Category Archives: The Cartoon Business

Oct 1, 2017 How my book came to be

On the Thursday afternoon of March break 2017, out of the blue, I received an email from Julia, an associate acquisitions editor at Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, asking if I’d be interested in authoring a book of humorous comics about yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Breathe, Cathy, breathe.

I played it cool, and asked to set up a call to chat about the details.

The next morning, I left my activity-filled home (read: loud children on March break) to get a nice cup of coffee. I then drove to a nearby, quiet, tree-lined street and parked my car (read: mobile office) and sipped on my cappuccino as I waited for Julia’s 10:00 AM scheduled call.

By 10:20 AM, I had a book deal!

(It took 18 years to get to the point where a publisher is contacting me, but that story is for another time.)

They wanted to release the book at the end of this year, so there was a lot to do, and fast!

First there was the contract details to negotiate. I’m happy to report that I got everything that was important to me, and I believe they did too.

Then, I went through the entire 700+ cartoons in my archives, and sent the best ones to the publisher for their consideration.

Then I got down to work. The book needed 50 new cartoons pronto. I said I could do it, and I did, but OMG did I ever work my butt off! I have friends who draw daily cartoons, and they’re probably laughing their butts off because they have to draw a cartoon a day, every day, all the time. But for me, it’s not a pace I’m used to, particularly because I was also experiencing a fresh bout of self-esteem issues related to success. There was a circular conversation in my head that went something like this: “Who am I to do/be/say anything important/worthy/valuable?”. I’ll tell you more about this later too, for now we’ll leave it as a difficult period that I got through with the help of friends, and a mental health professional

The publishing team and I went back-and-forth for months. Going over every archived and new cartoon to make sure that every word and every line was the best it could possibly be. We worked on an introduction and an acknowledgement page, where I thanked every one of you for reading, laughing and encouraging me to continue with your kind words and laughter.

Which brings us to today. The book is complete, at the printers, and available for preorder!

It’s called Unlightenment, A guide to Higher Consciousness for Everyday People, and it’ll be available in book stores big and small, in public libraries, and online at the links below!

Peace and laughter,

Cathy

Mar 25, 2017 The New Yorker Blahs

If memory serves me correct, this is the fifth time I’ve submitted cartoons to The New Yorker Magazine.

The first two times, I submitted photocopies by mail in a self-addressed stamped envelope, and received my rejection notices on little yellow post it notes attached to the returned cartoons. I don’t recall the exact wording, but it went something like: Thanks, but no thanks.

The third time, I submitted in person while visiting New York. I signed in at the front desk, got a badge, and waited for my turn with a bunch of other cartoonists, mostly men who seemed to be having a wonderful time catching up with their buddies. We were called in, one at a time, to show Bob Mankoff what we brought. He said my cartoons were good, but ill suited for the New Yorker. I was disappointed, but it was a fun experience. After everyone was done, a bunch of us went for lunch. If I was more forward, I would’ve asked everyone’s name. I’m sure I was surrounded by cartoonist rock stars. This was before I had a smart phone, so I couldn’t discretely Google image search everyone.

I tried a few years later, again by mail. I think this time they used a full piece of paper for the rejection.

This last time, they asked that we upload our submissions, and this is the email I got back.

Maybe if I submitted more than 5 times in the past 18 years, I’d have more success.

Or maybe the sixth time is the charm.

I don’t know.

I guess we’ll see in a few years when the itch to submit calls to be scratched.

Mar 21, 2017 Speaking at the Maker Conference

I was invited to speak at the Maker Conference, because I make stuff from my cartoons. Cards, prints, magnets, books.

I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve had sales representatives and distributors. I don’t anymore. I haven’t figured out how to run an active product based business and still have time to create.

Maybe one day I will, and for the time being, I’m happy to sell directly at shows, and license my cartoons to companies that know how to run an active product based business.

It’s good that there are many different ways to make a living as a maker!