Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Welcome to Wombmates. Wombmates is one of my better failed project stories. It was first conceived as a submission to Playboy magazine where it was not expectedly rejected. Perhaps ten years went by without me giving it a second thought. Then one day as I was canoeing down the Brule River telling my friend, Dave, that I was at a total loss for my next cartoon project. Dave had always been a great fan of Wombmates and suggested it be resurrected. Dave possesses a great instinct for artistic merit and I respect his opinion immensely, so I gave it some consideration.
Shortly thereafter I resurrected it, updating the themes and redirecting the target market. Instead of Playboy I decided its market lay in alternative weeklies. Using primarily the Internet I accumulated a list of alternative weeklies and the appropriate information. I called each paper to verify the information was current, put together a sample packet, and methodically began to call each publication.
The results were mixed. Out of the 50 or so alternative weeklies there were only a few editors who showed enthusiasm for the cartoon. Most were fairly indifferent and offered little encouragement. The editor from of the San Francisco weeklies called it the worse thing he'd ever seen and he said he'd seem 'em all.
In the end there was not enough immediate interest for me to pursue syndicating Wombmates to the alternative press. The most valuable thing I did learn from the experience is that alternative weeklies do not buy features unless they are actively searching for features. The most common response I received was the suggestion that I call again in several months. They seem to stack up the submissions and when they are in the market, only then they go through and seriously review them.
My advice to cartoonists who hope to appear in the alternative press is to convince their home town paper to run their cartoon for whatever paltry fee they can wrangle out of it, and be prepared to sell it one at a time to other alternative weeklies. Unless they get some really good press, they should be prepared for a long and grueling struggle. But have faith...Groening is a well-traveled veteran of the alternative press.
So, if you are still interested in viewing Wombmates and are not easily offended by sophomoric, sexual humor I invite you to enter.