Sunday, January 17, 2010
Interview with Leigh Rubin
How did you wind up writing cartoons?
I’ve always loved to draw and had wanted to be an artist from a very young age. The first cartoon I ever drew was in kindergarten. I also enjoy a good joke and it’s especially fun making them up so if you put the two skills together you have a cartoonist. Seems like the perfect profession for someone with absolutely no other marketable skills.
As a cartoonist, you both write and illustrate. Do you come up with your commentary first or doodle until an idea strikes you?
Do you consider yourself an illustrator or a writer first?
You were originally self-syndicated. What does this mean?
Self-syndication means that in addition to writing and drawing you also have the opportunity to call on editors, make the sales, send out promo material, do the billing, chase down the people who don’t pay you, etc. , etc., etc. It is not for the faint of heart and I did it for the first four years of Rubes. Being self-syndicated gives you a terrific appreciation of what syndication sales reps have to do on a daily basis, only most syndicates represent many features, so the reps have many features they must know inside and out...and there’s a lot to know.
How did you become widely syndicated in newspapers? Did markets approach you after you had built up a following or did you try to get people to take a chance on you?
What’s up next for you?