A plethora of editors speak their minds.

This week from my editors:

  • One editor was very apologetic to say that her paper was cutting back, and so they couldn’t use my cartoon for a while. (However, since I’m the only cartoon in there, and we have a really good rapport, I think she’ll be back.)
  • One editor never let me know about the batch of cartoons I emailed last month. I even called about them. Finally, I emailed to ask again about them, and she said, “we rejected those weeks ago, Donna! I hope we can get your work back on track soon.” That’s chutzpah! A rejection, an insult, and a lie, all in one email! She has lied at least twice more this year about emails – never letting me know the verdict, so I don’t send any more, since I’m waiting to hear. What can you do about a liar? Truly, I understand when editors don’t like my work – fine, screw ’em. But this is more passive-aggressive. Please, people, don’t fold on that important contract!!
  • I have an interesting, different kind of contract sitting on my desk, but haven’t made any progress in getting changes I want (need).
  • An art director for a law magazine said my work looks great!

  • When I commented that a publication was buying less of my cartoons, I got: “it just boils down to personal taste and sense of humor.” Cartoonists get this a lot from ignorant editors. Humor is subjective up to a point. If an editor can define what they want in articles, why not in cartoons? Editing isn’t a mystery, or it shouldn’t be. Do they find art so scary they can no longer express themselves in English? Do words fail them, so they can’t say, we need more/less business/science? Or, more likely, we like our usual cartoonists, love them so much, because we’re afraid to change? (I know what the problem is: new editor. None of their cartoons are funny anymore. But I still submit, because children need to learn.)
  • I asked for a raise from one of my papers that uses my feature, Daily Special. I’m very proud to be in Minneapolis Star Tribune, in the award-winning Taste section, but to ask for a raise, this year, this month? Dicey, but I have no choice. Everything costs more. I didn’t hear from the editor, which concerned me, but the accountant there needed a contract for next year, so I talked with him. Turns out their email was down for a while, and she didn’t get the email. So today she replied: “I really like having you in our section! Keep up the good work!” And I got the raise. Compliment corner!
  • I left a voice mail for an editor at a big magazine I’ve never sold to before, mostly just to get information. No reply, so I called him again a few days later, and he said (in about 15 seconds), “Oh yes, you left me a very interesting message, but I won’t be able to get back to you until early next week.” I said “Interesting?” Always a good sign when an editor finds you interesting rather than annoying! But he was in a huge hurry, so I just said, great, thanks, bye. I hope he wasn’t just trying to get me off the phone. I hope he calls this week!

So, a couple bad, some neutral, some good. I live on hope, and the kindness of some editors.

So how was your week?

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