See All Topics

Home / Section: Editorial cartooning

Male cartoonist pretends to be female to get job

Interesting story from Daryl Cagle:

When discouraged political cartoonists sit behind a beer and complain, sometimes the talk turns to the idea of pretending to draw as a woman, to take advantage of affirmative action minded editors who might prefer cartoons by a woman, and affirmative action minded award juries who might be more inclined to give awards to a female cartoonist ? but I had never heard of a cartoonist actually going through with the scheme.

One of the top editorial cartoonists in Austria is Rachel Gold, who draws for the national Wiener Zeitung and Tiroler Tageszeitung newspapers. Rachel is remarkable, not only because she is a rare, female editorial cartoonist, but also because she?s not female, and she doesn?t really exist. Rachel Gold is a fictional character, created by Austrian cartoonist Markus Szyszkowitz.

Community Comments

#1 Shane
February/7/2011
@ 2:09 pm

I always wondered if that would work!

#2 Rick Elis
February/7/2011
@ 2:45 pm

This idea (cross-cartooning) has crossed my mind several times as well. Just to see what results I’d get.

#3 Stacy Curtis
February/7/2011
@ 3:22 pm

How do you think I feel? :-)

#4 Jen Sorensen
February/7/2011
@ 3:25 pm

Oh yeah, being a female cartoonist is the BOMB! All those affirmative action awards just rolling in… TONS of coverage from the Comics Journal and Comics Reporter… all those editors pounding at my door seeking diversity on their pages… dozens of dudes wanting to collaborate with me on their special projects. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go laugh my way to the bank.

#5 Jen Sorensen
February/7/2011
@ 3:28 pm

Adding: nothing against Rachel. Just amused by the paragraphs quoted above.

#6 Matt Bors
February/7/2011
@ 3:56 pm

Thinking of he many things to complain about in this field, the amazingly unfair advantage of being a female is not one of them.

#7 dave nelson
February/7/2011
@ 4:03 pm

Who knew that immigrant jewish women were getting all the jobs?

#8 Derf Backderf
February/7/2011
@ 4:22 pm

Big deal. I also speak German and dress up like a woman when I draw. Is this out of the norm?

#9 Mike Lester
February/7/2011
@ 4:55 pm

While this strikes me as parking in a handicapped space and putting on a fake cast, it isn’t new: “TOOTSIE” “TROPIC THUNDER”. Those didn’t work either.

#10 b.j. Dewey
February/7/2011
@ 5:12 pm

So maybe some male editorial cartoonists are really females?

#11 Brian Fies
February/7/2011
@ 6:08 pm

Dale Messick.

Also: a long time ago, I submitted a comic strip idea whose lead characters happened to be female. One syndicate editor told me he really liked it and might’ve bought it if I’d been a woman. Can’t tell you how tempted I was to put a different signature on those strips and send them out again under a new cover letter.

#12 DJ Coffman
February/7/2011
@ 11:19 pm

I know lot of male cartoonists with man boobs… Is that close enough?

#13 Rich Diesslin
February/8/2011
@ 3:09 am

Ha, you said Wiener. :)

#14 Rich Diesslin
February/8/2011
@ 3:10 am

I mean “oh the irony” … (ok, ok, that’s why the comment have to go) …

#15 Dave Stephens
February/8/2011
@ 3:29 am

In some situations, it is better to be female so as to gain a advantage…

In other situations, it is better to be male to gain an advantage.

There are infinite examples of either example – depending on your perspective, either gender tends to get the shorter stick. In this particular case, the fictional female got mostly what he wanted which was more freedom to express views counter to his editor/publisher’s views – the author mentioned that it helped that his fictional woman was Jewish, also, presumably to help express an additional viewpoint…

All in all a fascinating article!

#16 donna lewis
February/8/2011
@ 10:34 am

That’s what I do. I pretend to be a woman.

#17 Ann Telnaes
February/8/2011
@ 10:40 am

“When discouraged political cartoonists sit behind a beer and complain, sometimes the talk turns to the idea of pretending to draw as a woman, to take advantage of affirmative action minded editors who might prefer cartoons by a woman, and affirmative action minded award juries who might be more inclined to give awards to a female cartoonist…”
Really?? I’ll be happy to join those cartoonists for a beer and tell them about all the staff positions I’ve turned down before and after the Pulitzer. Ditto what Jen said.

#18 donna lewis
February/8/2011
@ 10:52 am

When I get discouraged, I just think about my breasts. Sometimes, depending on the degree of discouragement, I only have to think about one….but in this economy I usually have to think about both.

