Ask A Cartoonist: Graduation Time!

By Tea Fougner

It’s time for students from all over to graduate!  Whether you’re receiving your PhD or your Kindergarten diploma, this is a very special time of year, so we’d like to extend our warmest wishes and congratulations.  

For students moving on to the next stage in their lives, graduation can be a scary time, so I asked our cartoonists to give some sage words of advice to graduates!

Don’t allow money to be your primary driving motivation. You don’t want to wake up at 40, dreading your job, and realizing that it’s not how you want to spend your days.

I see this happening to too many people. My advice is to not let it happen to you.  Money is nice, extra money is wonderful – but it’s not the thing that will ensure your happiness.

Oh, and if you want to get into comics, you already are aware that it’s not a field people get into to make lots of money. If you’re a person with a genuine drive to make comics, you will make comics, no matter what anybody says about it!

–Rina Piccolo, Tina’s Groove and Six Chix

Here is a graduation cartoon I did for my son when he graduated from High School. It ran in his yearbook and in the local paper.


–Kevin Frank, Heaven’s Love Thrift Shop



–Ron Ferdinand, Dennis the Menace

I spent two years at Pratt Institute Art School after graduating high school in Levittown, L.I.. I was under the illusion I would become the next Vincent Van Gogh. I produced painting after painting, getting nowhere.

If only I had gone instead to the School of Visual Arts, where I now teach, my career in cartooning would have begun eight years earlier.  Lesson: Don’t suppress that wise guy voice inside your head—he’s trying to set you on your true path.

A memory from my college days in Brooklyn:


–Bill Griffith, Zippy the Pinhead

Having spent 7 years working in a highly lucrative job, versus 16 in one that is not so well paying, I’d say to do what you love. Money is great, but no money is worth a sick feeling in your stomach every Sunday evening.

I don’t have a comic that sums that up, but I’m very grateful to King Features for helping me feel happy on a Sunday.

–Alex Hallatt, Arctic Circle

My advice to graduates is to make sure you always have down time in your life – try to make sure some of your evenings and weekends are spent outside, getting together with friends, and talking with friends. Try to have a good work/life balance.

–Isabella Bannerman, Six Chix