Yes, I know it’s not Monday but I didn’t want to miss posting some markets this week. I know I can always use a good laugh, so I thought I would focus on some humor publications.
The Last Page Humor Column
From the Web Site:
The Last Page is a monthly column that aims at humor. Its length runs between 500 and 650 words. Because of the difficulty in judging humor by proposal, we require submission of a completed manuscript. The Web submission form’s proposal text box will accommodate a manuscript and cover letter. Payment for the column is $1,000, and there is no kill fee.
The article should be amusing and the tone genial – a story rather than a list of jokes or situations. The story usually relates to the writer’s own particular experience. For example, what happened after he shaved off his moustache; what it’s like to be colorblind (or a hypochondriac); or how an innocent-seeming toy ant farm turned into an unintended lesson in life. A “Last Page” story has a beginning, middle and end, and something happens. The best way to learn what a successful last page piece is, and how it works, is to study several of them.
We buy first North American serial rights. In addition, the last page columns are included on the Magazine’s Web site, and articles may be reproduced on electronic research databases, microfilm, microfiche and CD-ROM for libraries and educational institutions.
All unsolicited contributions are sent on speculation. We will respond to submissions sent using the Web submission form, within three weeks.
New contributions are welcome, and we appreciate your interest.
The Comics Journal
From the Web Site:
Like most magazines, the best writers guideline is to look at the material within the magazine, and give us something that approximates that material in terms of approach and sophistication. Anything else is a waste of time. For example, if we had a dollar for everyone who sent us articles on stand-up comics, we would have $43 a year. But this advice more specifically applies to comic strips and comic books. We are obviously not the magazine for discussion of comic “universes,” character re-boots and Spider-Man’s new costume — beyond, perhaps, the business or cultural implications of such “events.”
That exception brings up a good point: the key is almost always in the approach and in the writing, not in the basic idea. Therefore, we almost never buy writing unseen, even from our established writers. The editors, particularly Gary Groth, have been doing this long enough they know exactly the level and type of writing they desire and they have to see it in order to know they’ll get it.
To make this blunt: we do not, as a standard practice, accept articles on query. And we only rarely pay kill fees, usually when editorial malfeasance or just plain bad luck keeps an accepted article from being run in a timely fashion.
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR
We don’t need regularly contributing critics at the moment — we have all we need, thanks. We have been known to accept the occasional blind submission, but the vast majority of such things are turned down.
There are (extremely) limited opportunities for broader essays about comics, but we’re in a “show us” mood here, as well. To the extent that we run such things, they tend to be either knowledgable, insider looks at the comics scenes in foreign countries, or critical essays covering the works of lesser-known cartoonists who’ve fallen by the wayside, and are thus ripe for rediscovery. A preemptive strike: We are most assuredly not in the market for essays detailing the Arthurian origins of Captain America, the Christian underpinnings of Superman, the exciting new direction recently taken by Spawn, or any other such attempts at justifying the author’s longbox. Attempts at submitting pompous, jargon-laden literary theory in an essay about V for Vendetta will be met with howls of derisive laughter.
We need people to conduct interviews — we’re especially interested in someone familiar with manga who speaks and reads fluent Japanese — but before you ask: A successful interviewer should be knowledgable, and should already be skilled in such things. We are not interested in publishing your first interview. Further, the pitched interview subject should be accessable to the writer, and should be someone of solid, proven value as a cartoonist, someone whose perspective on the artform will be interesting to intelligent connoisseurs of the medium. The fly-by-night hack who just wrote this month’s flavor of tits-and-vampires dreck is not getting an interview in this magazine; don’t even ask.
We also need the occasional essay of industry commentary. Such writers should already have experience in the business of comics sufficient to make his or her opinion informed, valid and interesting. We don’t need the existing conventional wisdom regurgitated back to us, and will heartily reject anything that we suspect does this. Our readers pay good money for this magazine, and if we’re going to publish your industry commentary, you’d better know what you’re talking about and say something that readers will find to be of genuine value.
Finally, we need good investigative reporters willing to work on a freelance basis. Writers interested in covering news for the Journal should contact our News Editor, Michael Dean.
All other inquiries should be directed at Dirk Deppey.
