More About LTCartoons 25th Anniversary by Rick London

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Friday was Londons Times Cartoons 25th anniversary.  I was going to write about it then, but since I had already written about it several days ago, plus I was celebrating 25 years, I simply didn’t have time.  I do now.

I’ve mentioned the way it all started.  I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.   That has remained the same ever since.   But I believe I have learned a few things since that time.  While I am not sure exactly what I’ve learned, I feel quite sure when I figure it out I’ll  gladly purvey that information to you.

In 1997, it was just something to do.  I needed a hobby, so to speak, and this fit the bill.  I was a bit late to the party learning the Internet, so I figured then was as good a time as any, and I would “learn as I went” when developing, writing, and marketing the cartoons (and later gifts too).

When we first went online, there were no PODs (Print On Demand) sites.  That meant if I wanted to design tees, mugs, cards, or other gifts, I would have to have them printed and buy them by the bulk.  Then I’d have to make the trip to the post office in a timely manner to ship any goods.  That didn’t work out well, but I was able to sell to the occasional academic book publisher.  That increased as time went by. Not enough to retire.

So here I sit, feeling pretty much like everyone else.  The world has been through and seems to be going through all sorts of changes and that is not comfortable for many.  We’re fighting pandemics, wars, social unrest and you name it.  No, it was not exactly how I envisioned our 25th anniversary at all.

The good news is that Lee and I managed to remain healthy and while we lost several friends, and others suffered dramatically (either physically or financially), most importantly,  everyone in our immediate lives are okay.  We’re all a bit shaken.

I also believe that slowly but surely, people will enjoy laughing again.  The LTCartoons team and I discussed a strategy and we will take it slowly, but keep working with no expectations.

And when it feels okay to laugh out loud in public again, let’s all do it together.  Until that time, laugh softly, carry a big shtick.

Rick London is the founder of Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoon gifts (since 2005) LT Cartoons & Gifts, founded in 1997 in a small tin shed in Mississippi.  He is married to author/photographer Lee Hiller London who is also a gift design engineer.


On Laughter And Gift Design by Rick London

I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, but since I don’t know how to do that, I write humor instead; and it is often debatable whether or not I do that.  But let’s just say I do. 

What started as a fun hobby when I was about 10 (trying to make people laugh one way or another) is now a bigger hobby, and just like when I was much younger, it’s still hit or miss. 

The difference is that now, I’m okay with that  While I would rather them all be hits rather than misses, the misses teach me how to create better, write better, blueprint better (describe what is going on in the cartoon to the illustrator).   And I continue to learn a bit more every day. And as an old dog, I enjoy learning new tricks.

One of the most fun parts of the project (aside from working with my team of amazing illustrators) is designing gifts featuring the cartoons we create. 

I design basic items such as T-shirts, mugs, and the like, but as the years have passed, I’m learning to make more home and office gift items.   My extremely talented wife Lee Hiller-London has been making those type gift ideas in her shops for a number of years.  She creates the most unique gifts and cards I can ever remember seeing.

Being what is called a “Gift Design Engineer” is kind of an important project for me other than just getting to see our designs on products.  The title doesn’t mean much. I’ve always loved giving (and receiving) gifts.  I particularly enjoy matching the gift with the person receiving it.  I would consider myself a thoughtful gift-giver. 

I make a real effort to think of all the positive things I know about the recipient and find a comic-themed cartoon gift that matches those characteristics of that person.  Over the past decade or so, as times have gotten even more stressful, I have noticed that gift recipients appreciate and keep their gifts when they get a good laugh from them.  If it’s a tee, they wear it often and enjoy making others laugh.  If it’s a mug, it sometimes becomes “their favorite mug” (or so they tell me) and they use it “most of the time”.  I love hearing that. 

On March 19th, 2022, LTCartoons & Gifts will be 25 years old. 

Well, I’ve spent enough time waxing nostalgic and patting myself on the back. 

Lee and I wish everyone happy and safe holidays.  Thank you so much for your continued support.  May you thrive and be happy in 2022.  

I have several shops that feature offbeat comic gifts which is Rick London Gifts at Zazzle and the other is Rick London Cartoons at Zazzle. Both shops are good places year-round to pick up quality funny gift, usually for under $20.