Frank Cotham cartoons have appeared for many years in a wide assortment of magazines and now appear regularly in The New Yorker, the most prestigious magazine cartoon market in the world, the one most gag cartoonists only dream about. I worked in graphics at a television station in Memphis for thirteen years,” says Cotham. “While I was there I sort of eased into cartooning, working at it whenever I had extra time. It took me two years to make my first sale and that was to Saturday Review. Things started picking up after that. When my regular job started to interfere with my cartoon income, I decided to go out on my own.
“I think an aspiring cartoonist should understand that making money in this business is a long shot at best and that you have to keep working at it. You can’t ever sit back and think what a hotshot you are and that people are going to beat a path to your door for your work. There are lots of talented people out there. You have to love what you do. Do what comes naturally to you, rather than affect a style that is someone else’s. Be persistent.
“It’s scary to sit down at the drawing table and stare at a blank piece of paper and not have an idea. It happens sometimes. For me the best thing to do is just sit and doodle until something comes to mind. Anyone who wants to become a cartoonist should read as much as possible and draw every day.”