Unused Book Cover

I’m working on a book cover job right now, and it got me thinking about another piece I did for a book cover that never got used:


I was supposed to be for a Will Shortz crossword collection called The Crossword Connoisseur, but they ended up going with another concept entirely:


I was still paid the full amount, but they made some last minute change apparently. Anyway, thought I’d let my art have it’s moment in the bloggy sun.

Recycled Paper Greetings Responds

I got this comment from Recycled Paper Greetings’ Steve Gruhn today. (You might want to read the original post to get up to speed…)

Hey Mark,

I’m the author of that rejection letter. You failed to mention that you have been sending our company your cartoons for years. I’ve sent you many previous letters asking you not send anymore designs in a “nice way”. I said that I didn’t think your cards were a good fit for our company. It seemed as though nothing was getting through. I actually figured we were on a distribution list of yours and they were always going to keep coming. Sorry that it had to be so harsh.


Hey Steve,

You got me.

I’m a persistent guy. I sent Recycled stuff for a long time, even after a lot of rejection and “you’re not a good fit” notes, because that’s what good cartoonists do.

95% of the material a cartoonist sends out get rejected, and that’s if you’re good.

Here’s the thing – if you’re going to accept submissions, accept them. Sure it’s annoying, but I’m sure you’ve discovered some profitable talent that way.

If the incoming slew of cartoons has significantly gummed the machinery, stop accepting submissions. To my knowledge neither Hallmark nor American Greetings accept submissions, and I’ve never sent them any.

In any case, you don’t have to worry about any more submissions from me.


P.S. – For the record, I’ve been submitting to greeting cards for about two years. So “years” is technically correct, but just barely. Also, I don’t recall any “nice” stop submitting letters outside your normal rejection form letters, but even now I get rejected an awful lot, so I’ll have to take your word for it.

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The Last of the Flickr Rejections


OK, I’ve uploaded the last of my interesting rejections to my Flickr pages.

I don’t get many anymore, and it’s not because I’m so great, I just changed how I ask editors to respond.

Instead of including a SASE for them to send me back all of my cartoons in, I ask that they recycle whatever they don’t want, and that they check a box on a much more postage efficient postcard.

True, I end up printing a lot of cartoons when I send out paks, but I don’t have to worry about storing and organizing a lot of paper, and I cut my postage costs almost in half. Nice!

I’ve included the postcard front and back in the rejections set. Enjoy!

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Flickring Rejection

185167388 989B89C8E6 MIt’s taken me a while to decide whether or not Flickr is useful, but after taking a hundred or so pics of my Spider-Man toys, I’ve caught the bug.

Here’s a collection of rejection slips I’ve gotten over the years. So far there’s only six, but I’ve got more sitting next to the scanner.

I’ve also started a group for people to upload their own rejection slips.

So, now I’m on Flickr too. Yeesh…

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