Syndicated cartoonists are distributed to newspapers and media by syndicates

syndicated cartoonists

Syndicated cartoonists  Mort Walker and Charles Schulz come to mind when you hear about newspaper comic strips and getting syndicated.

I am writing this article not long after the recent passing of the legendary Mort Walker who drew Beetle Bailey and he created many other well known comic strips that newspaper aficionados may be familiar with. Mort was a well known power-house in the world of cartooning and he’s written many books about cartooning and of course many anthologies of his most famous creations Sergeant Snorkel and Beetle Bailey will live on in perpetuity. Camp Swampy will be flying the flag at half staff for the upcoming week I am sure!

With permission of Dave Astor who was friends with Mort, I am including a great black & white photo of Charles Schulz and Mort with this article.

Comic strip syndication is still thriving in the new millennium

Syndication is not in decline, the problem lies with various elements associated with it. Newspapers themselves are trying to scale back their budgets – especially in non competitive towns – which means the demand for comic strips and cartoons is not what it once was.

Nor do people reading the actual hard copy rendition of newspapers rely on classified or display advertising as they once did. Years ago, newspaper advertising was a great way to sell your products locally or through an advertising cooperative of subscribing papers.

When newspapers lost this additional cash infusion of money, it also affected many newspaper publisher’s budgets….especially in smaller markets. Many of those advertisers moved to adverting on the internet or through advertising apps etc.

Newspaper operating costs have affected the potential for syndication

The cost of stock that newspapers are printed on, has risen exponentially and this is yet another aspect which in turn, has affected the budgets of many publishers across the country. My topics I mention here are not necessarily regarding a syndicated cartoonist salary, but more in regards to ’cause and effect’.


It goes without saying though, that syndication is alive and well, and it is the best cartoonists who can write and draw a feature that syndicate editors like, will most likely land a contract….so don’t let any of these previous paragraphs discourage you. You may be curious how much do newspapers pay for comic strips and cartoon panels, and that of course is based on some of the previous elements mentioned in this article.

Look at it all, from a more positive perspective, as though you are a young Mort Walker and you have the next new idea and concept that will appear on the comics pages along with Peanuts and Beetle Bailey. Syndicated cartoonists will still thrive if given the chance (by editors and the readers)! If you were to get a comic strip or panel accepted by one of the syndicates, you may just answer your own question as to how much do comic strip artists make, and surprise yourself. A recent documentary showing how a Beetle Bailey comic strip is produced may also be of interest.