Common Questions About Getting Cartoons Published in Magazines

I receive a lot of questions from cartoonists who’ve read the guide on submitting cartoons to magazines or submitting cartoons to the New Yorker, but still have questions about the specifics.

The process for selling cartoons to magazines and getting published isn’t written about often. It’s also a very old-fashioned process that involves mailing actual envelopes (gasp), dealing with postage, and waiting for a written response. So it’s no wonder there are so many questions about it, especially from new gag cartoonists or established artists just wishing to publish a few cartoons in a magazine.

Here are a few questions I’ve been asked about getting cartoons published in magazines. If you have a question that’s not covered here, leave a reply with your question!

When I print cartoons to submit to a magazine, how should the caption be formatted?

You can type or write the caption below the cartoon in any format you wish. If the cartoon gets chosen by the magazine for publishing, the magazine’s graphics department will typeset the caption in their preferred style and format. Your caption just needs to be easy to read.

What size should the submitted cartoon be?

The magazine’s graphics department will prepare cartoons for publishing by resizing them to their preferred dimensions. If the copy you sent is too small, they will ask for a larger copy to be sent by mail or email. A good size for submissions is at least four inches (4″) in width, on letter-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″), but you can also print it larger on the page if you wish.

Do I need any special software for printing and submitting cartoons?

Nope. That’s the beauty of gag cartooning: all you need is a pencil and some paper. When submitting cartoons to magazines, send copies and not originals. You can use software such as Photoshop to re-size the image and type the caption, but plain copies and hand-written captions are fine.

Where do I submit cartoons for publication in _____?

Start with this list of cartoon markets, which includes links to the most up-to-date cartoon submission guidelines. For other magazines, try reaching out to the editor (usually listed in the magazine’s masthead) and asking them for their submission guidelines.