Feed Me!

We’re making lots of little changes here at Andertoons lately.

We recently added the mouseover enlarge feature, coupons are now up and running, and today we’re launching a new look for the daily cartoon email/rss feed:


Not only is it cleaned up a bit, but there’s a ton of new ways to share the cartoon.

To the right of the cartoons there are links for Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon that will put the cartoon right where you want it lickety split!

So if you like a cartoon, please feel free to share it with your family, friends, and followers, and help make the web a funnier place.


(Note – It may take a day or so for the feed to change in your reader/email. Also, Google Reader users, the Tweet feature won’t work for you. Sorry. Something with the way Google handles URLs.)

New Email/RSS Formatting Brings Relief

I’m always trying to think of ways to improve Andertoons for my readers and customers, and I’ve been getting a lot of nice emails about the recent daily cartoon formatting change.

From a loyal Andertoons reader:

Ahhhhhhhhhh. I like this format SO MUCH better. The other one with the small thumbnail was a pain in the neck and too time consuming to click, wait for it to bring me to the main site, etc.

Great improvement!

Aw shucks… Thanks!

BTW, if anyone has any ideas on way to improve the site or the blog, just drop me a line!

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Daily Cartoon RSS Feeds Enhanced

Recently I’ve made some biggish changes to my RSS feeds, and I think you’re really going to like them!

Here’s the old feed (as seen in an old email I dug up):

Old Rss

OK, it got you what you needed, and the thumbnail linked to the cartoon so you could see it larger.

Here’s the new feed (as seen in my feed reader about 5 minutes ago):

New Rss

First off, the cartoon is now full size. No more clicking to see the dern thing. Of course, should you want to click it, you’ll be taken to the site where, oh, I dunno, you could buy it for a presentation or newsletter! (wink wink)

I’ve also added links on the right side to popular topics, and links underneath to the blog, and my stuff at Facebook and Twitter.


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That’s What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout!

Daryl Cagle launched 200 editorial cartoon RSS feeds.


I’d like to elaborate, but that’ pretty much says it all.

Just for fun, I checked Comics.com for feeds. Nada. Zippo. Zilch.

GoComics.com? Kinda.

At first I was sort of excited with the RSS symbol in my URL bar:


Clicking it and adding it to my feed reader, I was still hopeful:


But then, bitter disappointment. The actual feed content (highlighted in orange) is just text. It’s not even a link as far as I could tell. I had to click the feed’s title (underlined in blue)…


…to get to the cartoon in my browser:



Let’s compare that with Cagle’s Clay Bennett feed:


I clicked on the 6/1 cartoon and got:


Yep, cartoon right in the feed. As it should be. And some nice stuff at the bottom of the feed to boot.

Even better, click the cartoon or the title and you get:


Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.

Syndicates, you’re already way behind here. Time to take a chance and get some real RSS. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did.

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Cartoon Inertia

A few days back, Mike Lynch linked to a wonderful interview with King Features’ Brendan Burford over at Comics Reporter.

I also recently read a really interesting little interview with NBC’s Integrated Media President, Beth Comstock, in Fast Company.

What struck me was the very different approach NBC has to the internet as opposed to a syndicate.


We certainly recognize that it’s something that needs to be attacked, something that needs to be done, but our attitude and our philosophy all the way back to us wanting to hold back on giving away free comics is to just slow down, wait for things to develop, make the move when it makes sense and it’s right. I think there’s so much figuring out to still be done. How is this a business? If it is a business, and we try to apply it, are we going to kick ourselves for having gone out too soon with that business. Are we going to be disappointed in that business for not having greater returns and if that is the case, how long do you stick with it before you change course? So it’s an ongoing research project to figure out where we want to make our mark and how we want to make our mark. All of that said, I think you can expect some things from King Features in the next year or two. Big things, where digital space is concerned.


This space is frenetic and chaotic, and we’re constantly trying to get out of our own way. With success, you get a bit more confident. But we still have to be more focused and more disciplined.

And I’m fearful. I’m constantly scanning the landscape. What’s the next new thing? Who’s going to get there first? This business is hypersensitive like that. You have to pick a path, keep to it, and feel good about it. Second-guessers will end up with more than ulcers.

On the few shows I watch regularly, you can’t help but notice NBC striving to take advantage of the online community.

Miss “Heroes?” Catch up online for free. While you’re there, read the corresponding online graphic novel, or chat about theories on the board. Listen to cast commentary, etc…

Like “The Office?” Don’t miss the deleted scenes. Or play the quote game. Or post your HR nightmares to Toby.

On the other hand, check out King Features online. The comics are there, sure, but they’re a month old.

Wanna get them in your email? Gotta sign up for Daily Ink. At $15 for a year, it’s an OK price. I tried it for a while and the service and product is all good, but still…

RSS feeds? Forums? Behind the scenes? Nada.

OK, let me slow down for a sec and point out something:

I do not have the answer.

Hell, I don’t even know what questions to start asking.

While I’m enjoying some success online, my business model is radically different from that of a syndicate.

A lot of my sales come from magazines, company newsletters, presentations, and the like. People use my gag cartoons to fill a little space, illustrate a point, get a quick laugh; you’re in, you’re out, everyone’s happy.

Comic strips work best when you’re invested in the characters and stories. Not a great fit for those types of usages.

To be fair, NBC doesn’t have the answer either.

You get the sense that they’re sorta flailing around trying anything and everything online to see what might work. But they’re trying.

You gotta wonder what exactly the syndicates are waiting for.

Often you hear that they don’t know exactly what they’re looking for in a submission, but they know when they see it. Functioning editorially that way is one thing, but similarly basing your future business plans? That would keep me up at night.

I’m really hoping someone out there smarter than I will come up with the answer, or at least try something new, soon.

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