Open With a Joke … Just Make It Funny


Two weeks ago I had the honor of talking about the business of cartoons at the National Cartoonists Society’s 69th Reuben Awards. (It’s like the Oscars of cartooning.)

I worked for months on my presentation. I constantly rewrote the script, refined the images, and practiced the whole thing over and over. But as focused as I was on the main content, the things I worried about most were the introductory cartoons.

The thing about being a cartoonist is you mostly work in a vacuum. You write your jokes, draw your pictures, and send them out into the world to succeed or fail without you. But for this presentation, I’d be showing and reading the cartoons aloud in front of my inky peers. It’s a little bit of pressure.

This cartoon was one with which I chose to open my presentation. It’s a little wordy, but it’s a fun image. The caption takes a weird turn at the end and thankfully, it got a good laugh.

And once I had a good couple of laughs under my belt, the rest of the presentation went off without a hitch.


Mark Anderson Mark Anderson's cartoons appear in publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. His business cartoons are available for licensing at his website,