Making Money With Your Old Cartoons

by Curtoons

Old Geezer Cartoon CharacterMany people find themselves with awesome collections of cartoons and cartoon characters but have no idea what to do with them. Just because you are not the original cartoonist or you have stopped drawing, it doesn’t mean you can’t make money with your cartoons or illustrations!

I’ve been contacted by dozens of individuals that have inherited cartoon collections from friends, family members or through chance purchases. Many of these people contact me wondering if they can make money with these cartoons. My answer to them and to cartoonists that have a stockpile of old drawings laying around is that those cartoons are not worthless.

As popular as cartoons are there are many things you can do with older drawings and characters. As long as you own the copyrights to the images you are free to make money with them. Below area few examples of how you could earn an extra income with cartoons that are no longer being used.

Funny Cartoon Guy
I’m your logo design dude!

Vertical Line



1.) Create an ebook. One guy I know came into ownership of a dozen characters created by world famous cartoonist Joe Oriolo. The characters were to be used in an animated series for TV which never transpired. He has taken the characters and had another cartoonist create a kids cartoon ebook out of them. His kids ebook is now on sale at Barnes & Noble.

2.) Greeting cards. Turn old gag cartoons into greeting cards. Use the gag cartoon on the front and have a special message on the inside. Many syndicated cartoonists have done this with their old cartoons including The Far Side. You can have a company like or print and ship the cards for you. Open your own free store.

3.) Magazines. If you have an old collection of gag cartoons that were once rejected it might be time to break them out again! Using the 2011 Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market Book you can find dozens of magazines that are in search of single panel cartoons. Bundle them up and get to mailing. As time moves along editors change and their humor may change. What hadn’t sold before might sell now.

4.) Clipart/Stock Art. There many stock art houses that accept gag cartoons and characters. Many of the online companies allow you to retain the copyright and display your images in their collections like There are also gag cartoon websites like that license cartoons and allow you to retain the copyrights.

5.) Self Licensing. You could self license your art to different companies. A great of doing this is to build a website, display your cartoons and ask a royalty free fee for the use of each cartoon. I know many gag cartoonists that do nothing but sell their cartoons from a website. They have found a niche and just add to their collection selling the same cartoons over and over again.

6.) Framed Art. If your cartoons are good enough you might be able to from them and sell them as office art. There are large groups of people that collect and display signed, original art. Try displaying it in your local coffee shop or book store and share the profits with that business.

7.) Hire an Agent. If you have some really great cartoon pieces you could always hire an agent to sell your cartoons to a licensing company or other types of businesses looking for cartoon art.

8.) Sell the Copyrights. You could always try selling your entire collection including copyrights to a real go getter. Someone with a great marketing mind might be able to take you work and turn it into their own cartoon empire. Not everyone can draw but many people would like to own a nice collection of cartoons.

I will continue to add to avenues for selling your collections of old cartoons so be sure and check back from time to time. Much success!

Cartoon Signature


Bruce McClintock October 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Hey Curtis: Hello, have not contacted you in awhile. I was wondering if you could help me with something. Remember me the guy with all those old single panel gag cartoons, well I wish to start submitting those cartoons. Here is my problem, the old newsletter “Cartoon World” went out of business, and now I can’t find the address and phone number of “Gag Recap” ( which lists all the cartoons published in North America with name and address of each market.) Both owners passed away and I guess both newsletters also passed away. These were the bibles of the industry for gag cartoonists. Also I can’t seem to find one of my cartoons on your website. See if you can help me with finding those newsletters. Thanks Curtis

Curtis October 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Hey Bruce, have not forgotten you! Still have not found enough free time to upload you toons but I will! I’m fairly sure those rags are gone. I would suggest using 2012 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market now in paperback! They have most of the major magazines and cartooning guidelines. Talk soon!

M.R.Rajamaran(R.Kandamaran) October 12, 2011 at 5:11 am

I want to sell My caricature and acrtoons

Curtis October 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Try to purchase a copy of the 2012 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market guide. It has many connections for selling cartoons.

JAMES A RUMPF September 8, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Curtis, who is the old cartoon man at the top of the page? Interesting pose.


Curtoons September 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm

LOL. Funny.

Antonio Brooks March 26, 2016 at 9:38 pm

Great info. Was very helpful

Bruce McClintock April 15, 2016 at 4:08 pm

Hey Curtis: Bruce McClintock here. I was wondering if you could help me. You have probably been asked this dozens of times, but I want to get my own website and sell my cartoons(I want a company to build the website for me) has a fantastic web building site but it cost $124.00 a month. This is way to expensive for me, do you know of any other website builder that is in $50.00 per month range. I can afford that. Please get back to me ASAP. Thanks Curtis

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: