Sunday, August 31, 2008

First rejection notice

Since I sent out my first packet of cartoons or columns the image I've held in my mind is that of Charlie Brown, sitting against his mailbox, waiting for a valentine.

As of this Friday, the picture I now have is of snoopy atop his doghouse, in front of his typewriter, reading a letter from a publisher rejecting his latest stab at the great American novel. "Dear sir,... Thank you for your recent submission... does not meet our needs at this time... cordially"

I would like to share it with you now, as sort of a badge of honor.

I mean no disrespect to the people at TMS by posting their letter here- and I certainly do hope that they will "keep me on their radar" (though since the returned my samples, I'm not sure how likely that is). As much as I enjoy fostering an image as a beleaguered, downtrodden victim of the corporate machine, I'm actually more proud of myself for trying than I am disappointed in the apparent failure.

On the one hand, I submitted to them first because my heroes as a teenager were columnist Mike Royko and cartoonist Jeff McNelly, both of the Chicago Tribune. Come to find out later, Royko spent a career loathing the Trib from his post at the Sun Times, and only came over to the Tribune when univerally reviled media mogul Rupert Murdoch (FOX) bought the Sun-Times.

On the other hand, I never thought I'd ever actually have the nerve to take a stab at this.
If nothing else, I can get my mother off my back, the next time she nags me about trying to make something of myself as a cartoonist or a writer. After all, I am a member of the most noble, most important, and most alturistic profession on earth- I teach. I may not be a full time professional cartoonist or writer, but hey- at least I'm not a lawyer, politician, or televangelist!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Blue news

Got my first rejection letter. From Tribune Media Services.

I'll scan and post it on tedstoons.blogspot on Monday, but now I'm off to the Cousin Campout.

Bummed out. ________________________________________________
Ted's Cartoons

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

For Thurs Sept. 4

I have to admit it, Hillary had a great line in her speech last night. It inspired me this week.

Monday, August 25, 2008

One more down

Sending a packet to King Features today. Maybe a couple more to go for columns and one more for cartoons, unless searching the web uncovers any more syndicates that I've missed. I'll try to get my last three packets out by this Wednesday. No word back yet from any of them.

The other strategy I may take is the "self-syndicating" route. I'll prepare similar packets, only I'll change the cover letter and make up a price list or flier or something offering newspapers my features directly. If I do this, I think I'll start with the other papers published by Enterprise first. Brad, my publisher in Mapleton already let me know that it wasn't really cost effective for him to run my stuff in the Missouri Valley paper, but maybe if I sold the other editors and publishers in the company on it first, I could come back to him.

If I don't have much luck within the company, then I can always start working on neighboring papers in the region outside of Enterprise. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Inspirational quote

My motto. Of course, I think the water's cold, so I think I may be getting cramps. Serious case of writer's block for my Aug 28 column.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lucky Strike

I found some stamps in my Dayrunner! Woo hoo!
I'm sending a packet to Universal Press Syndicate in KC today.
Seven down, four to go. No replies or returns yet.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

For Aug 28, 08 Mapleton PRESS

I had thought about this idea for today's newspaper, but then I decided to go with that whole "Birth of Venus/Obama" thing since the convention is the 25th-29th. Guess I got things backward. It was actually a half-ways original idea when I thought of it back on Aug 14, since then every cartoonist and their brother have pretty much drawn a variation on this theme. Whatchyagonnado?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One more down

I sent an envelope to United Features Syndicate today. I have five more packets to send out, but I'm going to have to buy more stamps first.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I saw this great quote today

I saw this great quote on a magnet in Barnes & Noble today. I thought it made a pretty good motto for someone who's pursuing a dream in lieu of having a midlife crisis.

"It's never too late to be who you might have been."
~George Eliot (English novelist)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Second wave

Well, I'm sending envelopes off to Tribune Media Services and to Creator's Syndicate today. Wish me luck. Several more syndicates to go.

