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I think there's a cartoonist glut. Of course that's an opinion, so I don't exactly have proof. But my experience (and the experences of others) seems to indicate that there is a glut of cartoonists. Consider the cartoon syndication example. As I understand it, cartoon syndicates only select two or three new comics a year. And they usually choose those comics out of thousands of submissions. Thus only a tiny percentage of cartoonists will get syndicated while the vast majority will never get syndicated. You'd have much better chances winning the lotto.

I've concluded that the best way to mitigate the cartoonist glut is through the Internet. Unike a newspaper which only has room for 20 or 30 comics, the Internet has room for millions of comics. There are billions of web sites after all. But it's not quite as easy as that since you have to go through the difficulty of finding the web site or web sites that will publish your comic. Even so, you have a better chance of getting a comic published on the Internet than you have of winning the lotto. And you have a far, far, far, far better chance of getting a comic published on the Internet than you have of or getting your comic syndicated.

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I don't know if there's a glut, but there's certainly more interest from the buying public, which is what counts!
Have you tried putting your stuff on Deviant art? I love that website.
I agree Deviant Art is a great place for people to see your art work.
If your goal is to do a syndicated comic strip in daily newspapers or alt.weeklies, I agree: That's a tough row to hoe, with only a couple of major syndicates -- King Features and United Media -- and only so many alt.weeklies that pick up comics. People like Tony Millionaire and Tom Tomorrow have done OK with the latter route, and examples of people who've broken into a syndicate from alt.comics -- like Terry Laban's "Edge City" with King -- are few and far between.

There are several options, then. One, you could self-publish. You're already doing that online and offline. You could try to get picked up by a smaller paper -- the Greenpoint Star, my local neighborhood weekly (in a chain of other area weeklies) publishes one comic strip that might be done by a local creator, and it's a pretty sad piece of work. The bar to entry there might be low, given a relationship with someone on the editorial team, but you'd still have to do work that might be of interest and taste to the area readership... which could limit you if you're stuff is more outre.

So is Web comics the way? Perhaps. If you do it yourself, you face the same limitations you might in print in terms of audience reach, etc. And there are only so many Web comics aggregators and portal sites like Modern Tales, Deviant Art, etc. Still, that might be more rewarding.

I'm not sure the challenge is that there are too many cartoonists -- or more now than there have been in the past. One other thing you might consider is going the route of the Two-Fisted Science folks. You could do a science education comic -- think Ripley's Believe It or Not only about notable science and engineering milestones, inventions, etc. Then you could target the science periodicals: IEEE, Science News, etc. You could further niche it and focus on weird science, targeting mags like Fate, Fortean Times, etc.

Again, I think it's the goal: If you want to just do what you want to do, you might have to face all the challenges small pressers face. Or you could go mersh a little and try to get picked up by a general syndicate or a more specific publication.



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