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The L:: How many comics have you had in the New Yorker so far?
KB: I've had four.
The L:: How many did you submit to get four in?
KB: Oh, I don't know. We'd submit every two weeks, eight to ten comics, and it was maybe two months before we sold one. Your hit rate is something like, one out of every forty. Or fifty. Or sixty. Some people will sell one or two in a year. And some people will submit for five years without selling any.
They want finished cartoons. And that's hard. If your job is already to make comics, then you really have to not do it for the money at all. You have to do it just because you love being in the New Yorker. And I love it, but I also have to pay the rent.
The L:: The parental pride chip is probably pretty significant too though, I'd imagine.
KB: Oh yeah, they are really proud of that. They never read the New Yorker but they know what it is. A doctor's office thing.
Illustration by Kate Beaton