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Jonny Hawkins and “Zoolies” Sign with TCA

Jonny Hawkins tells The Daily Cartoonist:

[O]n January 14th on a beautiful Friday evening, I got an email from the acquisitions editor at Tribune (now called Tribune Content Agency) saying they loved Zoolies and wanted to syndicate it.  I was elated.  It was one week before my daughter’s 15th birthday.

So, 33 years after it was created, Zoolies finally has a home – endangered no more.  Well, we hope and pray.  It is open to all the newspapers and any and all on the web who would like it.  I signed a contract 3 weeks ago and I’m putting the finishing touches on the first 100 panels …  It will be 7 days a week.

Thirty-three years after creation?

Yeah, Jonny has been a cartoonist since 1986.

Jonny Hawkins has been creating single panel cartoons for over 30 years.  During that time, his work has been in 900 publications and in his own line of 5 annual bestselling “Cartoon a Day” calendars. He has 50,000 cartoons available on topics ranging far and wide from church to business to medical, fishing, pets and education.

Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Reader’s Digest, Guideposts, Woman’s World, Medical Economics, London Daily Mirror, Punch, Saturday Evening Post, Medical Post, Barron’s, Air and Space Smithsonian, Phi Delta Kappan, Boy’s Life, Parade Magazine, AARP Bulletin, The American Heart Association, The Federal Lawyer, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Texas Lawyer, San Antonio Lawyer, Texas Bar Journal, Louisiana Record, and 76 Chicken Soup for the Soul books are just a few of the “over 900 publications” where Jonny’s cartoons have appeared.


above: Hawkins cartoons from Defenestration and Agri-View

We asked Jonny for a little background about his career and his history with syndication.

The syndication part begins with some disappointment:




Lambiek Comiclopedia’s profile fills in Jonny’s early career:

He sold his first cartoons to the Christian publishing house Scripture Press in 1986. He has continued to produce work for Christian publications ever since. His cartoon series ‘Stained Glass’ ran in church bulletins across the USA in the 1990s, and Hawkins’ religious cartoons have also appeared in Christianity Today, Today’s Christian Living, Guideposts, Faith Today, The Joyful Noiseletter, Focus on the Family and the Katy Christian Magazine, for which he creates the comic strip ‘Katy and Bend’.

Jonny continues with his struggles to get syndicated:

Jonny’s most widely read cartoons were probably his panel contributions
to the King Features Syndicate features New Breed and Laff-a-Day.


© King Features Syndicate

Zoolies by Jonny Hawkins has not been put on the schedule yet since the contracts were only finalized a month ago. Until the panel appears in your local newspaper Jonny’s cartoons can be enjoyed in a number of books and cartoon-a-day calendars.


all © Jonny Hawkins except where noted

Community Comments

#1 Mike Peterson
February/23/2022
@ 4:32 pm

Jonny’s saga, first of all, brings back my freelancing days of having people promise things and then fall apart before they could actually do anything for me, and, second, reminds me of the point at which I decided if I was going to work that hard to sell something, it should be Mercuries or real estate or something people valued.

I have to salute the dreamers who have dug in, as he did, and just pursue it. I had a friend in college who became a solid, successful actress, but who said “A lot of people want it, but not that many people have to have it. You have to have to have it.”

Jonny’s story is a blueprint for those with the drive and courage to follow it.

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