Cartoonists and Gagwriters - Make More Sales Using Typers

By Ron Coleman

Here is another novel idea that George Hartman, publisher of Cartoon World came up with years ago.

As a cartoonist I often write my own gags, but sometimes use a gagwriter. I find that on a good day I can write about 10 gags per hour, but it takes me often an hour or more to draw a single cartoon. Since a large percentage of the cartoons a cartoonist submits get rejected, a lot of time is spent on speculative drawing.

Hartman found that some publications, usually trade journals with a difficult slant, were willing to review cartoon ideas in typewritten form first, then okay those that had potential. The cartoonist would then draw up any the editor already liked. The idea was initially floated as something gagwriters could do in order to sell directly to the publications, but I found it also works well for cartoonists. Over the years I've sold quite a few cartoons by submitting the ideas first in typewritten form. The nice thing about it is that once an editor approves the idea and you draw it up, they will buy it nearly 100 percent of the time.

I found this works best with publications with a very specific slant who have difficulty finding gags that fit their needs. Large general publications won't take the time to go through this extra step.

In order for this to work a cartoonist should submit along with the gags, a promo sheet showing some of his previously published cartoons. This way the editor has a better idea what to expect when he okays a gag. For gagwriters to use this technique they should first line themselves up with a cartoonist or a few cartoonists who are willing to work with them under a plan such as this. The gagwriter should obtain a copy of their partner cartoonist's promo sheet so they can submit it along with their gags.

Cartoonists should pay the gagwriter 50% of the sale if the gagwriter sells a gag this way.

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