.

Cision is the former Bacon’s media publisher. The current subscription to Cision’s database runs around $3000.00 and that is very expensive. So in essence, I won’t provide any of their background information.

I began researching for more economical yet similar online resources and found this one: SalesFlower! Just type that into your search and voila….you’ll see it’s an online database consisting of 14 million businesses which includes what Gag Recap focuses on – MAGAZINES….and yes, you guessed it, newsletters, and MORE!

The price is about $60 a month but unlike Cision, you can cancel at anytime. When I was with Cision, I was locked into a one year contract and they charged my credit card religiously once a month.

Unlike SalesFlower, you only have access to magazines, newsletters, trade journals and newspapers with Cision but with SalesFlower, you cross the entire gamut.

The gamut I speak of for cartoonists, is “package designers”, “graphic designers”, “book packagers”, “book publishers”, “greeting card publishers”….this goes on and on! The listings in SalesFlower are “Triple Verified Businesses” meaning they are up-to-date as much as they can be verified.

Like all lists, they simply cannot be 100%….owners go bankrupt, or a sickness affects the owner onto the business and / or natural disasters like fire and floods can affect someone. There are so many variables that trump a 100% guarantee like that! So this also has to be kept in mind.

Now, you are questioning how to find, zero-in on and approach any of these multitudes of potential markets that are listed through SalesFlower and the simple fact of the matter is by searching Standard Industrial Classification codes or SIC codes (please research this designation online) as they are called.

Each industry is classified by it’s own special SIC code….something I learned from Famous ex-Disney illustrator and syndicated cartoonist George Crenshaw who shared this secret with me, prior to publishing his own book ‘Drawing Cartoons That Editors Will Buy’. George was the ultimate in generosity and shared many of his tips and secrets and I listened carefully and to that extent, can “pay it forward” in this article!

When it comes to SIC codes, magazine publishers for example, have their own, which is: 2721. Look it up on the search engines to verify this. Then there is 7311 which is the SIC code for Advertising Agencies.

What better market could there be to show your gag panels or offer your cartooning abilities to? Advertising Agencies are ALSO publishers and therefore can be potential cartoon markets.  Many create newsletters for companies – who invariably could also use your cartoons.

AND, the bigger the company, the better the payment you can negotiate! I’m trying to keep this article down to a dull roar in order to respect Van’s page allotment since this is my first article for Gag Recap.

However, keep in mind that by using SalesFlower, your subscription is also a tax-deductible business expense.

And if you feel the monthly subscription is a bit high based on your current income, try and convince a fellow like-minded cartooning aficionado to split the monthly cost while you both pick out a specific SIC code and make cold-calls to any phone numbers or emails you utilize from the database.

I’m very serious about this tactic being used in order to find new markets for yourself. I used it diligently on a specific SIC code I focused on and found one (only ONE market) that liked my work for use in print ad promotions for their company and he pays me $1000 a cartoon…and he isn’t that fussy.

He assigns a scenario and I make a change or two on the rough sketch and voila…his people OK it and I send the final image file.

I’m not climbing over other cartoonists work to show to some editor in the hopes I will get an acceptance, this is going straight to new and unknown potential users of cartoons. Give this tactic a try! What have you got to lose? I have no vested interest or am associated with SalesFlower in any way….other than I am a fellow ink-slinger and former subscriber.

If you have good luck, tell Van about it right here, and perhaps a fellow cartoonist may discover a market they cannot serve, and share it right here in the “markets” section!

Also one caveat with this is that they do not allow actual downloading of information files onto Excel file sheets as they charge an additional price for that, and not certain but I believe it’s twenty cents per name for contacts, address and emails. However, just accessing the database for browsing and marketing / self-promotion is great.

As for George Crenshaw, he was a spectacular motivator for me, and an excellent cartoonist….he did the Belvedere dog comic strip and was syndicated by McNaught Features which itself is now defunct like so many other syndicates, due the the internet’s impact.

He also had great insights into self-promotion and marketing cartoons and sold many of my own gag panels through his Masters Agency which was long before the internet took grip on publishing.

Cartoon markets are not as easy to find in the competitive digital world we now participate in. But if you do your due diligence, and combine it with patience and planning, you will see positive results!

If anyone still has questions about SalesFlower, I am always available to answer: – good luck!