Drawing on his pastime

Andrew Feinstein '98BBA and his best buddy, Justin Borus, are just a couple of twenty-five-year-olds who like girls and sports. Their pastime became their work after they hatched the idea for their syndicated comic strip named Girls & Sports at the University of Copenhagen in 1997 during a semester abroad.

"I would start drawing these comics in class. Justin would write the jokes, and we'd pass them around and everyone really laughed at them," says Feinstein. Back in their hometown of Denver for the summer, the friends met with two cartoonists for the Rocky Mountain News, who suggested they target college newspapers.

The team put together a packet of about twenty-four comics, which Feinstein describes as "awful looking," and they self-syndicated to college newspapers. Simultaneously, they submitted their work to all the national syndicates and were rejected by all of them. Every year, they repeated the pattern--"a college paper push and a packet for the syndicates." Every year, they'd make it into about fifteen or twenty college papers and receive rejections from the syndicates. By 1999, they'd about had it.

"We were both working so hard. (Feinstein for Warner Brothers New Media in Los Angeles and Borus for Bear, Stearns in London). We were so slammed that we'd basically given it up," Feinstein recalls. "I said, 'Hey, let's just send one more thing to the syndicates.'"

The fall 1999 submission resulted in a call in late spring 2000 from King Features. They'd made it.

Today, they produce ten strips a week to wind up with the seven that the editor accepts. This schedule finds them tossing jokes back and forth across the Atlantic every day, and it means that Feinstein uses virtually all of his free time to draw. It takes him anywhere from one to three hours to draw a single strip.

At Warner Brothers, Feinstein is on the team that's creating brand new Looney Tunes cartoons for looneytunes.com, which will launch this spring with original cartoons appearing every other week.

Meanwhile, they labor to get Girls & Sports into more national newspapers (they're in eight now) and hook readers for the long haul.

"The entertainment business is all about putting yourself in a position to be lucky. Then, when the luck happens, you have to be smart enough to know what to do with it," Feinstein figures. "I'm trying to get Girls & Sports in front of the right kind of decision makers. We'd like to see calendars and books and sponsorships of sports teams, even a TV series. I have all those dreams, and at least we're taking the right steps to get there."

To read the comic strip Girls & Sports, see www.girlsandsports.com/.

--Carol Carter