When Comic Strip Ambitions Fail

© Marvel Entertainment (via Reddit)

Rejection is a bitter pill to swallow, particularly when it’s something that you really want. Imagine applying to your dream job, and told no by the likes of Cat Fancy magazine and the National Enquirer. When you accumulate enough rejection letters to fill a binder, most people might start considering a new career path. Not Canadian creator, Cale Atkinson.

The man behind the Simon and Chester graphic novel series talked about his early failed attempts to break into the syndicated comic strip game at this year’s ALA annual conference. His experience was spurred when a fellow panelist mentioned his 20-year experience in the field.

Cary Catig for Popverse writes of Cale Atkinson reminiscing about his comic strip dreams.

“Speaking of the syndicated [comic strip], that was my dream as well,” he said. “I loved Garfield when I was a kid. Once I could understand The Far Side, it changed my world and humor because it was irreverent. I wanted a syndicated strip.”

Turns out Cale was a preteen with ambitions:

Atkinson’s story continued. “When I was maybe 12 or so, I started mailing comic strips to try to get syndicated. I had a binder of rejection letters…

Cale has succeeded as a comic artist.

Cale Atkinson is an author/illustrator/animator currently residing in Kelowna Canada. Believing in tea more than sleep, Cale is constantly working on numerous projects. His work can be found in children’s books, animated shorts, television, and games. 

3 thoughts on “When Comic Strip Ambitions Fail

  1. What always held me back from trying to get published wasn’t a fear of rejection; it was the thought “if people younger than me can be successful, I must already be too late.” The key, I guess, is not to worry about being successful. I mean, it would be nice…

    1. I just got syndicated and I’m 45. Lots of people younger than me made it before I did, but I just kept doing my thing. Better late than never, as they say.

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