#19 Shannon Parish
February/8/2011
@ 11:23 am

I love you Donna …. now I love my breasts too …. Oh Baby … work for me! How could I have been so blind?

#20 Liza Donnelly
February/8/2011
@ 12:16 pm

This is crazy. Ditto what Ann said above. Except the Pulitzer part.

#21 Jeff Parker
February/8/2011
@ 12:20 pm

Pen point envy?

#22 Mike Lester
February/8/2011
@ 12:24 pm

The only dudes I know to make this con work were Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.

#23 Jacquie Roland
February/8/2011
@ 12:25 pm

Back in the days when a female cartoonist couldn’t get arrested, let alone a job… I managed to work for several men’s magazines for years by not stating my gender, submitting only by mail, and NEVER showing up at parties thrown by the magazines in question. My cover was finally blown when I had to call one day about a few late ( really late ) checks. The cartoon editor covered the phone with his hand and yelled ( I could hear him clearly, muffled as it was ) ” Jesus Christ ! Jacquie Roland is a girl !!” *sigh* That magazine never hired me again.

#24 Rich Diesslin
February/8/2011
@ 12:47 pm

Donna I just spit out my coffee. Thanks for that! ;)

#25 john meyers
February/8/2011
@ 1:17 pm

Donna – Now when I get discouraged; I’ll just think about your breasts too. Thanks for the inspiration. *Winks*

#26 Norm Feuti
February/8/2011
@ 1:33 pm

I had to pretend to be a woman, pretending to be a man, pretending to be a woman to get syndicated. I went full-on Victor Victoria to get this gig.

I’m not proud, but it worked. A man pretending to be a woman, pretending to be a man, pretending to be a woman’s gotta eat!

Don’t judge me!

#27 donna lewis
February/8/2011
@ 2:37 pm

John, if you are ‘clinically’ discouraged and seek the assistance of a medical professional, you can get your insurance to cover the costs of thinking about my breasts.

#28 donna lewis
February/8/2011
@ 2:41 pm

“A man pretending to be a woman, pretending to be a man, pretending to be a woman….Don?t judge me!”

Don’t worry, Norm….men aren’t judged for being fake the way women are. :-)

#29 Jen Sorensen
February/8/2011
@ 2:53 pm

Interestingly, readers sometimes just assume I’m male, perhaps because of my drawing style. They think I’m a dude with a Scandinavian name (“Jens Sorensen,” anyone?)

#30 donna lewis
February/8/2011
@ 3:13 pm

Shannon Gallant tells me that it’s pretty common for young guys to come looking for ‘Shannon’ and that they get dejected when they realize he’s not the hot babe of their dreams. Pretty funny.

#31 Dave Stephens
February/8/2011
@ 8:39 pm

Hey Jen! You rock that style! But could you, also, be a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman? And which persona does the art? ;)

#32 donna lewis
February/9/2011
@ 9:23 am

I’m guessing that gender hardly works anymore as a diversity angle. But, a la, Catfish, the key these days is probably to try passing for an eight-year-old child prodigy. If anyone thought I was eight, they’d probably think my work is pretty funny.

#33 Paul Fell
February/9/2011
@ 8:24 pm

I have to agree with Jen and Ann… these days staff editorial cartoonist positions are so scarce (read: “nonexistent”) that you could be a bisexual transgender hermaphrodite with bad hair and wouldn’t get any further on the job app. trail than anyone else.

I thought about trying to be Jen Sorensen, but kept screwing up by signing my stuff “Sorenson”. I thought about trying to sign my stuff “Telnaes”, but I can’t draw that big, never mind having to draw with a goddamn brush.

#34 Jen Sorensen
February/9/2011
@ 10:02 pm

@Dave Stephens – You’re blowin’ my mind, man!

@Paul Fell – You don’t know how much it warms my heart to hear you acknowledge the dreaded “-son” problem.

#35 Steve Artley
February/9/2011
@ 11:10 pm

Paul, I thought you were a girl.

#36 Ann Telnaes
February/11/2011
@ 1:00 pm

Paul- the trick is draw from the shoulder, not from the wrist:)

#37 Paul Fell
February/11/2011
@ 1:03 pm

Ann:

Can’t do it. I have a beer in one hand and a sandwich in the other. I have to hold the pen in my mouth.

Maybe I should start drawing from the waist instead of from the neck. Will try that :-)

#38 vic harville
February/16/2011
@ 7:47 am

hummmmmm…perhaps i’ll change my name to vickie

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.