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One Hour of Cartooning Down, 9,999 To Go

How to Become a Slightly Warped Cartoonist: Part 11

If you’ve tried all the techniques I’ve mentioned, and still can’t come up with funny ideas, don’t give up immediately. Like other muscles, the humor muscle takes time and practice to build. I had a five-year-plan when I quit my secure well-paying government job and started cartooning full-time in 1981. Continue reading One Hour of Cartooning Down, 9,999 To Go

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Trade Journal Cartoons

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How to Become a Slightly Warped Cartoonist: Part 10

Gag-cartoonists call the big magazines most have heard of The Majors. That’s where everyone wants to be published. I don’t know how many Majors there are now. Maybe fifty.

The odds that someone starting out will have a cartoon selected from the first batch of cartoons she’s drawn is – well, I don’t know what the odds are, but I believe the odds of winning the lottery are better.

There are hundreds of other magazines and trade journals to submit to, though. Continue reading Trade Journal Cartoons

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Gag Writing While Doing the Mundane

How to Become a Slightly Warped Cartoonist: Part 9

In an earlier post I said that I draw very few cartoons about things that happen to me. That isn’t to say I don’t get ideas while going about my daily life. Here are some ideas I generated on a shopping trip, along with my thought process and what was happening when I came up with them.

Motor homes going 40 MPH are the bane of coastal Oregonians’ existence. I’m stuck behind one of the most enormous ones I ever seen. It’s so enormous, I’m amazed it doesn’t have a “Wide Load” sign on it. What’s the opposite of a wide load? Continue reading Gag Writing While Doing the Mundane

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My Cat Helps me Write Animal Cartoons

How to Become a Slightly Warped Cartoonist: Part 8

Previously I said I rarely draw cartoons about things from my life. Drawing about my pets is an exception to that rule.

How can you look at a cat with its head in a toilet and not laugh, Continue reading My Cat Helps me Write Animal Cartoons

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Fairy Tale Cartoon Characters who Lived UnHappily Ever After

How to Become a Slightly Warped Cartoonist: Part 7

Like the historical characters I wrote about yesterday, horror movie and fairy tale cartoon characters come with back-stories readers are familiar with, and like historical characters I usually have them dealing with life in today’s world.

Stick a bureaucrat into almost any fairy tale, and you’ve probably got the makings of a cartoon. The Princess and the Bureaucrat? Continue reading Fairy Tale Cartoon Characters who Lived UnHappily Ever After

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Creating History Cartoons Even if You Flunked History

How to Become a Slightly Warped Cartoonist: Part 6

I draw very few cartoons about things that happen to me. In fact, if you want to drive me nuts, whenever something funny happens say, “I bet you’ll draw about this,”

Most funny things that happen to you are funny only in context. Have you ever tried to describe an incident where at the time it happened everyone involved was laughing hysterically, but the people you’re telling the anecdote to look confused, not amused. That’s what I call an ”I guess you had to be there” moment. Continue reading Creating History Cartoons Even if You Flunked History

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Go Ahead. Be An Extremist When Gag Writing

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How to Become a Slightly Warped Cartoonist: Part 5

In yesterday’s post I created a list of ten terms I’d heard in the news and showed how I came up with ideas for the first seven using free association while gag writing.

Today I’m going to generate ideas for the remaining three terms using antonyms (opposite definitions) and carrying ideas to extreme and absurd conclusions. Continue reading Go Ahead. Be An Extremist When Gag Writing

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Writing Cartoon Gags Using Buzz-Words, Fads & the News

How to Become a Slightly Warped Cartoonist: Part 4

This is another in my series of posts trying to answer the second most frequent question I’m asked as a cartoonist: how do you come up with your ideas?

Everyday I make a list of buzz-words, fads, and news items I hear or read about. Here’s one of my lists and the thoughts I had when I went through it to come up “Aha” moments that I turned into cartoon gags. Continue reading Writing Cartoon Gags Using Buzz-Words, Fads & the News

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How Do You Come Up With Your Ideas?

How to Become a Slightly Warped Cartoonist: Part 3

In my next series of posts I’m going to try and answer the second most frequent question I’m asked as a cartoonist: how do you come up with your ideas?

I do a lot of free-associating. Here’s a description of one of my sessions and some of the cartoons it produced. Continue reading How Do You Come Up With Your Ideas?