From the Web Site:
We’re actively looking to expand our pool of freelance comedy writers and there’s more opportunity to join The Usual Gang Of Idiots than ever. If you have a twisted sense of humor, a peculiar way of looking at the world, or are simply eager to express your immature, strange or just plain silly side, then we want to see your stuff! Here’s what we’re looking for:
1. Material for The Fundalini Pages: Introduced in January 2004, this still-evolving front-of-the-book-section provides great outlet for topical, short form humor. Especially prized are biting social satire and outrageously funny quick takes. Throw the kitchen sink at us! This is an excellent place for first time writers to break in.
2. Comic strips: We want to add new comics to the magazine. Whether a strip is an ongoing, monthly feature, or a one-time-only, single or multi-panel gag, we’d love to see your ideas. While we are particularly interested in comics that reflect adolescent male sensibilities, feel free to let your mind roam. Got a really weird concept that you think belongs in an underground comic? Have an idea for an irresistibly irreverent character? Whatever it is, if you think it’s funny, send it to us. (And, no, you don’t have to be an artist.)
3. Hard Hitting Satire/Cutting Edge Yuks: Tackle ongoing cultural themes and fads, problems and issues, including controversial court cases, political blunders, celebrity and sports scandals and anything else ingrained (and sometimes senselessly beaten!) into the American consciousness. Good areas include: pop culture, sex/dating, politics, the Internet, the music and fashion scenes, and any topics of interest to teens. Especially prized are articles on video games, kid/parent and student/teacher relationships.
4. Media Parody: Poke fun at and lambaste your favorite (or least favorite) showbiz celebs, movies, TV programs and channels, radio shows, videos, commercials, magazines, books, catalogs, etc. Be audaciously original!
5. Utter Silliness: Pointless humor for humor’s sake, which may include a heavy dose of stupidity, faulty logic, moronic conclusions and non-sequiturs. (Articles we’ve run in this category include Most Wanted Renegade Clowns and Sadistic Simon Says.)
6. MAD 20 Features: Our annual run-down of the 20 Dumbest People, Events & Things of the Year has become a reader favorite. Especially prized are full-page visual-impact pieces. (Take a look at one of our previous MAD 20 installments to familiarize yourself with the feature.)
Here’s what we’re NOT looking for:
1. Movie & TV Satires: Unless they’re entirely different in format and approach from the ones we’re currently using.
2. Rewritten MAD-Like Junk: Nothing will get you a rejection slip faster that an article with a title like “Other Uses For Your Old _____” or “Who’s Who At A ______.”
3. Your Take On Already Existing Features: Including Spy Vs Spy, A MAD Look At…, The MAD Fold-In, The MAD World Of…, etc.
4. AND PLEASE: No advice columns, short stories, book manuscripts, articles about Alfred E. Neuman, or Alfred E. Neuman cover gags.
HOW TO SUBMIT MATERIAL
Send us a paragraph or two explaining the premise of your article, with three or four examples of how you would carry it through. Be sure to include art notes describing the visual content of each example. Rough sketches are welcomed but not necessary. Be neat and to the point. No hand-written submissions.
1. Our preference is for you to submit via email. Send your material to [email protected] Please note: We will respond only if we’re interested. Fax submissions are not accepted.
2. If your material contains significant sketches or is otherwise art-intensive, you may submit via snail mail. Be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage to send your submission back, or we will not be able to return your artwork. (Overseas contributors must include U.S. stamps or International Reply Coupons.) Send your submission to:
MAD Submissions Editor
New York, NY 10019
3. Before submitting become familiar with today’s MAD, not the MAD you grew up with (although that helps). Don’t be discouraged if the rejection slips pile up. Writing for MAD isn’t a piece of cake. That’s why we pay top rates — $500 per MAD page (for new contributors) — on acceptance (pieces that are less than a page — e.g. comic strips, Fundalini bits, etc. — are pro-rated accordingly).
Any other questions? See your spiritual advisor or write your Congressman! We’ve told you everything we know. Now it’s time to sit down at your computer, word processor, typewriter, notebook, stone tablet (or whatever it is you use to record your idiotic brainstorms!) and exercise your funny bone. We’re waiting to hear from you! Lots of luck!