I was chatting with my pal Mark Anderson yesterday about the cartoon markets. Even though we compete for the same markets, he's a great friend.
Speaking for me: the big change that I am seeing is that either my sales are small (a cartoon sold to an individual for a presentation, a dollar from a t-shirt sale) or they are large (drawings for an ad campaign). I'm no longer selling a couple hundred dollars here, a couple hundred dollars there. I think this is because those sales, mostly to magazines, are rarer. Obviously, traditional print gag cartoon markets are not buying as many. Heck, last week's New Yorker had only eight cartoons in it!
But people still love cartoons.
When I quit my real job 10 years ago to cartoon, I thought I would have this model for business:
MAGAZINE GAG CARTOON BUSINESS MODEL
You draw those one-panel cartoons and mail them out.
But I found out that there is an organic process to all this. Here's what I mean: a cartoonist friend was editing a cartoon-a-day calendar for Barnes & Noble. Would I like to submit some cartoons? An editor called me; Reader's Digest was publishing a book. Would I like to be in it? So, now I had a
MAGAZINE, CALENDAR, BOOK GAG CARTOON BUSINESS MODEL
and it was all because my cartoons were getting seen. And then I got an email from a fellow in London who had seen my cartoon in a magazine during his lunch hour. He didn't buy the magazine, but remembering my name, he went back to his office, Googled me and found my site. His UK company was going to do a big ad campaign, and would I be willing to draw some cartoons for it? And so now the
MAGAZINE, CALENDAR, BOOK, ADVERTISING ILLUSTRATION GAG CARTOON BUSINESS MODEL
was in full swing.
And the more revenue streams, the more places your work is seen, the better.