May 2, 2009

A Letter from a Cartoon Syndicate & #17

Since I'm sharing my cartoons with you I thought I'd also share some of the process. One of my goals in cartooning is to become syndicated and appear in daily newspapers. I've been drawing for most of my life and have been illustrating "quasi-professionally" since 1999. Heavy on the "quasi". I even won some awards for illustrating textbooks in 2000.

I started cartooning back in 1994 when I would draw editorial cartoons for my college newspaper "The Lumberjack". I applied for syndication seriously once back in 1996 and looking at those drawing with an honest eye... I really wasn't ready yet. Recently I submitted the cartoon on this website for syndication to a company called Uclick just as cartoon #5 had been posted. I didn't expect to hear back from them since there was such a small sampling to share with them, but at cartoon #16 they sent me an answer.

Here's a copy of that letter:

Dear Mr. Seidell,

Thank you for your interest in syndication with Uclick. I regret to inform you that while we enjoyed reading your submission, we do not feel strongly enough about your work to take it on here at uclick.

Many factors were taken into consideration when coming to this decision including issues of scheduling, marketing, and the quality and uniqueness of your work.

We certainly appreciate you giving us a chance to consider your work, and we wish you all the best with it.

Thank you,
Morgan McGee
Uclick Acquisitions

I wasn't expecting an acceptance letter my first time out, however there was some sting when "quality" and "uniqueness" were cited as reasons why I'd been rejected.

Nichole (my self-proclaimed Marketing Manager and lovely wife) and I have decided that as of cartoon #24 we will begin seriously submitting Tao and Then to the larger syndicates (King, Creators, etc) to apply for syndication. I think our best chance for syndication is the fact that we have no idea what the odds really are, so we don't know when to stop.

On another note, my Rotring pens are unclogged and I've drawn and inked 3 new cartoons since last night. I hope you enjoy today's presentation of Cranky Kid at Aquarium, aka #17.

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to say right upfront that I am by no means trying to discourage you, I think it's great that you are doing this. As you may/may not know I had a strip in the Daily News for 3 years and after graduating college I attempted to get it syndicated as well. I had the good fortune of meeting with the chief editors of Universal Press, Creators and King Features which had good positive outcomes, but unfortunately no syndication. I am not going to lie to you, this is a extremely hard process- most syndicates get 7,000 submissions in a year and accept 1 on a busy year. Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) had to submit 7 different times before he was accepted. The editors are looking for someone to be able to complete 365 comics on a 10 year contract, so they just want to be sure the artist is confident and good enough to follow through because if they don't there money is on the line (usually $100,000 is invested in the promotion of a new strip).

    By 1999 I was told I was in the top 10 and I had submitted 3 times and was getting great feedback but suddenly all of the editors wanted me to wait 2 years before submitting again (I think the idea behind this was to get the original idea/theme I had out of my head and start with something fresh). I never did resubmit simply because I needed to get out of my Mother's house and I was getting busy with illustration work. I still plan on submitting again, I have been working on some stuff for several years now and it starting to come together.

    If I can be of any help just let me know. Keep at it. Don't give up. You've got some funny stuff here. As Jeanie Schulz once told me, "Take care of your gift."