My 2015 Reubens Talk

A few weeks back I had the honor of speaking at the 2015 NCS Reuben Awards in Washington, DC. It went really well and was well-received, so I thought I’d share it here in case you missed it or weren’t able to attend.

BTW, there were questions at the end, but I left those off. If you have questions feel free to drop me a line.

Big Cartoons, Shiny New Website – Your New Andertoons is one of the best and most popular cartoon websites online.

There are thousands of great cartoons to choose from, and buying and downloading them is a breeze. Can’t find exactly what you’re looking for? I can create custom cartoons to meet your needs, quickly and at a fair price.

We also offer free daily cartoon widgets, a daily email cartoon, RSS feeds for over 20 different topics, books and minicomics, and over seven years of great blog content to peruse.

Andertoons also partners with outstanding sites like Small Business Trends and GoComics, shares thousands of cartoon related images on Flickr and Pinterest, and with over 13,000 followers and over 10,000 tweets to date, Andertoons is definitely on Twitter.


We’re just getting started

After almost a year of planning, and more than 4 months of design and development, I’m very excited and proud to announce that we’ve just launched the best yet.

Here’s just a few of the awesome new features:

It’s spectacular, so let me show you around. Let’s start with the…

New Design

Andertoons has always looked good and worked well:


But we’ve taken that great design and tweaked it in all sorts of subtle but substantial new ways:


Here are just a few changes:

  • Easier-to-read Helvetica navigation
  • Clear, prominent social media links
  • Plenty of white space (hooray!)
  • Better organization
  • And big, beautiful cartoons (which I’ll address in more depth later on).

But while we’ve made all sorts of improvements, the site feels and functions almost exactly like the everyone is comfortable with. Pretty much everything is right where you left it, but it’s been cleaned up and polished a bit. Have a look around and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

I think it’s amazing, and I know you’re going to love it.

Improved Cartoon Search


We were one of the first cartoon sites to really implement robust cartoon search. Users can quickly search captions, tags, and topics, making it quick and easy to find great cartoons. But sometimes the previous database’s brute force SQL approach gave you a quirky result. For example you might search for “cat” and get a business cartoon with “categorically” in the caption.

The new Andertoons search is really smart and lightning fast. It’s based upon the same open source full text search server that powers gigantic sites like Craigslist and DailyMotion. And not only are the search results better, but you can do all sorts of fun things like searching ‘”cat” and “office”‘ to find cartoons about cats in the workplace. You can even search for cartoons by their inventory number if you know them.

Our new search is really outstanding and it makes finding the perfect cartoon faster and easier than ever.


As I mentioned above, the new search function is unbelievably fast, but we’ve also employed some ingenious Ruby/Sinatra, CSS3, and image optimization to speed up page load times by as much as 600% in some cases.

Want to see just how fast Andertoons is? Check out the new “page generated in…” stat at the bottom of each and every page. I just loaded the home page in 0.282923666 seconds, and found a batch of cow cartoons in 0.029928941 seconds!

No more waiting for images or databases, just good old fashioned zoom.

Bigger, Better, Beautiful Cartoons

When I started Andertoons 10 years ago, the internet was a vastly different place. Sites still asked you to sign their guestbooks, no one knew what a blog was, and screen resolutions were 800 x 600.

It was sort of a wild west and anything went, which I think explains my decision to present my cartoons at 340 x 273 pixels. Here’s an example:


We began with limited space and a goofy design and those dimensions worked for a long long time. But it was time for a big change (no pun intended):


Each and every cartoon in the inventory has been recreated from the large original 300 DPI TIFs to a more usable 480 x 360, that’s around 40% larger than the previous images. And as long as I was doing that, I individually adjusted every cartoon for contrast and sharpness, and cleaned up scanning errors. I also replaced the variously sized captions with a uniform, legible font that’s really easy to read.

Basically, every cartoon is bigger and better.


So that’s the new Completely redesigned from the ground up, but comfortably familiar too. Have a look around, give everything a try, and I know you’re going to love it as much as I do!

Andertoons On GoComics

gocomics andertoons debut

I’m proud to announce that beginning today my Andertoons cartoons are going to be rubbing shoulders with Charlie Brown, Calvin & Hobbes, and Alice Otterloop, to name just a few, over at GoComics!

Just in case you’ve been living in a cave…

GoComics from Universal Uclick is the online comics portal for the most popular comic strips and cartoons in the world and the Web’s largest catalog of syndicated newspaper strips and webcomics. GoComics content updates daily, bringing you the latest work from critically acclaimed comic strip creators, Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonists and the hottest up-and-coming talents.

Neat, huh?

I’m really excited! But maybe not as excited as Universal’s John Glynn:

“We’re delighted to have Andertoons join the GoComics family. Years ago, and for motives that still remain unclear, I happened to be wearing an oversized sombrero with a brim made of sharpened steel. Luckily I took it off just before I saw Mark’s work for the first time, which was fortunate for the other patrons of Sammy Jo’s Internet CafĂ© in Effingham, Illinois, because that darn hat would have flown off my head in a hurry (and may have hurt someone) due to the fact I was so taken with his work. That dangerous chapeau was confiscated a long while ago by the overzealous folks at the ATF, but Mark’s refreshing and funny comics are still around. And now I’m recommending to everyone to enjoy the unique look and superb comedic timing of this 21st Century humor-monger on GoComics.”

So head on over to GoComics and check out today’s Andertoons cartoon, leave a comment, and maybe send it to friend! You could also tweet it, digg it, stumble it, and fluuurng it. (OK, I made that last one up.)

Seriously, I’m thrilled to introduce Andertoons to a whole new audience, and thanks to John and everyone at GoComics for this opportunity.