Match to Flame 21

Jun 8, 2016

Match 21 Publishers Hall Letter

For the rest of the day, my calls ran the gamut from syndicates where someone would only step out in the hall to talk to me to the McClure Syndicate, where an editor actually pulled out a Mutt and Jeff strip with someone slipping on a banana peel and told me that my strip needed that kind of action. At the Chicago Tribune–New York News Syndicate I ran into another gentleman, Henry Raduta, who spent the better part of One of the Moondog panels I took to the syndicates in New York in 1970. the morning with me going over my submission in detail. He offered several suggestions, one of which dealt with a way of introducing my characters that eventually became the very first Funky strip. The day ended at Publishers-Hall Syndicate, where no one would see me at all and where the best I could do was leave some copies with a receptionist. In later years, the story was told that when Publisher-Hall’s editor Richard Sherry saw my submission, he ran out into the hall looking for me. But I tend to discount that version, because I remember walking very slowly and looking back over my shoulder all the way to the elevator. But the day after I got home, an airmail letter from Publisher’s-Hall arrived. In it Sherry said that they were impressed by the cartoons I had left and that he wanted me to give him a call. I never thought of this until now, but it’s quite possible that airmail letter and I flew home together on the same plane.

After another happy dance, I called and Sherry again expressed his interest. I told him that NEA was interested as well, and he asked if he could send me a ninety-day option agreement. I said fine. When we were done talking, I called Flash Fairfield to see where things stood at NEA. Flash said that they had decided to take a pass, so when the option letter from Publishers-Hall arrived, I signed it.

*From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Vol. One

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