Well, I just sent out a new comic strip proposal to the syndicates. (Cue audience laughter.)
The number of major syndicates has dwindled to six in the past few years, what with the L.A. Times Syndicate being swallowed up by Tribune. Speaking of Tribune Media Syndicate (TMS), I'm not even sure they're really even in business anymore. Several cartoonists have jumped ship -- Mike Peters with Grimmy a few years ago, and Todd Clark and Steve Dickenson with Lola last year. They've also lost some of their editorial cartoonists.
Not surprisingly, I received a lovely form-letter rejection from TMS in what seemed like minutes of sending out my package. I've heard other cartoonists have received this same letter recently. It appears TMS isn't really looking for new material, It's a shame. They were a good syndicate back in the day and boasted a good line-up, including MacNelly's comic strip, Shoe.
Getting back to the submission, here are the syndicates to which I submitted:
Washington Post Writers Group
I'll post responses from the various editors when -- or if -- I hear from them. I'm wondering if already being syndicated will make any difference in getting the feature looked at.
Here are my predictions:
United Media -- form letter
Universal Press -- form letter
Creators Syndicate -- form letter
Washington Post Writers Group -- form letter with personal note
Tribune Media -- form letter (already received)
King Features -- possible email; most likely no response unless I personally call (which I just might)
We'll see how accurate I am in the coming weeks.
As for what I submitted...that's a secret for now -- but I will post samples once I've heard back from everyone.
And to all you aspiring cartoonists out there, just remember this: Scott Adams (of Dilbert) received rejections from every syndicate he submitted to except one (United Features). He even got the old "Dear Creator" form letter rejection from Universal (a personal favorite of mine as I've received this particular missive since the late 1980s). And I submitted material (off and on) for about 14 years before getting syndicated with King.
Ain't cartooning fun?