Do You Know the 5 Cartoons Most Likely to Sell?

iStock_000003821345XSmall.jpgSelling cartoons is hard enough; give yourself a leg up on the competition by playing better odds.

After scouring 10 years of files, databases and Quickbooks reports, here are the cartoons I’ve found sell best:

1. Business Meetings

Put a couple of people in a room with a PowerPoint and you’ve got a great chance at a sale. Here’s the fine print:

  • Sales graph cartoons sell especially well (bad sales sell even better).

  • Anthropomorphize to stand out from the rest of the submissions.

  • White men are boring. Make sure you’re representing all genders and ethnicities.

2. Pets

People love their animals, and a good pet gag is a sure bet.

  • Dog cliches abound. Freshen one up and fetch your check.

  • Cats are almost too easy to make fun of. Get to it.

  • Birds are harder to mine for humor, but they’re a much appreciated palette cleanser for editors.

3. Kids

Whether you play them as innocent, worldly, or just plain silly, kids sell. Try one of these:

  • Taking a bath. Water has a lot of comic possibilities.

  • Teacher conferences give you lots of options. Study hard.

  • Playgrounds are like the standard bar scene for adults; a great place to ponder all sorts of things.

4. Recent Trends

Hard to spot, and a small window of opportunity, but almost a guaranteed sell. Some recent ideas that are almost surely dated by now:

  • Twitter

  • Going green

  • Newspaper decline

5. Holidays

Christmas and Halloween are the champs, but they’re extremely competitive. Break through an editor’s inbox clutter with cartoons about:

  • Groundhog Day

  • Fourth of July

  • St. Patrick’s Day

Of course there’s no guarantee as to what cartoons will sell. A lot depends on what and how much other cartoonists are submitting. But a decade of selling most of the top markets has shown me that the above cartoon topics certainly better your chances.

(BTW, check out my sales cartoons too!)

2 thoughts on “Do You Know the 5 Cartoons Most Likely to Sell?”

  1. Excellent post, Mark. Thanks for sharing the insider info!

    Time to go draw some baby-parrots-in-a-business-meeting-with-sales-charts cartoons…

Comments are closed.