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Success in Comics: Stay Tooned! publisher John Read
John Read enjoyed a 21 year career in the entertainment industry (movies, commercials) and teaching cartooning to kids age 7-12. Inspired by Jud Hurd’s Cartoonists PROfiles, he started Stay Tooned! magazine. John shared the four things NOT to do with your cartooning career and the 12 you should.
- Stay Tooned! is an old school magazine. He plans on producing an ebook format in the future
- 4 things you should NOT do in a cartooning career #1: Quit your job that provides health benefits
- Recounts his years working in movies and commercials and then in graphic design. Always had benefits
- Recounts story of Marcus Hamilton who was an illustrator working at Wal-Mart when he learned Hank Ketcham (Dennis the Menace) was going to retire
- Hustled to get samples of his work to Ketcham which resulted at him becoming the artist on the strip at age 51
- 4 things you should NOT do in a cartooning career #2: Publish a magazine about cartoons. There’s no money in it
- 4 things you should NOT do in a cartooning career #3. Do not volunteer to produce the NCS chapter newsletter
- 4 things you should NOT do in a cartooning career #4. Do not put on a show (exhibit)
- 12 things you should do:
- Attach yourself to someone (spouse) with a steady job, salary and health benefits
- Decide and record what you want to achieve. Write it down. Your goal.
- When early in your career, don’t get locked down into a specialty. Be flexible and open to opportunities
- Get business card and website
- Learn to draw caricatures. Be able to do quick sketches for people. When they learn you can draw, they often want to know if you can do caricatures
- Create a product that can be resold that shows people what you can do
- Network. Get away from the drawing table. Even in the “golden age” of comics, cartoonists had to hustle for work.
- Give back. Use your talents to lift people (hospitals, etc.)
- Public speaking. As a local cartoonist charge to come speak to groups
- Teach and Mentor
- Keep a sketchbook where ever you go. When an idea comes, you should record it.
- Read Stay Tooned!