FAQ

FAQs below! Just scroll down.

But first read my Mission Statement:

Politically, I’m an idealist, not a “realist.” It helps to know that when you read my cartoons and columns. I don’t care if Democrats beat Republicans. I’m out to change the world by changing people’s minds about things. My criticism comes not from some “good enough” place, but by asking: in a perfect world, what would happen here? I set the bar as high as I can imagine it.

Please don’t think of one cartoon or essay as my complete opinion about the topic being discussed. They’re parts of an ongoing exploration, a conversation with you, the reader. Part of that exploration is that I reserve the right to change my mind — maybe because of something you tell me.

I don’t weigh in on every subject. I write and draw about stories and ideas that interest me, not because it’s in the headlines. If my point of view has already been well represented by other artists or writers, I leave it be and do something else…I’m too lazy to do redundant work. If I don’t have an interesting take on something, if what I think is what everybody thinks, if I can’t come up with some Ted Rallian twist, I just don’t.

The reason I write and draw is that I don’t see the kind of cartoons and essays I want to read in newspapers or magazines or online. If and when I do, I’ll stop.

Now: FAQs!

How do I get permission to reprint a cartoon or column?

Please email me. I will either handle the permission myself or, depending on the item and how you intend to use it, direct you to my syndicate. The process is easy and only requires two or three emails to complete.

How can I find an old cartoon?

All of my syndicated editorial cartoons are archived online. Go to my keyword-searchable archives. Enter a keyword. It can be the topic of the cartoon (“war”, “economy”, “Bush”) or an unusual word in the text of the cartoon (“Al Qaeda”, “Uzbekistan”). Thumbnails of the returned items will appear. Please note the date code of the cartoon. The date code is in month-day-year format (“5-11-11” is May 11, 2011). Let me know the date code if you’re interested in a print or the original artwork, or reprinting the cartoon for publication.

Can I commission drawings? Do you do freelance illustrations?

Definitely. I can draw in a variety of styles, formats, and colors. Take a look at some examples of my illustrations and cartoons as a start. If you don’t see what you have in mind, get in touch with me and we can work out the details.

Email me with information about the assignment: What is your deadline? What is the description? How big will be it be? How many words? Color or black-and-white? How much are you paying? I’ll get right back to you.

David Essman and I can also do custom-made animated cartoons.

Will you donate an original cartoon to my fundraiser?

Mmmaybe. It’s more likely if I care about the cause and if you set an appropriate minimum bid. Original cartoon art should not be sold for less than $100. $500 is more like it. Speaking of which…

Can I buy an original? What do they look like?

Yes, some of my original artwork can be purchased. Most are $500 each. If you’re interested, Email me with identifying information. If you know the original datecode of the cartoon (on the lower-right hand corner) let me know. You can search my archives by keyword. If you still can’t find the original date of publication please send me as much information as you have and I’ll hunt it down.

My originals are basically the black line art. Colors are added later, in Photoshop. Editorial cartoons are done on 8.5″ x 11″ high-gloss paper.

I don’t have a budget. Will you draw a cartoon/write an essay/wash my car for free?

No.

In the good old 1990s, I worked for cool rags like Might magazine—gratis—because it was fun. The collapse of the market for cartoons and writing has decimated my income. I can no longer afford to do anything for free.

But it’s a really really really good cause. Other artists/writers/musicians are donating their work.

Do you pay your landlord? Your printer? Your receptionist? Do you buy office supplies or shoplift them from Staples? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” please ask yourself—why shouldn’t you pay an artist or a writer or musician for their services? It might have made sense to ask for donations years ago, when creatives weren’t earning subsistence wages. These days, a lot of organizations who approach us for donations ought to be donating to us instead.

Would you speak at my school/group/company/book club/wedding? How much do you charge?

Sure! I love meeting new people. I’ll show cartoons, crack jokes and lead a discussion about anything from Central Asia to revolution to punk rock. Email me. We’ll talk. However: I live in the New York City area. If getting to you would require me to board an airplane I’ll need an honorarium, hotel, plane fare and possibly a cute kitten. If you’re with a corporation or university please contact American Speakers Bureau and they’ll work out the details. If you’re a smaller (i.e., low-budget) group but you’re near NYC email me directly.

Times are tough for cartoonists and writers. How can I support your work?

The transition from print to digital has been brutal for me and other creative types. My work is available worldwide, but the net cash flow from this website is negative—it costs more to run it than I can collect from ads. The single best thing that can happen to me is for an old-fashioned print publication—a newspaper or magazine—to hire me to draw or write. Either that, or one of the big online magazines like Salon or Slate. Believe it or not, your emails to the editor encouraging them to consider my work really do make a difference.

If you’re looking for something more direct:

You can donate money.

You can subscribe to the Ted Rall Subscription Service.

You can buy my books.

I hate you and wish you would die.

Worry not. You’ll get your wish someday.

For Interview Requests, email me here.

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