The newspaper industry is coughing blood and gasping on its deathbed. Newspapers lost their relevance a long time ago, and with internet media blossoming they can no longer compete. Readers and advertisers have moved on.

Unfortunately, newspapers are taking their beautiful bastard child, the newspaper comic strip, with them.

Today’s newspaper comics are much-maligned… and deservedly so. Today’s small strips, with mostly predictable, safe themes and bland characters are a pale shadow of what newspaper comics were in their wild and colorful youth.

110-or-so years from their birth, it’s been a good run. Let us not mourn the death of the newspaper comics… rather, let us have a wake to celebrate what they once were, and to build something new.

The International Cartoonist Conspiracy, Big Time Attic, and Altered Esthetics gallery are collaborating to produce an oversized newspaper comics section like they would do it today if they still did it like they did it in the old days.

It will be called BIG FUNNY, and it will be both.

The paper will premiere at a show at Altered Esthetics in August featuring some of the original art from the paper, along with historical comics pages from the dawn of the last century.

Submissions are open to all… no prior cartooning experience is necessary. While we expect to have a lot of cartoonists participate, we are hoping to also have poster artists, printmakers and artists from other disciplines represented.

We have a tight deadline… no entries will be accepted after May first. Keep in mind… newspaper cartoonists used to do this every week, plus six dailies! You have it easy!

All submissions must be funny. We are no prudes, but potty or shock-based humor is too easy… while this sort of thing won’t exclude you from consideration, please do challenge yourselves.

You can make your entry in color or black and white. If providing a color version, you must also provide a version of it in black and white. It has not been determined at this point if the entire paper will be in color or not, so the final call on whether a particular strip will run in color or black and white will be determined by the editors.

Submitted artwork should be 15.5″ (w) x 20″ (h).

Color or greyscale pages should be 300dpi. Black and white images should be a minumum of 600 and maximum of 1200 dpi.

Submit images in BMP or PSD format. Also include a 72 dpi JPG of your files at full dimensions for reading purposes.

All submissions must be submitted digitally.

While you may submit more than one page, all pages should be self-contained. A single page is certainly welcome to have multiple strips on it… however, please keep the design of the page as a whole unit in mind if you go this route.


Submitting a strip does not guarantee it will be included. Space is limited… so the sooner you get your submission in the better.

If submitting a color comic, keep in mind that color on newsprint is considerably duller than on printer paper. Thus, you will want your colors to be exceedingly bright.

In addition to comic storytelling and humor, design of the page as a whole unit will be a strong factor in what will be chosen for inclusion. Ideally, every page should be something that someone might like having framed like a poster on their wall.

Participants are encouraged to find inspiration from old newspaper comics. The newspaper comics were the primordial soup that modern comics grew out of… many of them were thematically wild, crazily inventive and beautifully drawn. Do yourself a favor and read some.

Good resources for old newspaper comics, and many examples of them, can be found here:

Note that we are not recommending aping styles or themes from the old comics, necessarily… just breathing in some of the comics that modern comics grew from and reacting to them.

Here is a resource on scanning large images:

Note that it is easier to scan large pages that are broken into panels.


Register here on the Altered Esthetics website.

Send your submissions via mail to:

1618 Central Ave. NE Suite 216
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Or, email kevin at (replace the word at with @) to arrange how you want to transfer files. Please write BIG FUNNY in the subject heading of all emails to Kevin.

Obviously, by submitting work, you are offering us the right to put it in BIG FUNNY on acceptance, and we make no claims on it otherwise. Artists retain all rights to their artwork.

If accepted for publication, you will be invited to send your artwork to Altered Esthetics to display at the August exhibit. Further details will be provided.

Note that it is not required that you sell your original art, although it is strongly encouraged. The gallery will get a 30% cut of any original artwork sold, so you will want to price it appropriately.

Altered Esthetics is a good cause… we are a non-profit, non-traditional, artist-run gallery. In the event there are any profits, they will go toward our continued service to the arts community.

There is no fee to submit artwork. Accepted artists will be asked to contribute a $30 exhibition fee to the project, plus an additional $10 if you are out-of-state to cover shipping costs of your comp copies. This exhibition fee goes towards the cost of printing the publication and promotional postcards for the event, as well as the gallery itself during the brick-and-mortar exhibition. No artist will be turned away due to lack of funds – a limited number of waivers are available to artists in extreme financial circumstance.

There is no additional fee in the event multiple pages are selected for publication.

We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged artwork.

If you have further questions about any aspects of the BIG FUNNY project, contact (replace -at- with @)


-It is going to be a whole lot of fun.

-This is a very rare opportunity for artists to work in a large, color, poster-size format publication. As newspapers disappear, it is likely that the presses to print them will disappear or become prohibitively expensive… this could make this sort of project very hard to repeat.

-Accepted artists will receive multiple copies of BIG FUNNY. The number of copies received will be based on participants’ submission fees divided by the cover price of copies, minus shipping, if shipping is required. There may be additional copies available for artists at the gallery for the show opening event and closing.

-You can sell your artwork in the gallery.

-Keep in mind your participation supports a great non-profit gallery, us! If this is your first time hearing about Ae, you can read more about who we are and what we do here:



The International Cartoonist Conspiracy

Altered Esthetics

Big Time Attic

Join Big Funny on any of the following online communities:




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  1. […] The Cartoonist Conspiracy is immensely fortunate to have found Altered Esthetics gallery to collaborate with. A non-profit, community and artist centered gallery, we have collaborated with them on the Eric Lappegard Benefit and Lutefisk Sushi Volume C, and this Summer we will be working with them to put together Big Funny (submissions due May First!). […]

  2. […] The Cartoonist Conspiracy is immensely fortunate to have found Altered Esthetics gallery to collaborate with. A non-profit, community and artist centered gallery, we have collaborated with them on the Eric Lappegard Benefit and Lutefisk Sushi Volume C, and this Summer we will be working with them to put together Big Funny (submissions due May First!). […]

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