John McPherson has one of the wildest comic art styles in the business. His outrageous art is a perfect match to his outrageous ideas. John believes that the best cartoon is “an idea that is so bizarre that no one else could have possibly thought of it. On the other hand, if no one can relate to the idea, it’s lost. A great cartoon should be wild, but also based on some degree of truth.”
Before finding success as a cartoonist, John was employed as an engineer. After leaving his office at the end of the normal work day, John rushed home to work on his magazine cartoons. Finding the energy to draw for four hours after a long day at work was easy for him, he says. “I was obsessed by it. I craved it. The passion was energizing.”
John first became interested in cartooning due to an interest in humor. He had absolutely no art training, but funny ideas always came naturally to him. When he decided to become a cartoonist, learning to draw was very difficult for him and he admits that his early efforts were tragic. With practice and patience, his work improved, and editors soon responded to his cartoons with uncharacteristic enthusiasm. McPherson’s first sales were primarily to small Christian-oriented publications, where the opportunities were many and the competition few. As he gained confidence and experience, John began to submit his work to larger publications. Eventually, Universal Press Syndicate took notice of McPherson’s wild cartoons and offered him a contract for worldwide newspaper syndication and book publishing rights.
“To succeed in cartooning,” McPherson ad vises, “you have to want it bad enough. If I won the lottery, I’d still be doing what I’m doing! Also, it’s important to remember that humor I primary and the art is secondary. Read a lot of humor, be aware of humor. Observe life around you and find fun in it.”