Gag Panel Cartoons
Gag panel cartoons are huge part of my repertoire. How better to associate my work with the potential markets out there, than providing trade magazines with a batch of single panel gags! And only a handful of competitors as opposed to dozens of competitors at the “biggies”!
The various aspects in my favor were numerous and to my advantage. Such as
- Low competition. All my competitors were trying New Yorker Magazine etc.
- Editors were in need of content as classified ads were flourishing – no internet
- Pay rates were not phenomenal, but many markets paid upwards of $50 per cartoon
- Unlike huge circulation magazines, editors usually let you to keep the copyrights
- Many editors were flexible, sometimes liking you enough to “assign” extra work
- While showing my work, I was also developing a decent cartoon style
- Where there is lesser competition comes better personal communication with editors
As mentioned in my last point above, many times an editor who likes your work will have you do other custom cartoons and humorous illustrations for the inside pages of the magazine or newsletter. You’ll be called upon more and more for such services and if you can envision yourself doing this with say 7 or more editors, than you’re working with your own “stable” of markets.
I’ve stumbled upon many of my old acceptance letters from years past which I hope to share in the future. A favorite acronym I’ve given these old cartoons and letters of acceptance is “Retrosandich”, looking back at all of my previous sales may possibly motivate me in creating new cartoons or even stumbling upon some new unknown marketing method. Especially with this digital realm we now use so readily at our disposal.
The fact these editors were paying me only five dollars per cartoon was a moot point. Well….$5 went a lot further back in 1978 too, but I looked at my work with these publishers as a form of training, since I was developing a decent and acceptable drawing style. If you are a beginner, it’s best to keep this in mind as you develop.