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.


Cartooning Dos and Don’ts (Advice to a Young Cartoonist)

Andertoonsmailbox-2 1Got this email from a young cartoonist a while back:

My name is (name omitted) , and I just graduated from Baylor University in May with a degree in English Lit. While there, I also cartooned for our campus paper, The Lariat, for a good five semesters or so. I just narrowly missed getting to work with our new assistant media adviser, (name omitted), but she has mentioned that she knew you from school and that you’re open to advising students looking into cartooning as a field. To that end, I’m writing to see if you have any practical advice on making a living off of drawing. I’ve visited Andertoons and read your FAQ (so trust me, I plan to “draw, draw, draw”!). But do you have any stories or advice regarding the path you took? Maybe mistakes you learned from or things you got a jump on? I figure any advice I can get from those who have gone before would be super-valuable.

I’ve offered cartooning advice before, and regular readers will know that I don’t often tend to wax poetic about art and inspiration and all. I’m assuming that’s a given.

When I look back, the help I needed most starting out was nuts and bolts advice. So, some cartooning Dos and Don’ts for you:

DON’T – Bet it all on syndication

That’s not to say that the syndicates aren’t all very nice, but it seems there’s fewer and fewer breakout strips, and the newspaper industry isn’t in the best of health anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s always room at the top (and I haven’t looked at your work) but the odds are pretty long on making a good long term living with a syndicated strip. You might be better served to…

DO – Promote yourself

I’m going to assume that your cartoons are really good, so that means you’re about a third of the way there. Get a website working well and get it noticed. Blog. Tweet.

Look at your competition and see what they’re doing and do it better and more often. Eventually you won’t have to do as much of this, but count on thinking about it a lot for the next year at least. That being said…

DON’T – Create only what you think will sell

Doing what you think will sell because you need/want to make money is the wrong way to go. It comes off false and readers sense it. That being said, trying to sell ninja princess bunny cartoons to business publications or professionals looking to pep up a powerpoint isn’t a good idea either.

There’s a fine line between acknowledging available markets and creating appropriate material for them, and cynically creating cartoons leveraged more toward sales than humor. Do what you think is funny while keeping an eye on the markets. You’ll be happier, funnier and make more in the long run.


DO – Be a business

Learn what an invoice is and make yours clear and professional. Get up to speed on some basic accounting. Invest in good materials and equipment. Have your W9 ready to fax over.

Be professional on the phone. To a client you shouldn’t be Johnny Someguywhocandraw, you should be Johnny Inc., who knows what they’re doing.

OK, that’s about he best cartoon advice I can give. There’s a ton of other really good cartooning blogs out there for more help and inspiration.

Good luck!