The Generosity of Cartoonists

Cartooning and comics are a tough business - especially now as the industry faces steep challenges adapting to all the new media. So it is amazing to me just how generous cartoonists are with their time, support, and advice. I would like to thank the cartoonists that have linked this blog (or John's blog - the Lab Notes) to theirs: Margaret Shulock (Six Chix), Sandra Bell Lundy (Between Friends - see previous post),  Norm Feuti (Retail and Gill), Paul Gilligan (Pooch Cafe), Piers Baker (Ollie and Quentin), and Alex Hallet (Arctic Circle). I am probably forgetting someone - let me know if I missed you.

Also, I have to give a huge thank  you to Lynn Johnston and Cathy Guisewite, both of whom gave John and me terrific advice about the comics business.  

I left out some of the syndication story in my previous post.  After about the second or third round of rejections by syndicates, (probably about 1994) I wrote to Cathy Guisewite and asked about representation. In the music business it is next to impossible to get your demo in the hands of anyone in the record industry without it first going through an agent or a manager. I asked her if the comics business was similar. She wrote back and explained that comics really didn't work like that - that syndicates sort of take the place of an agent, actually - and that a good source of information about the business was a magazine called Cartoonist Profiles. (We have several copies in the closet. Unfortunately it ceased publication some time ago.) This turned out to be very helpful and it was also good to know we were going about things in the correct way. 

Likewise, further down the road, when John got his development deal with King, we had no idea who to have look at the contract. Or even what kind of lawyer, for that matter. So I took a shot and wrote Lynn Johnston and asked her for her advice. Not only did she contact John, she took time out of her busy schedule to phone him personally and I want to say spent about an hour filling him in. In looking back I am astonished at my nerve even writing to these women - they were (and still are) huge stars in the comics world. But even more astonishing - they answered! That still blows me away. John and I are planning to go to this year's Reubens (more in a later post) and it is my great hope that, after all this time, I can thank these women personally. 

For a similar story about the generosity of  Arnold Roth (see previous post) go visit Margaret Shulock's blog on the Six Chix site.

Oh - and a belated thank you to Hilary Price (Rhymes With Orange) and Paige Braddock (Jane's World) who, after knowing me five minutes and with no idea of whether or not I would pay them back, lent me money for breakfast. :-) ( I did pay them back BTW)


  1. I agree, Anne. In ten years of professional cartooning, I've rarely known other cartoonists to be anything, but bend-over-backwards helpful. There was one exception (an Aussie, surprisingly), but he is known to be a miserable old git, so I didn't take it personally!

  2. Hey Alex! Glad to see you and welcome! Very cool crossover with Pooch Cafe the other day - will we see you at the Reubens?