Playboy Or Not?

April 30, 2010

On Being Rejected By “Hef”

Back in the 1980s and ’90s when I was trying to become a magazine cartoonist and having only moderate success at venues such as  Saturday Evening Post, TV Guide, and Writer’s Digest, the publication I really wanted to crack was Playboy. Next to the New Yorker (which rejects just about everybody), Playboy was one of the highest paying magazines still in the gag cartooning game. The problem was I had no idea how to write a sexy caption or draw a sexy woman. But the money was good, so I decided to try anyway and hope that Hugh Hefner, the magazine’s founder and editor, would find my subtle attempts at fleshy humor appealing. After all, I thought, the man’s not just a booty-hound, he’s also claims to be an intellectual—all you had to do was read his essays in the magazine to know that. But as it turned out selling him one (or more) of my cartoons was not to be. (Click the letter to enlarge.)

Prior to receiving that letter I had been encouraged when the long-time cartoon editor of Playboy, Michelle Urry, “held” some images from three “batches” I submitted each month. So I knew that Hefner’s gatekeeper appreciated my indirect take when it came to male lust; she liked my gags enough to show them to her boss. Several months went by before I heard the final verdict, which you see above.

I showed the no-sale note to a feminist-Marxist friend of mine, just for laughs. She promptly displayed her sharp radical-chic sense of humor by scrawling the note in the upper right corner of the letter. Her comment alone made my efforts worthwhile.

Below are three rejected cartoons from one of the 1997 batchs of ten monthly cartoon ideas. You be the judge—are they Playboy-worthy?

To purchase reprint rights for these and many other of my cartoons, visit my archive at

Copyright © 2010 Jim Sizemore.

Dialogue Doodle

April 28, 2010

Wall Street Marches On

Recently, I was in downtown Baltimore at lunch hour and overheard the following exchange between two young business men, one carrying an attaché case and the other smoking a cigar.

Attaché Guy: You were at the annual meeting, you saw the problem. Absolute transparency is the only ethical solution to that pervasive lack of shareholder trust.

Cigar Guy: Well, give it a try, but don’t tell Corporate what you’re up to. You know it’s easier to be forgiven than it is to ask those guys for permission to do the right thing.

Copyright © 2010 Jim Sizemore.

Today’s Gag

April 26, 2010

To purchase reprint and/or other rights for this cartoon, buy a framed print, or have it reproduced on T-shirts, mugs, aprons, etc., visit the CartoonStock website by clicking the sidebar link.

Copyright © 2010 Jim Sizemore.

Photo Quote

April 24, 2010

“News photography teaches you to think fast.”
Weegee  (Arthur H. Fellig), 1899 – 1968

Fort McHenry

April 22, 2010

Earth Day 40th Anniversary

Copyright © 2010 Jim Sizemore.

Today’s Gag

April 19, 2010
Copyright © 2010 Jim Sizemore.



Photo Quote

April 16, 2010

“Photographs open doors into the past but

they also allow a look into the future.”

Sally Mann, born 1951

Day Blizzard

April 14, 2010

February 2010

Copyright © 2010 Jim Sizemore.

Today’s Gag

April 12, 2010
Copyright © 2010 Jim Sizemore.



Photo Quote

April 9, 2010

“I have never taken a picture for any other reason than that

at that moment it made me happy to do so.”

Jacques-Henri Lartigue, 1894-1986