One Peek

21 Oct

It’s absolutely none of my business, but I’d love to see what some other cartoonists make.

Why do I say that?

Well, I’m just curious.  As this industry (the cartooning industry, of course) evolves, I’m constantly searching out the best direction to go with my work.  I have thousands of gag cartoons that have been produced through the years, a few graphic novel ideas, strip features that have come and gone and also have been thinking about creating a more teen book (think ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid‘ type).  With all that being said, everything I do takes time to produce.  What should I focus on?

Need to Focus copy (1)

For example, there are cartoonists out there that produce nothing but graphic novels.  Okay.  That’s great.  But I wonder if that’s how they make all their income?  Just off that?  I do know – from experience –  a book has to sell EXCEPTIONALLY well for it to bring in even a few bucks.  Yet, from my view point with Facebook and being online, it doesn’t seem like these cartoonists I speak of could possibly pull that off (but they look like they are online).  That being said, I know of a few that probably are.  But, most of them?  Eh, not too sure.  I also don’t get to see their pay stubs, so who knows.  I just hear about them locking themselves in a room for six months completing the thing and I think to myself, Who can afford to do that?

And syndication these days.  I’m not even sure if a syndicated cartoonist is doing all that well financially.  Newspapers continue to decline and the market is dismal.  BUT, I do know there are full time syndicated cartoonists out there.  And I’ve taken my shot of syndicating my work (in fact, I currently have yet ANOTHER submission out there).  I’m syndicated online, and honestly, it’s not enough money to keep the lights on.  It pays – but not a ton.  I have to have other work included.  I’m talking about print syndication here.

Then there are these web cartoonist that say they’re producing enough income to support themselves.  I know some are – but I wonder how much?  I swear most of them have web skills to enable them to come up on search results and so-forth to bring in the readers.  But I don’t know for sure.  I’m just guessing.

I ask the question about how much certain cartoonists are making because I do have a lot I want to do and sometimes you have to sacrifice one project for another.  I wonder what I should maybe focus on at times.

A lot of my current work brings in income from a tiny bit here, a bundle there and a sprinkle from that over there.  I have a lot of different sources (syndication, self-syndication, greeting cards, book sales, licensing, client work, the occasional magazine sale and selling original work).  I’d love to have a more solid, consistent ground for it.

Of course, I have to love what I do as well.  And don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t do something if I hated it.  I find I enjoy new areas though of all forms of cartooning, so my niche is really anything I focus on.  And even with that, I’ll probably always still do my daily gag cartoons (I’m just rather fond of them).

If there are cartoonists out there making a pretty consistent, solid amount off a certain product, I’d like to know what.  And maybe I would devote more time to that area.  Cartooning – though it’s a passion – it is a business too, you know.

You can never compare your income to someone else – and I’m not.  But if I could just once – just ONCE – have a peek inside the bank account of every cartoonist out there, I wouldn’t be as curious and might give me a better idea of where to take my own skills.

I might find that I’m doing everything the right direction already.



2 Responses to “One Peek”

  1. David Hurley October 21, 2015 at 10:55 am #

    I think a lot of cartoonist these days have second jobs and do commissions, etc. And I was told that a pretty big cartoonist (no names mentioned) worked a second job. I know I do.

    • w101njf October 21, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

      I believe it. I know I’ve had TONS of day jobs. In fact, I haven’t had one in about a year, but I’m about to get something part-time until I figure out my own career. I have some good things going – but consistency is key.

      I’m so curious to some big names with other jobs. That doesn’t surprise me and I’ve heard the same thing. I remember when I was a kid, part of the reason I wanted to be a cartoonist was because of the pay….lol.

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