Rejection is a cartoonist’s constant companion.

Once upon a time, in the 20th century, cartoonists submitted
gag cartoons to the top magazines – The New Yorker, Esquire,
Playboy. Gags rejected by those editors were recycled to the next
tier – SatEvePost, Collier’s, True. And so on down the line to
trade journals and then to those joke and cartoon magazines.
By the end of the line the sale of the once-rejected cartoons
wouldn’t be paying for the mortgage or putting food on the table.
But they would recoup the cost of postage and supplies
allowing the cartoonist to start the process again.

Now, a couple of decades into the 21st century,
the fate of those rejected cartoons, in a severely
diminished market, follow a different path.

Here is cartoonist Michael Maslin’s story of his rejects:

A Foot of Rejected Cartoons

2 thoughts on “Rejection is a cartoonist’s constant companion.

  1. That was an interesting read! Neat to see how other cartoonists organize their rejected ideas.

    At least once, I took a gag that MAD Magazine rejected (they liked it, but felt it was too gruesome for the publication) and used it on my own “Ask a Cat” comic strip, with minor tweaking.

  2. I am so familiar with rejections… believe me. Mine come from the syndicates though, not magazines. I never take them hard though. There are thousands of cartoonists shooting for this dream. Rejections just make me work harder. I landed a handful of newspapers myself and now have a comic book printing this very minute. Never give up my friends!

    The read was very interesting. I agree with Charles. By the way, I LOVE your work Charles!!! With the new changes and direction with Mad lately, I believe you should try submitting work again. My goal this summer is to work up a few things for Mad… which has been my OTHER dream since I was 7.

    Keep up this amazing posts! I am so glad this site is back and stronger than ever!!!!!

    Davy Jones
    creator of
    Charmy’s Army

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