When high school seniors send off their college applications, they all talk about hoping to get into their favorite. I don't really have a favorite. Washington Post Writer's Group SOUNDS, prestigious, when I was in high school I had a notion that somehow it would be cool to work for the Chicago Tribune, Creator's kind of has an aura of being of the artists by the artists. All I know is that it's a leap.

A couple of my students saw my envelopes and thought it was really cool that I was trying this. We'll see!


I had too much fun with this for it to be so tiny in an cartoon.
So here it is writ LARGE.
A few too many positive comments from conservatives on that cartoon for my blood, I may have to go back to being partisan.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cartoon for the Aug 21 Mapleton PRESS

There, now you can't say I've never drawn an anti-Obama cartoon!

I'm mailing my first envelopes of columns and cartoons today, to the The Washington Post Writers Group. Wish me luck. Probably won't hear anything for a month or more.

Shoot a mile, I just realized something- (no doubt a pitfall of using Photoshop) I failed to put my signature on this one anywhere. Dang. Well, obviously I owe credit to Raphael and the Denver tourism bureau anyway.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Facing my fears

I'm trying to compile editorial cartoons, Maladjusted cartoons, and columns and composing a cover letter to send to a number of major syndicates. Wish me luck, I don't handle rejection well. This is a big step since I've claimed to have this be my dream my entire life- yet I've never bothered to put myself out there like this.

But as comedian Johnathan Winters once said, "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it!"

Who knows what will happen. Maybe I'm still not ready, but then, I've waited more than 25 years to take this step- how much longer can I put it off?

See the PDF of Editorial cartoons that I'm sending out.

See the PDF of the 'Maladjusted' and some other cartoons that I'm sending out.

See the PDF of Columns that I'm sending out.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

For August 14 Mapleton PRESS

I like my caricature of McCain on the right better than the one on the left, the emotion really comes through. His teeth are so like they are in real life, forget about his heroic jaw. I'm also really proud of how smug Rove looks! Politics certainly does make for strange bedfellows, doesn't it? Someone who smeared McCain so bad in the South Carolina primary eight years ago is the very one who he hires to help him out now. Such is the Machiavellian nature of politics.

Rove loves to attack your strengths rather than weaknesses, Obama's too popular, Obama recommends saving on gas by inflating your tires... But maybe America finally is genuinely tired of negative campaigns. The ad comparing Obama to Paris and Brittany seems to have backfired pretty bad. I almost drew a cartoon endorsing Paris for President, but I thought that would be too easy- besides it would be treating a symptom, not the disease.

Mike Royko used to have a sign in his office; "Aquila non captat muscas" Eagles don't hunt flies. Okay, so I have a long way to go till I'm an eagle, point is why shoot low, aim high, right?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Cartoon for August 7 Mapleton PRESS

"I love sweet corn. It truly is better than sex! I'm not lying! All across the Midwest tonight, a husband and wife will finish what husbands and wives do, and the wife will ask the husband: "How was that?" And, if the man is honest, he'll say "Well, it wasn't sweet corn, but it was nice." It's a fact! Sweet corn is better than sex!...fresh sweet corn!...Store bought sweet corn, yes, sex is definitely better than that!" ~Garrison Keillor


Ain't nothin' in the world that I like better
Than bacon & lettuce & homegrown tomatoes
Up in the mornin' out in the garden

Get you a ripe one don't get a hard one
Plant `em in the spring eat `em in the summer
All winter with out `em's a culinary bummer
I forget all about the sweatin' & diggin'
Everytime I go out & pick me a big one

Homegrown tomatoes homegrown tomatoes
What'd life be without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love & homegrown tomatoes

You can go out to eat & that's for sure
But it's nothin' a homegrown tomato won't cure
Put `em in a salad, put `em in a stew
You can make your very own tomato juice
Eat `em with egss, eat `em with gravy
Eat `em with beans, pinto or navy
Put `em on the site put `em in the middle
Put a homegrown tomato on a hotcake griddle

If I's to change this life I lead
I'd be Johnny Tomato Seed
`Cause I know what this country needs
Homegrown tomatoes in every yard you see
When I die don't bury me
In a box in a cemetery
Out in the garden would be much better
I could be pushin' up homegrown tomatoes