Announcing The Great Cartoon Countdown!

October 25th, 2009


It’s The Great Cartoon Countdown!

To help celebrate the release of Inklings on Tuesday, November 3rd, I’m going to be giving away five signed copies of my new book, plus a grand prize consisting of a signed book, all three of my band’s CDs, and an original cartoon! More on that later.

Creativity has always played a role in my life and, indeed, creativity is a major theme in my book. I believe that everyone is creative. Even if you’ve never drawn a cartoon, or made a painting, I have a feeling that within each and every one of us exists the potential to create art in some fashion.

That’s why I’m announcing The Great Cartoon Countdown, a special contest for anyone who has ever wanted the chance, or needed the deadline, to come up with a cartoon. Even if you’ve never put pen to paper in a funny way before, now’s your chance to give it a shot. The best part is, that you won’t be judged on skill, but rather your idea, your passion, your creative approach.

In addition to creativity, space travel, and music also play an important role in my book. Therefore, these are three themes from which you can choose to draw. Let your imagination run wild. Space travel, for example, could include anything from the moon landing to aliens. Entries can be editorial cartoons or gag cartoons. Or something else entirely. There are no limits. That’s the whole point of this contest, to stretch your thinking. Also, although not required, working in the title of my book certainly won’t hurt your chances one bit.

I’ve lined up a couple of great cartoonists to judge this contest, Glenn McCoy and Gary McCoy, two of the funniest people I know, who also happen to be brothers, not to mention, really nice guys. Both Glenn and Gary are editorial cartoonists. Their work has also appeared in the pages of Playboy and they are the brains and ink behind the syndicated comic panel, The Flying McCoys. You might also recognize Glenn’s name as creator of the popular syndicated comic strip, The Duplex.

Here are the rules:

1. We’ll be giving away one signed copy of my book each day, starting this Thursday, October 29. You can enter anytime, as soon as you like, and as often as you like. You could enter right now, for example (or at least, after you finish reading the rules). There are no limits. If your cartoon doesn’t pass muster the first day, you might still have a chance the second, third, fourth, or fifth day, depending on the competition. Furthermore, even if you don’t win during the five day run of the contest, your name will be entered into the grand prize drawing in which a winner will be chosen at random to receive not only a signed copy of my book, but also all three CDs produced by my band, Prairie Cats, as well as an original cartoon produced by yours truly. The more times you enter, the better your chances of winning. The winner will have the option of choosing from an editorial cartoon that has appeared in print (depending on availability) or I will be happy to draw a caricature of you, or someone you know (based on photos provided by you). I will work out all the details with the winner directly.

2. Cartoons can come in any medium. They can be produced in the more traditional fashion—pen or pencil on paper, etc. However, any approach is welcome. In fact, the more creative and unusual, the better. For this reason, altered photographs, collages, finger paintings, even drawings on frosty windows, are all acceptable forms of what I’ll consider a “cartoon.” All submissions must be emailed as an attachment to: GreatCartoonCountdown@gmail.com. Additionally, by submitting your cartoons to this little contest, I’m going to assume that it’s OK with you for me to use your work on my website. If not, then maybe you should find another cartoon contest with prizes that aren’t quite as cool and fun. J

3. Again, three themes: Creativity, space travel, or music.

4. Oh, and nothing over-the-top filthy. I don’t mind a little bit of adult humor, but nothing that’s going to make someone’s grandmother cringe. In fact, if you are a grandmother, I especially hope you enter. Grandmothers are wonderful and beautiful people.

5. Anyone is eligible to enter, amateurs to professionals, regardless of age or ability.* Remember, you’re going to be judged on your creative spirit, and your passion, not necessarily your technique. If you are a professional, perhaps this would be a good time to try drawing with your non-dominate hand. Or with your toes. In fact, a toe painting might be just the thing this contest needs. On second thought, I’ve hung out with cartoonists. I’ve even seen some of their toes (don’t ask why or how). Let’s skip the toe paintings. Can we at least agree on that?

6. Again, the Great Cartoon Countdown starts Thursday, October 29th. You can begin submitting immediately. The first deadline is Tuesday, October 27th at midnight. Or wait, is that actually Wednesday morning at midnight? “Midnight” always confused me. Either way, if it’s Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. you missed the first deadline by one minute. However, not to worry, as you’ll have four more chances to enter, that is the following four midnights. If this is all confusing, just remember that the very last deadline is Sunday night at one minute past 11:59 p.m.

7. Did I mention to include your full name, mailing address, and phone number in your email? That would be helpful. Oh, and also please keep the file size to something manageable—nothing more than two megabytes in a jpeg or tiff format.

8. Remember, the sooner you enter, and the more pieces you enter, the more chances you have to win. If you have already scored an early-released copy of my book, there’s no reason not to try and win another. My book makes an excellent gift. And the holidays are just around the corner.

9. I think that’s it. Now, get busy! I can’t wait to see what you come up with. All winners will be notified by email, by phone, or by telepathy. Most likely, by email. I’ll be posting the winners on my Koterblog—and maybe even some of the runners-up, so check back early and often.

10. Now, get to work and best of luck!


*I am not eligible to enter.