Monday, February 02, 2009

Magazine Market News UPDATED

In the past couple of years, several magazine markets have stopped using cartoons; Better Homes & Gardens, The National Enquirer. Other markets for gag cartoons, like King Features' The New Breed and Cortlandt Forum, are dim memories!

Below are some recent magazine gag cartoon market demises and changes, just to get you informed if you don't know already:

First for Women - no cartoons in its latest issue. They usually run at least 2 cartoons. This is a concern; see Woman's World.

Good Housekeeping - In 2008, GH replaced its original cartoon content with The New Yorker's Cartoonbank cartoons, and then, apparently, cut cartoons altogether. The last time I saw gag cartoons in the magazine was this past fall.

Time Magazine - which ran a page full of a half dozen gag cartoons beginning a couple of months ago, has suspended the feature until further notice. Titled Time's Drawing Room, the page showcased new work for Time Magazine by New Yorker cartoonists.

Woman's World - (like First, owned by Bauer Publications) reduced its rate from $125 per cartoon to $100 due to the "economic conditions."

If any pro has anything to add/correct, let me know.

Playboy, one of the premier cartoon markets, is undergoing a management shift. (CBS Sunday Morning had a profile of Hugh Hefner and outgoing Playboy Enterprises CEO Christie Hefner yesterday. Video below.) So far, I haven't heard anything regarding its gag cartoons. Heck, Gahan Wilson has 2 in the new issue, and there are wonderful cartoons by regulars like Nick Downes, Don Orehek, and many of the usual gang.


Forbes - The magazine's weekly print cartoon has been cut, but they will buy cartoon content for their official Forbes blog --however, at a reduced rate of payment. The only silver lining I can find here: This is better than some magazine blogs -- mags that pay cartoonists for their printed publication -- that have solicited me for free blog content.

The Nation had a small (about a quarter page) feature that quietly started up last summer. I believe it was titled "ComixNation," and it featured a revolving group of cartoonists including Steve Brodner. No announcement was made, but I haven't seen it since December 2008.

The Village Voice has cut ALL of its cartoons. No Tom Tomorrow, no Life in Hell, etc. And the Voice owns a lot of alt weeklies and ALL of them (Dallas Observer, New Times Ft. Lauderdale, Houston Press, LA Weekly, Minneapolis City Pages, Nashville Scene, OC Weekly, Pitch Weekly, Denver Westword, Seattle Weekly) are getting rid of their cartoons. Tom Tomorrow has more here, and his blog has reactions and comments from fans and colleagues. Thanks to Comics Reporter for the info.

Reader's Digest Association let go some of its employees last week according to Advertising Age (Reader's Digest Association Adopts 'Recession Plan'). No news yet regarding impact on cartoonist freelancers.


Mark Heath said...

I sent WW an invoice for $150 last August (my first sale to them after Spot; I didn't know about the new rate.) A few months later I got a letter explaining that there rate was now $125, and to resubmit the invoice with the correct amount. I still haven't been paid, and now I can see the next letter, announcing the new rate and would I please resubmit. This is an interesting technique, if they take it to the extreme -- Our rate is now zero. Please resubmit an invoice for nothing.

Mike Lynch said...

Oh no! If you don't hurry up, you'll owe them!

Tyler Garn said...

Things are looking pretty bleak gentlemen.

Anonymous said...

That's a shame. I just sent out a batch to First for Women... Waste of postage. Thanks for the update, Mike.

Shep said...

I got a "hold" from First a few months ago and never heard anything afterwards. Guess that was the beginning of the end.

Mark Anderson said...

I didn't know about Time's NYer stuff. Am I the only one who's sick of the New Yorker brand of gag cartoon humor being the only brand?

Shep said...

IMHO I agree with you, Mark.

Unknown said...

Loved your toon! It's scary out there...I guess it's a good thing I held onto my 'day-job'...sigh....