One year I had a plan. I was attending New York Comic Con and I knew that one of the large syndicates would have a presence there. I had it figured that I would go and meet the people and ask why they keep turning my work down. I guess the answer would be, “You are not good enough!” or ” Your work is not funny!” But I had to find out.
I had it all planned to go to the Jacob Javits Center and I got up the courage to approach their booth. It was quite busy and I didn’t want to make a scene so I decided to walk around the convention for a bit and then go back when it was quieter. There were a couple of famous cartoonists singing autographs and meeting fans, so the booth was quite busy.
I walked around for maybe an hour and when I got back to the booth, there was only one girl there. I thought she was a hired model to hand out brochures, but she ended up being a higher-up at the syndicate and she was the actual person that kept declining my work! So we ended up chatting and never did come to a conclusion as to what I was doing wrong. During that time I think the New Yorker in me came out to her midwestern sensibilities, and the clash may have affected her, where it did not affect me. To be honest, I don’t know how the thing ended up, but that was about four or five years ago and to this day, she still rejects my work. And the clash, wasn’t really a clash, it was just my rough around the edges, New York-style, against her quiet midwest ways.
That day, after speaking with her, I headed back to my hotel on the other side of town. As I reached the hotel, my phone rang. It was a call from the town where the syndicate is located. I got nervous. Was she calling me to tell me something good? I answered with bated breath. It was a customer calling about an order, regarding my business.
To that day, I have avoided their booth. All these years later, I don’t want to be seen as stalking them. Is that crazy? First off, they probably don’t recognize me or even know I’m alive, secondly, is visiting their booth, which is set up for visitors, stalking?
But I may stop by this year. I have, what I think, is a clever new comic strip and I would like to mention it to her/them before I send it in for consideration. My problem is that I’m not a good schmoozer. I should be making friends and keeping in contact with them all these years and then pushing my work, but I don’t do that. I don’t know why; just a characters trait in me, I guess.
I almost had my foot in the door, but screwed that up, too. I’ll tell you about that some time.