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Becoming A Cartoonist....instead Of A Realtor

Feb 14, 2008
I used to joke that the OB/GYN told my mom, "It's a Realtor" when I was born. My parents owned a very old real estate stable family real estate company and were from a generation where, if and when an offspring arrived, especially a male, they were born to be bred.that is, bred into the family business, or made to be the future superstar salesman. I let them down.

As a pre-pubescent teen and earlier, I was not aware of these southern traditional family values, and, as I became more aware of my environment around me, I was certain I wanted to have something to do with humor as I grew older. How did I know this? My solution was there, my escape, but I didn't see it for a long time.

I can remember being grounded, in trouble, about to get in trouble, or locked in my room with no going out with friends for some wrong-doing (never violent or terrible); just pulling pranks since I was very small.

My parents mainly happy and out of my site when entertaining friends on weekends and were playing record albums by such comedy greats as Don Rickles, Tom Lehrer, Jack Benny, and the like. I introduced them to The Smothers Brothers as a teen, thinking I would earn brownie points but again given the pink slip for leaving "a bit too far radiically left in my taste of comedy".

The comedy bug hit me finally and by 1982 I was attempting stand-up in New York City. Keep in mind this was straight off the farm from Mississippi to the Big Apple. I won't "even go there" as to how awful I was. It was sort of like Dan Quayle in his memorable v.p. debate, but more like me debating, say, Steve Martin and my comparing myself to Lenny Bruce. Steve to me: "Mr. London, Lenny Bruce was a friend of mine, and you, sir, are no Lenny Bruce." Need I say more?

In the early 1990's I went on to write humor for advertising, magazines, and anyone who would buy my "craft". My future strategy was to publish a compilation book of humor stories. Instead I opted on forming a group of artists and creating a cartoon instead. All of us were surprised when Londons Times Cartoons shot to the top of the statistics sites such as Alexa and we were surprisingly happy.

Then, at age 47, after a lengthy illness, I decided to start opening stores, selling products with my cartoon images which now showcases over eight thousand of our original comic images and lures 4000 visitors per hour; almost ten million surfers in the past two years.

Starting a cartoon is not an easy task, but an interesting and educational one. No matter what branch of humor in which one may find their niche, it is a growth experience and a process. I found out rapidly it is not so much knowing what you are doing when you start, though that doesn't hurt of course, but being persitent and open to learning as you go.

If it is in your blood, you will know it, and no matter what you were "born to be", will not matter. It will have to come out in some way, shape, or form. Educate yourself, hang out with others who have blazed the trail, learn all you can.and just do it.
About the Author
The Internet's top cartoonist Rick London is loaded with surprises. Two of his big ones are his cartoon site and his cartoon superstore with over 85,000 cartoon gifts and collectibles Rick London started with nothing. Now he owns 9 websites including Londons Times Cartoons. Click here.
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