Eventually all young cartoonists are unable to restrain themselves any longer. Friends and family have chuckled at her work and to her own critical eye it looks as good as what's appearing in print. The water looks good and she longs to dive in. She checks with her astrology chart and her ouija board and they concur - she is ready !
All right then, here it is-the $64 question. HOW TO SELL HIS WORK? There isn't any Geiger counter that will tell him where an editor lies waiting. And to go running through the streets, yelling: "Cartoons for sale!" probably wouldn't work.
By this time our young cartoonist should have apprised himself about the profession he now desires to enter. There are other aspirants - many of them. To reach for a pun, he will soon learn, if he doesn't know it already, that cartooning is a profession where "aspirants" give him a headache instead of relieving one.
Ostensibly, as in any crowded field, the new entrant must have some outstanding quality about his work in order to win recognition. Ask yourself, Have you achieved that? Then you can't miss. If you do, sue me.
(Sometimes a little prayer helps, as you can see by this cartoon from
Report To Writers.)
We will suppose that you have reached the point where your work has reached a satisfactory level and that you are justified in wanting to make first presentation of your work. Should you make your debut at a publishing office in striped cravat, pink blouse, and wearing that new hat everybody is daft about? I say by all means wear those things, but for Pete's sake - go someplace else in 'em!
Editors are very busy people and it's asking too much to suppose they will stop the presses every time a new cartoonist wanders in with down on his face and a portfolio in his hand. Besides, it is very unlikely that you, your personality, or your clothes will have anything to do with the sale of your work. A dead horse could sell a cartoon if it was good!
How then can you get an editor to see your work? The answer is
very simple and it puts practically all contributors in the same class whether they live at the North Pole or operate from the South Seas. MAIL IN YOUR WORK! Somewhere in almost every organ is printed its address and name of the art or humor editor. Mail your contribution to him - and just make sure you
enclose return postage. Many an
editor showed great promise in journalism only to fail the acid test - having to return a few thousand cartoons every day.
But will work really get looked at this way? Yes. You can rest assured that editors peruse very carefully every contribution that arrives in the mail. It is to their advantage to make "new discoveries." An editor who comes up with a bright new star in the firmament of comic art becomes known as "on the ball." He is waiting to discover you - if you are worth discovering.
WE REGRET WE CANNOT USE THE ENCLOSED MATERIAL
WHICH WE ARE RETURNING HEREWITH. WE SUGGEST
YOU TAKE UP PLUMBING.
This vicious little missive is known as a rejection slip. Many a padded cell is decorated entirely with these. They come in many shades, none of them attractive. The better publications use a heavy black border.
Next: Final advice to new cartoonists