After deciding not to go the “submitting to magazines” route, I gave some thought to being syndicated. I have to admit that it sounded very intimidating because the fact is you have to come up with basically a finished cartoon every day. That’s a lot! So not only do you have to think of an idea that you feel is worthy to be drawn, but you also have to draw the thing which was not (and still is not) an easy thing for me to do. Even now it can easily take me an entire day to draw one cartoon, and oftentimes two. So how in the world could I keep up that kind of schedule? Here’s how I approached it – I already have a stack of cartoons that are finished – on days when I get behind, I just pull one out of the stack. Plus, the more I draw, the fastest I’ll become. Right? Anyway, my thought was, why not give it a shot.
Being a fan of The Far Side, I decided to contact the syndicate that published his cartoons to see what a person had to do to become one of their cartoonists. I was very surprised to find out that all they wanted from me were samples (copies) of my best twenty cartoons. That’s it? I was really surprised by that because I would have thought they would have wanted more examples than that. No matter. Whatever they wanted, I was happy to do.
After sending what I thought were my twenty best, I waited. Of course I wanted to know right away, but I also realized that I was one of many and that these things take time. These companies are inundated with portfolios like mine to be evaluated, and I would have to just show a little patience. One month went by, then another, then another. Finally, after four months, I decided to give them a call. The lady I spoke with was very nice and wanted to know if I had received the letter. I replied that I had not received a letter, and then she proceeded to tell me over the phone that my cartoons had not been accepted for syndication. I was disappointed, of course, but I also wanted to know the reason(s). She said there were two things: first of all, the artwork wasn’t up to par (I fully understood and accepted that), plus, the cartoons were “too quirky.” OK. I must say, she couldn’t have been nicer about everything. She did a very good job of letting me down easy and offered many helpful suggestions to help me in my cartooning career. She was very professional, and I appreciated that.
So now what? Part three will explain the next part of the journey.