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The First All-Cartoon Newspaper in Town

Updated on September 14, 2017

A Cartoon Ad in the Newspaper

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A New Way to Sell Ads

When I was living in a small town in Wisconsin with my three youngest children, I tried to find a job to help with all our expenses.. Needless to say, a small town doesn’t have many open jobs to choose from. As I was still in need of a job to make ends meet, and as a single mom not able to find any work in town—-I decided to sell advertising. Years before I had created coupon books to sell and was able to get enough ads to pay for the printing and make some extra money to live on. When I tried to do this, I only had limited success ( and my children were tired of selling coupon books door-to-door). So, I got another idea. Since most of the shops in town weren’t really interested in taking ads from someone new—-I had to come up with something more exciting to spark their interest. Since I was an artist for years, and had a degree in graphic arts, I decided to create my own cartoon newspaper. I offered each business a chance to not only have a fun ad in the paper, designed especially for their place of business, but also to see themselves as cartoon characters featured in their own ads. This seemed to do the trick, as several businesses in town were willing to pay for a monthly ad in the paper in order to see themselves in the ad. I also tried to put them in humorous situations as to draw more attention to their company.


Willing to Laugh at Themselves

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Some of the Cartoons Were More Difficult

Some of the cartoons were more difficult than others, as some of the businesses wanted several of their employees also included in their ads. I also added each name to the characters included in the cartoon. The stores were excited to have a copy of their ads to frame and put up on their walls. The business owners were all willing to have a sense of humor and even laugh at themselves as I created their characters in funny situations. Some store owners requested that their pets be included in their cartoon ad, which I agreed to.


A More Complicated Cartoon

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The Little Paper Became More Popular

The little newspaper was the same size as the other free newspapers in town at that time—the ads were different prices, the half page ad being the most expensive. They could also buy a 1/4 page to a 1/8 page ad—so most were affordable to the businesses. The newspaper was free, and available to pick up at several stores.

The little paper was an experiment that became fairly popular. After the first printing of the paper, it was less difficult to procure ads the following month—-for, after seeing the paper, many new businesses also wanted to see themselves pictured as a cartoon character.


Several Ad Sizes to Choose From

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Our Newspaper was a Success!

In order to make the characters look like their owners, I took photos of them and their store and created their cartoon image to resemble as much as possible their individual photos. Some were more difficult than others—-and I tried to add as much humor to their ads as possible. Over all, the little newspaper was a success and provided my family with the extra money to live on that we needed until I was able to get a full time job in the next town. It all goes to show that-- "where there is a will—there is a way." ( Not to forget all the prayers we said to make it possible ).

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