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I sent you an email and you never responded. What's up with that?
I am grateful that so many people take the time to write me, but unfortunately, I just don't have time to write everyone back. I know that this is just an obscure cartoon that you see in some weekly paper that you pick up for free on the street, and that I should certainly have enough time to respond to those few readers who bother to even acknowledge that this pitiful contribution of mine even exists, but look at it this way: the total circulation of all the newspapers I run in is well into the millions, and that's not even counting Salon. If even a tiny fraction of these people read my cartoon each week -- and then even a tiny fraction of them decide to send me an email -- it still means I'm getting hundreds of messages every week. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the feedback immensely-- but there are only so many hours in the day. .
Do you have any advice for struggling young cartoonists?
I get this question a lot, and I wish I had something better to give you than the obvious: be persistent, and don't quit your day job. Space in newspapers is tight and cartoons are usually low priority for editors. There are only a couple hundred people in the country who make a living doing this. There are a lot of things you can do -- animation, illustration, whatever-- in related fields, but aspiring to become a newspaper cartoonist is a longshot at best. I was one of the lucky ones, but I don't really have any secrets to bestow. I just kept sending in my samples of my work to editors at all the AAN (Association of Alternative Newsweekly) papers until a few of them started picking it up -- and then a few more, and a few more, and eventually I could actually make a living at it. In the meantime, I worked day jobs. (There's a list of these papers at www.aan.org.)
The weekly papers are usually willing to work with a cartoonist directly. Daily papers generally prefer to buy cartoons from the syndicators. I don't know anything about getting a syndicate to pick up your work. They take 50%, and by the time I had established enough of a reputation for them to even notice me, it wasn't worth it to me to give up half my income to have someone else take over accounting and distribution tasks I was perfectly capable of managing myself.
Do you have any books or other merchandise for sale?
Yes, there are various self-explanatory links in the left-side column.
Do you have any other projects I might not have run across?
I have a full-page cartoon in each issue of The American Prospect. Some of these eventually find their way into my weekly strip, but not all.
Why do you make us go through Salon, with their annoying ads, or wait until Tuesday for Working For Change? Why don't you just put your new cartoons up on your own site right away?
Why do you insist on receiving a paycheck for doing whatever you do for a living? This isn't just some wonderful hobby--this is how I make a living, support my family.
I usually agree with you, but in this week's cartoon you make a point I think is very misguided.
Thank you for your input.
I never agree with you and think your cartoon is a waste of pixels.
Thank you for your input.
Wait? Is this all? I have more questions!
Please feel free to peruse the Interviews/Articles section of this website, where you will find more information about me than any sane person would ever be interested in knowing.