My Brief Affair with the Gag Cartoon Market

Artist Magazine, Cat Fancy

While hardly an auspicious start to a fledgling freelance career, I had some of my very first sales early in 1989 with several ‘Gag Cartoons’. I sold 2 or 3 cartoons to “Cat Fancy” magazine and several cartoons to “Artist Magazine” (who, oddly enough, would end up featuring my pastel portraiture in an article the following year, after seeing a self portrait on one of my mailers).

When I first decided to go ‘freelance’, I really had little to no idea what sort of ‘drawing’ work I would be doing, and I tried quite hard for six months or so to crack the ‘cartoon market’. I sent regular weekly submissions to many of the top buyers of cartoons (The New Yorker, Saturday Evening Post, etc) and I think the drawing was just fine, I just had trouble with coming up with funny ideas. Eventually the cartooning morphed into cartoon spot art to accompany magazine articles, which was something I was a whole lot more comfortable with.