Computer Magazine Cartoon Editors

computer magazine cartoon editorsWorking the trade journals when I began circulating my cartoons also meant showing them to those computer magazine cartoon editors I thought might like my work. I was sorting through a lot of old files recently and wanted to share some letters , yes actual typed letters on sheets of paper that I received from some of my favorite cartoon editors of the day.

As a cartoonist, I realized early on that I loved cartooning but it didn’t love me. The only way to make that happen was to show my work. I was doing computer cartoons as far back as the 1970’s. I always saw big main frame computers in magazines like Popular Science and Smithsonian and how the publications emphasized these machines were to impact the future.

Cartoon editors were plentiful in the computer magazine field

As I got further along in perfecting my cartooning style, I noticed a surge of newcomputer magazine cartoon editors technical magazines and trade journals that catered to computer users and eventually desktop publishing and more in-depth specialty newsletters that pertained to computing. I began tailoring my work to this readership more and more and gradually started circulating my single panel gag cartoons out to as many of these publications as I could. So many of them were using cartoons.

To any cartoonist who wants to see his or her work in print, you need to set down certain rules with yourself. For me, I needed to create a minimum number of cartoons each day. You need to think in numbers, in order to see a steady stream of acceptances. You’ll also be developing new business relationships, not to mention finding new opportunities along the way. Perhaps an editor is over-stocked with cartoons and just can’t use you at that moment and asks you to re-submit later.

Computer cartoon ideas are generated by studying the publishing market

computer cartoonsOr perhaps an editor simply doesn’t use single panel computer cartoons but likes your work. That editor may assign you to do customized editorial cartoons for the magazine or possibly illustrate articles for the publication. Rejection doesn’t always mean an editor cannot use you. They could possibly use your cartoons in another capacity, so keep that in mind. Many computer magazine cartoon editors would send copies of the publication for study. This really helped in understanding the content and title and direction the magazine was headed. The articles always helped in generating new cartoon ideas also. Alot of helpful and considerate editors worked with cartoonists like me.

Many of the computer magazine cartoon editors who published these specialtysan diego cartoon computer magazine magazines were very receptive to cartoons and articles, photographs and illustrations. Mind you, alot of them were published at a time when computers were not a part of the mainstream yet. Desktop publishing was in it’s infancy, mobile devices were not even available and laptops were the mobile device of the day – and very expensive I might add. Oh, and bulky and heavy!

But overall, it was great fodder and subject matter for cartoonists to focus on. I always targeted the trade magazines and included them in my cartooning efforts and acquired many regular and steady markets with this in mind. If a cartoonist wants to develop a reliable client list, a few factors I’ve included are listed here:

These steps were advice provided by other cartooning tacticians like George Crenshaw, George Hartman, Carl Kohler and others who were fulltime cartoonists

  • Keep a lot of work in circulation at all times. You’ll be playing the odds
  • By creating a steady supply of cartoons, you’ll also be developing a sellable “style”
  • As editors publish you on a regular basis, you’re developing a portfolio
  • Competition is much less in working the trade magazines
  • Build a repertoire with trades and gradually focus on large magazines later. Sales there will be “gravy”
  • Some editors who don’t use gag panel cartoons may assign “custom” illustrations

There are other aspects, but these are the primary ones to focus on and keep in mind.
Additionally when you get published in trade journals, you also may get reprint requests. Cartoons for trainers in the technology and computer field are yet another cartooning related factor to remember. A facilitator or trainer might see one of your gag panel cartoons in a certain issue and request your permission to use it in a presentation they are planning. A book publisher may also want to use one of your computer cartoons in a book they are planning.

In order to locate a lot of these trade journals and ask them about whether or not they were interested in cartoons, I was sending cartoon questionnaires by fax to literally hundreds of publications over a weekend or at special times when long distance phone rates were down. If you’re a professional publisher in need of any customized computer cartoons or humorous illustrations, contact me with any questions by using my contact form or my email address you can use for sending a special request.

If you’re new to cartooning or freelancing, I hope I’ve provided a small bit of positive information you can use to your advantage or at the very least, instilled a little inspiration.