Yesterday I attended the Small Press Expo (SPXPO) in Bethesda. I was only able to stay for a few hours, but I got to see a lot of old friends and meet a couple new people. All-in-all, it was a good day.
The highlight of the day was meeting Roz Chast. I'm a big New Yorker cartoon junkie, so meeting her was a huge honor. She even said she'd visit my website! (Ms. Chast, if you do stop by, I'm really sorry I didn't have a proper business card on me. So embarrassing!)
Anyway, when I was there, I told Ms. Chast the story of how I started out as a cartoonist. Have I told you this story?
(Warning. This is a longer version than what I told at SPXPO, because I didn't want to be more boring than I already was.)
When I was about 22, I was just out of college and working at a job I hated. One day at lunch, one of my co-workers asked "If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?" Although it may sound strange, this is a question I had never thought about before.
The answer, of course, was cartooning.
I began to do research on how I could become a cartoonist, which led me to information on how to submit work to the the New Yorker. I quickly did 10 (bad) cartoons and mailed them off.
I got rejected.
I did 10 more, and again, rejection. Then 10 more. Same result. During this time, I had created a portfolio of 30-50 New Yorker-style cartoons.
I remember being at the grocery store and waiting in line (nice segue, right? It'll make sense in a minute) and I saw the front page of my local newspaper. The cartoonist for the paper had passed away. That night, I gathered my favorite cartoons and mailed them to the paper. This is how The Aegis and The Record hired me as the new cartoonist.
Anyway, after meeting Roz yesterday and another New Yorker cartoonist of the summer, I think I'm going to start submitting stuff again. Maybe they won't buy a cartoon, but you never know what good might come of it!