This is the first of more than 75 cartoons that Selling Power magazine purchased from me. The publication started out as Personal Selling Power, a trade magazine for professional salespeople, shortened its name after a few years, and is very much still around. Unfortunately, however, about five years ago Selling Power completely stopped using cartoons as part of its editorial mix.
Not too long ago I cornered Selling Power's founder and publisher, Gerhard Gschwandtner, at a trade show (he was manning the Selling Power booth) and asked him why no more cartoons. He gave me what I considered a pretty wimpy answer, to the effect that while he personally loved the cartoons, the "design boys" decided they had to go, and he went along with that decision.
Bad thinking. If ever a publication needed cartoons and humor to supplement its hard-hitting editorial content, it's Selling Power.
A strange contradiction: Selling Power has an ongoing website, sellingpower.com, on which there is a "Cartoon of the Day" feature, using cartoons from past issues. My cartoons appear there on a regular basis. An even stranger contradiction: in 2005, Selling Power came out with a cartoon collection, "The Sunny Side of Selling", containing 200 cartoons from past issues (18 of them are mine). So Selling Power is obviously still very much cartoon-oriented.
C'mon, Mr. Gschwandtner, it's time to speak up! Bring cartoons back to Selling Power!
More than a year after this cartoon appeared in The National Law Journal, I was surprised to see the identical gag in The New Yorker. It was in the October 13, 1997 issue and drawn by a famous New Yorker cartoonist — same restaurant setting, exactly the same caption. Great minds thinking alike, I guess.