How cartoonists promote using cartoon self promotion tactics

Cartoonist Promotional Marketing Tactics

Cartoonist promotional marketing tactics vary in the cartooning business.  I’ve written previously about some of my own cartoon marketing techniques in order to get editors and publishers to consider my gag panel cartoons but some of the syndicate tactics are very interesting.cartoonist promotional marketing tactics

Or at least back in the hey day of newspaper strips as is evidenced by a sample I recently encountered in a back copy of Editor & Publisher magazine from 1991.

I am certain a lot of these kinds of promotions or ‘press releases’ are now carried out via emails. This one from Universal Press Syndicate that distributed Lynn Johnston’s ‘For Better or For Worse’ comic strip sent out a targeted birth announcement on behalf of one of the strip’s characters Elly Patterson who gave birth to their daughter April Marian. Check it out in the sample included.

It’s a direct marketing approach that urged their subscribers to interview the cartoonist and of the newspapers on the subscriber list at that time, it resulted in Johnston doing about 20 interviews with various newspapers. Very cool way to generate buzz for a new character added to a comic strip.

I’m not certain how ingenious newspaper syndicate editors generate new “buzz” for comic strip features now, because there are online syndicates, sites that host syndicated features and the like. But when it comes to cartoons for newspapers or gag panel cartooning, promotion and marketing are key to keeping and generating interest in your service or product.

For Better or For Worse comic strip site

At the time that Lynn’s new character was introduced via this unique promotional concept on behalf of her syndicate, the feature was appearing in an astounding 1,400 daily and Sunday clients. As of this date, For Better or For Worse still appears in newspapers but only in re-runs, so am not sure how many subscribers the feature now has but it had a great appeal for many many years.


When cartoon strips go into reruns or comics creators go on vacation for extended periods, most newspaper editors don’t like it. A topic I will hope to profile in a future posting here on the Toonblog!