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Terrible syndication comic ideas

From Universal Uclick President John Glynn comes examples of what NOT to do if seeking a syndication contract:

But if I’m going to be honest with you (something I almost always insist upon), most of the submissions we get are not very good. Is that mean-spirited? I hope not.

We had one dude who sent in a stack of Far Sides with the original caption whited-out and a new caption written in. He was also willing to split the royalties 50/50 with Gary Larson. Generous and thefty! Good combo.

John, I have an amazing idea for a comic… I’ll send it right over.

Community Comments

#1 Gerry Mooney
@ 12:38 pm

One really worthwhile trick is to say in your cover letter how lame all the syndicate’s other features are. A guaranteed attention-getter!

#2 steve skelton
@ 1:12 pm

Just put my name on it…..been rejected every time since 1985.

#3 Mark_Tatulli
@ 5:38 pm

Actually, Steve Skelton, your name is awesome.

#4 Brian Fairrington
@ 5:43 pm

What’s interesting about this is under the old way of doing things we never got to see any of this stuff. Now thanks to the internet we get to see it ALL…they’re called webcomics!

Don’t get me wrong, there are some REALLY excellent and wonderfully done webcomics out there. However, the vast majority are not very good. Despite the miracle that is the Internet, there is something to be said about the old way of doing things. Having editors, agents, syndicates and publishers can be a good thing!

The notion that you can publish anything on the Internet does not mean you should. :)

#5 mark mason
@ 8:42 am

I received a rejection via email from Universal Uclick just last night! I was quite pleased as it was obvious from the content that someone had actually put forth the effort to give me a personal response on the strength and weakness of my submission. The art was “really solid,” but the writing was “text heavy.” Back to the drawing board!

#6 Pete McDonnell
@ 11:48 am

Comics Sherpa is a great place to browse all the wanna-be strip ideas out there. I’ve had a couple of strips on there. Syndication has always been a dream of mine, but the unrelenting daily deadline scares me. I’ve had hundreds of deadlines, met 99% of them, but coming up with that daily piece of art has got to be amazingly difficult after a while.

#7 Mike Lester
@ 3:35 pm

It’s like being married to a nymphomaniac. The first two weeks are great.

#8 David Jones
@ 7:44 am

I agree with Pete!!! There are several awesome strips on Sherpa awaiting discovery.

I know I will never get syndicated but the mere thought of success pushes me to try again and again. Plus on the rare occasions when you do hear back, it is quite rewarding.

I can only imagine how bad some of the submissions are. Thankfully, with the power of the internet, cartoonists good and bad have other options, like blogs, to display their work. I remember when bad cartoonists’ only option was Cracked magazine… BWA HA HA HA HA……

#9 Pete McDonnell
@ 11:47 am

Hey, watch it. I’ve done work for CRACKED magazine. And John Severin, Wally Brogan, Pat Boyette and Bill Wray are bad cartoonists?

#10 David Jones
@ 8:34 pm

Just kidding Pete. I read both Cracked and Mad growing up and dreamed of one day being good enough to contribute to either publication. :)

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