It’s been a challenging start to the New Year, with a series of events, both in and outside of cartooning, that have kept me insanely busy. While some opportunities fizzled out into nothingness, others have appeared seemingly from nowhere, and I guess that’s the nature of this business.
I’m elated with the results of the “Success In Comics” seminar I attended in Annapolis, Maryland, where I not only met with some fantastically talented cartoonists and industry icons, but I was presented with a couple potential opportunities – something I hadn’t considered prior to attending. If you are a cartoonist, I can’t recommend the seminar enough, given by comic marketing genius Bill Kellogg and exceptionally talented and successful Chad Carpenter, the warped mind behind “Tundra”.
While I sway back and forth between gag cartooning for business magazines and licensing, my recent push has been solely on licensing. As a matter of fact, there are two very exciting prospects that I’m very much looking forward to, should they come to fruition. I may be taking a trip to Manhattan very soon to meet with executives from a company who have taken to my “Spectickles” cartoon characters and want to see more. Additionally, I had the extraordinary good fortune to meet with one of the major syndicate art directors, and we may be meeting in the late spring or early summer to discuss putting “Spectickles” in daily newspaper syndication. Nothing is ever definite till the ink is dry on the contracts and you’re slurping back champagne paid for with that first royalty check, but it’s a very solid start.
Hallmark UK introduced the “Spectickles” line of greeting cards at the Spring Fair in Birmingham, England this past February, which is a major milestone for my characters. The market will determine whether or not they become a successful line, but you’ll never know unless you step into the arena. Like my grandmother used to say, ‘throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks’.
There are a number of other discussions that are ongoing with some excellent licensing partners and we’ll see how far they go, including a potential book deal with a popular book publishing company, a new line of greeting cards in the US and Canada, among several others. As is the case with all business, all of these things could happen, or none of them. But as long as we keep charging forward, immeasurable potential exists.