Women laugh. Yes they do.

From the inside, the Cartooning world is quite a battle as well as challenging.

There are cartoonists with regular strips to keep running and others with the pressure of a daily deadline in creating an editorial cartoon. Some have the irregular caricature work or illustration for advertising. There are panel cartoons, greeting card illustrations and kid’s puzzles being created. And there’s other stuff happening as well, all for a variety of customers.

Customers come in the shape of newspapers, magazines, corporate companies, advertisers, individuals, and many others, all in print, or on the net.

Demand for cartoons is like the shifting sands of a dessert, and it is hard to stay ahead of the pack in guessing where the next hot spot will be.

Various publications wax and wane in their call for cartoons, and this normally relates directly to the editors mind-set.

But, there remains a mystery, an unsolved puzzle in the use of cartoons.

Womens magazines. When was the last time you saw a cartoon in a Womens magazine ? Okay, there may be one or two rare exceptions, but in the main, the majority of them are devoid of cartoons.

Why ? As a mere male (and cartoonist), I just can’t understand it. Women have a sense of humor. Many have a great sense of humor. And yet all these editors refuse to include cartoons.

Again, as a mere male (and cartoonist), it is almost mission impossible to gain access and actually talk to the editor, but the message back is invariably “the readers don’t want cartoons”. I’m very suspicious and suspect it’s the editor who doesn’t want cartoons, and is hiding behind the reader’s back.  I could be wrong, but …..

Please help me here ladies (or anyone) and tell me why Womens mags won’t publish cartoons.


About cartoonmick

Mick has enjoyed creating cartoons and humorous illustrations since 1996, and his creations have appeared in newspapers, magazines, various manuals and the Internet. Please have a look around Mick’s samples in the 4 sections here and email him for a quote at cartoons@iinet.net.au

Posted on September 7, 2012, in Cartoon, illustration, humour, humor, caricature, political, art, Australia, Perth, cartoonist, Illustrator and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. You know I honestly don’t know much about the publishing business but your post got me thinking. I know you are asking specifically in regard to women’s magazines but I wonder, if in general, it’s all about giving up space that could be used for a paid advertisement. I seldom read women’s magazines and it’s party because so many (not all) of them are filled with tons of ads and little substance. That’s just my 2 cents. Your work is terrific!

  2. Hi, and thanks for your comment. Yes, you’re right about the advertising, that’s how the majority of Mags make most of their profits for the shareholders. But the majority of Mags that last for many years (like most popular Women Mags) have healthy profits and could afford the cartoons. I feel money is not the problem, but I’d love to know what the block really is.
    Maybe an Editor might drop by and put some light on the mystery.

  3. I’ve worked in the publishing industry. You’re right, women’s magazines rarely if ever feature cartoons. I never thought about the dilemma a cartoonist would face when approaching an editor about this. And, personally, I love cartoons. But, I’ve always accepted their “place” in the world. That should change.

    • Thanks for your comments.

      Ahhh, yes, getting through the “system”, past the “brick walls”, and talking to an editor is virtually impossible.

      I can, to a certain degree, understand why they do this. But in reality, they miss out on a lot of potential content or ideas. They stick to the “successful format” and won’t, or don’t, give themselves exposure to concepts from “outside” the inner sanctum of their Mag.

      Their loss, and their readers loss.

      And I totally agree, things should change. Women do have a sense of humor, and Womens Mags should recognize this and publish cartoons.

      Maybe the Women Mag readers should rise in protest and demand their sense of humor be catered for by these Mags.

      Over to you, Ladies, get hold of those pitchforks and rise in mass on those editors who are denying you your right to humor. The Internet is your road to change.

  4. You know that famous cartoon where the man has his junk in a “mam-o-gram” machine? I always wonder why there aren’t more cartoons directed at women that are not condescending towards women. Perhaps it is time that cartoons enjoy a new heyday as fewer people take the time to read anything that won’t fit on a cell screen. I really enjoy your blog, and this thought-provoking post.

    • Hi Jaye, I’ve not had the pain of seeing that cartoon. I must be leading a sheltered life.

      Yes, a new heyday for cartoons would be just the thing. So long as it happens while I can still hold a pencil.

      I must admit that as a mere male, I’d be very cautious about creating cartoons on women. It’s a mysterious world over there, and one little mistake, well ………………………

  5. I’ve read an article about why women’s mags don’t include much travel writing/narratives other than hotel or spa reviews, and maybe the theory also relates to cartoons. The idea is that women buy a biggervariety of magazines than men; when they want to read about make-up they buy a fashion mag, for home furnishings they buy a home style magazine, for travel a travel mag and, perhaps, for humour or cartoons a satire or current affairs mag. Men, on the other hand, buy far less magazines per month so the magazines they do buy are wider ranging in topic. For editors, I suppose they don’t want/need to vary the scope of their publication to include non-traditional subjects.

    If I find this article I’ll post the link, but I can’t for the life of me remember it now.

  6. Don’t know if anyone said this – but I’ll take a swing at this really interesting question: I think most “women’s mags” deal with fashion. Now, I’m sorry, but I’m going to dip into pointy-headed/2nd Wave feminism – but women “being funny” is a source of a power of some kind – and our society isn’t really all that comfortable with “powerful women” – and what is the driving force of the majority of women’s magazines: to get them to buy products that promise to help them become “beautiful” through making them feel bad/inadequate about themselves. So it’s an issue of money and advertising – having smart, critical-thinking women doesn’t jive with ads of wrinkle creams, makeup, pushup bras, hair dye, etc.
    Also, another point – there are very few female comic artists, and very few male comic artists who deal with “women’s issues.”
    Across the board, print publications are folding, and the ones that survive tend to cut the comics from their magazines…
    Can you imagine this cartoon in the pages of Elle or Vogue, next to photographs of emaciated models wearing stupidly expensive clothing?
    Anyways, that’s just my take –


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