Business Cartoons You Don’t Want In Your Employees’ Cubicles

I do a lot of business cartoons here at Andertoons. They’re fun to do, there’s no end of material, and they sell well. But there is a bit of a catch – the people you’re generally selling to are executives and upper management, so you can’t pick on them too much. As a result I do cartoons like this:

It’s not really picking on anyone in particular, but it’s funny and true.

Still I spent too many years in business as a worker drone to not have a little fun at management’s expense. And if I were management and I were touring the cubicles, here’s a few cartoons I might not think were so funny:

Well, at least he’s honest.

This is one of my biggest selling business cartoons, and if you’ve ever spent time having PowerPoints read at you, you know why.

I think employees often feel put upon. This just takes idea a little further.

(Also, I used the name “Lynch” as sort of a shout out to my inky cartoonist pal Mike Lynch.)

If this cartoon resonates with you, you’d better hang it up in your cubicle fast so you can enjoy it before you have to take it home in your cardboard box with your other personal effects.

Corporate Cartoon #5702 by Andertoons

Secretly I’d love to work for Despair.

I’m pretty sure a manager almost slipped and said pretty much this exact thing to me once.

Another super popular cartoon. If I’m taking about it and don’t have it in front of me I always say “OK, now that we all agree, let’s go back to our desks and discuss amongst ourselves why this won’t work.”

I have no idea why I add those two extra words, but I always do.

That’s nothing to sneeze at these days.

Those poor people are in for it.

One time my kids saw this one and wanted me to explain why it was funny. I said “Hey! Who wants cookies?” That always works.

If you’re management, the best but extremely ironic response to seeing this hanging up would be to just ignore it.

Feel free to browse all of my business cartoons and let me know if you see any others that might make an exec cringe!

Bride Appeal Interview


Bride Appeal, a wedding SEO and bridal website design site, has just posted a really nice itnerview with yours truly!

Here’s a snippet of my chat with Kathy DalPra:

It’s the trend of all trends in the wedding industry: visual marketing. If you’ve been following this series, you know that the way to today’s web 2.0 bride is through imagery…pictures, video, pin boards and more. But part of the magic that happens with visual media isn’t just the image itself…its also the message behind the medium. What message are your images sending?

Connecting with brides can be easy….just make them laugh! I don’t know of a quicker way to do that than with a silly joke. That’s why I’ve invited cartoonist Mark Anderson of Andertoons to tell us all about how a simple little comic can work wonders for your online marketing.

Check out the whole thing over at Bride Appeal!

The Modern Freelance Cartoonist

The life of a freelance cartoonist is never boring. Fun, frightening, exhilarating, frustrating, goofy, overwhelming, and surprising, sure, but never boring. For me the key has been balancing catering to all kinds of media and markets while keeping my own art and writing style intact. Here are just a few of the ways the modern freelance cartoonist can draw funny pictures for a living:

Magazines – Spec Cartoons

Freelance cartoonist example 1

A cartoon I sold to Reader’s Digest

The first markets I ever sold to as a freelance cartoonist were magazines. I’ve sold to lots of titles, big and small, and it was a great way to learn the business, sweat rejection, and burnish my cover letter credits.

Selling to magazines means creating tons of cartoons on spec, which on it’s face seems like a bad deal. But the more you churn out, the better you get, and the better you get, the more you sell. Still, only a very small portion of your spec work will sell, but you are also slowly building a large library of cartoons you can eventually sell online.

Sadly, even when I was starting out the number of titles buying cartoons was dwindling, and now there are only a very few good recognizable markets left. It’s good work if you can get it.

Magazines – Custom Cartoons

Freelance cartoonist example 2

Custom cartoon for corporate tech magazine

Most of the magazine work I do now involves the creation of custom cartoons about very specific topics for niche publications. What I like about this type of cartooning is 1) you’re working with a client who’s involved in the process from the beginning, 2) it’s challenging, and 3) you know you’re going to sell this cartoon and you know for how much.

I think the most difficult part of this kind of work is remembering that you’re not helping the client by simply doing exactly what they ask. A good freelance cartoonist is also an advisor who guides the client to the best possible outcome.

Remember, they know their business, and you know what’s funny. Meet in the middle and everyone’s happy.

Cartoon Greeting Cards

Freelance cartoonist example 3

A cartoon repurposed as a birthday card

This is another area I used to work in more, but don’t so much now as the smaller companies are tightening their belts, and larger companies are almost impossible for a freelance cartoonist to break into.

Looking back I think had I focused more on creating cartoons specifically for cards instead of looking at it as a way to repurpose existing work I might have enjoyed more success, but there’s only so much time in a cartoonist’s day.

Cartoons For Books

Freelance cartoonist example 4

A book cover cartoon illustration

Be it pressed wood pulp or PDFs, books are a great place for the modern freelance cartoonist to sell cartoons.

I sell a lot of existing cartoons to textbook publishers on a variety of topics (that large spec library at work), and again I create custom cartoons to fit.

Freelance cartoonist example 5

A cartoon for College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step by Robin Mamlet and Christine VanDeVelde

Books aren’t going anywhere, and many of them are going to need cartoons.


It’s not hard for a freelance cartoonist to create a webcomic. Draw it, publish it, you’re done. But making a living at it is a whole different thing.

There’s only a handful of cartoonists earning their money primarily from a webcomic business model, but it’s theoretically possible. As for the rest of us, if you can repackage/republish your cartoons this way it can provide some additional revenue for a small amount of additional effort.

And who knows, maybe you’ve got the next Penny Arcade on your hands.

Cartoon Calendars

Freelance cartoonist example 7

A cartoon for a hospital gown manufacturer’s calendar

I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of work for a freelance cartoonist in cartoon calendars, but it’s something to consider.

Many large publishers create the standard monthly and day-by-day cartoon collection calendars each year on a variety of topics. And corporate clients often use calendars with customs cartoons about themselves or their industry as year-end gifts and marketing devices.

Calendars at least warrant a look.

Custom Comic Strips

Freelance cartoonist example 8

A custom comic strip for Infoblox, an automation technology company

You can probably tell by now that I do a lot of custom comics for clients. They’re popular in a content marketing capacity (blogs, social media, email newsletters…) because they’re fun, attention grabbing, and easily viral. Custom comics can be a good opportunity for today’s freelance cartoonist.

There are certainly any number of additional options – self-publishing, apps, comic books, syndication – to help pay the bills, and I’m sure some enterprising person is dreaming up a shiny new opportunity as I write this. For me the key to earning a living as a modern freelance cartoonist is to keep looking for new markets, and keep making yourself laugh. Or to quote Steve Jobs quoting the The Whole Earth Catalog, “Stay Hungry. Stay foolish.”

How to Draw a Cartoon Shark – Tutorial

Happy Shark Week everyone!

To celebrate I thought it might be fun to sink multiple rows of teeth into drawing your very own cartoon shark. Just follow the 10 simple steps below and you’ll have a jaws-droppingly good shark to show off.

When you’re finished, feel free to tweet, pin, email or otherwise share a pic of your cartoon shark with me and I’ll post it here at the blog! And if you’d like to grab the image and post it on your own blog or website, you’re more than welcome to. (A link back would be appreciated.) Enjoy:

How to draw a cartoon shark

Wasn’t that easy? You should try out my other how-to-draw tutorials too:

Feel free to check out my shark cartoons here too!