Things I Wish I’d Known Starting Out

Mike Lynch’s recent blogs on submitting and whatnot got me commenting that I wished there’d been this sort of information easily available when I was starting out 10 years ago.

So, for the record, here’s some tips for those of you just beginning:

  • There is no standard gag cartoon size – don’t even think about it.
  • Get a Mac – save yourself the headaches.
  • Do what you think is funny – OK, you gotta do business cartoons for HBR, and you can’t always be bashing management (AKA the readers), but don’t try to figure out a market’s formula or slant. Make yourself laugh and let the markets fall where they may.
  • Good writing carries bad art – work on your drawing, but, above all, work on your writing. Good writing is so much rarer then good draftsmanship.
  • The Artists Market books are a waste of time – that is unless you’re looking to do lots of glass-making themed cartoons and be paid in copies.
  • Cartoon editors aren’t what you think – often they’re committees, or interns, or, I dunno, whomever. But, in general, cartoons aren’t top priority, and there’s nobody with the sign “Cartoon Editor” on their posh corner office door. Also, cartoon editors change all the time, so get used to it. A good cartoon editor is rare; love them while you can.

There. A little post Columbus Day realism for ya! Enjoy!

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5 thoughts on “Things I Wish I’d Known Starting Out”

  1. Great tips – I definitely concur with them all. Especially #2 and #3. It's been a while since I've posted but I continue to enjoy your blog, Mark. Keep up the great work!

  2. "Good writing is so much rarer then good draftsmanship"

    I think that's true of comedy where ever you find it…cartoons, TV or the movies. Shows like SNL, rarely seem to have trouble finding talented performers, but consistently funny material is another story.

    Anyway, thanks to guys like you and Mike for sharing what you know.

  3. I still think that when all is said and done, we would have had an easier time of it had we dropped this whole cartooning idea and started up the Mike & Mark Drywall Business.

    Thanks for the kind words.

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