Thursday, February 24, 2011

Aiming High

Once upon a time, my advice to you was if you want to get your name out there, if you want to make a living with your art, you have to have things in circulation.  Today we set up websites and place drawings on a facebook page, but there are at least a million others doing the same thing.  The world is changing, but the previous way of doing things is still best, and that means mailing stuff out.  Illustrators should have postcards out to magazines, and Cartoonists should have stuff out to the Syndicates.

My career took off when I made it a habit of always having something in the mail, or in transit to somewhere, whether it was cartoon submissions to a magazine, or a short story, or comics to the syndicates.  Of course, once my freelance work took off, I didn't have time to follow these goals, but at the same time I didn't need to.  I was working, and sometimes making money, and that was where I needed to be.

However, my goal has always been newspaper syndication, and so I finally returned to that quest.  The industry is in a state of flux, but for me, that is where I need to be, and where I am sure my particular audience is.  For me, catching the brass ring of syndication will give me the focus I need.  In the years since my last submissions to the syndicates, I have been busy with my freelance career, but always cartooning at the same time.  As you know, one project is The Inquiring Minds comic book, The Ghost Pirate Skeletons of Three Craters Lake.  Loosely based on my comic strip, and begun in comic strip format, it is not something the syndicates would look for, being a storyline for one.  Since it is definitely a comic book project, I need to treat it like one.  HappyGlyphs can publish it, of course, but to get it into the comic book stores requires a lot of time and capital, and is a risky venture that requires complete dedication.  And so that project is on hold for now. 

I have also been working on my comic strip Knight and Day, and managed to complete my graphic novel 3 Knights in India, again, loosely based on the comic strip, but not syndication material.  Oddly enough, though, the graphic novel was serialised in the India Post, a weekly newspaper serving the Indian community, so for a while I did see my work in the papers, and was proud of that.  Still, syndication being my goal, I set aside time and created a new package of Knight and Day.  Some of these strips can be seen at and others at the HappyGlyphs Comics Fan Page on facebook.  Others will remain with me until A) I get syndicated, or B) failing that, I complete the strip on my own, and publish my second Knight and Day comic strip collection.

Another vertical comic strip: I love the freedom all that extra vertical space allows!
I worked hard to create strong strips that demonstrated well who my characters are, and created a package of material that I am really proud of.  Now, I just have to wait and see how the market is, and what mood the syndicates are in.  Once upon a time Knight and Day came very close to getting syndicated.  Bad timing made that dream fall through, but now it's an all new strip, and a different world, so we'll see what happens.

I've worked hard for this, and will work even harder if syndicated,  Wish me luck!  Sometimes a little luck can give you the edge you need. :0)

All the best,    JOHN :0)

On my iPod?  Nothing!  Ack!  Can't decide what mood I'm in today. :0)