Copyright 2007-2012 by Pete Wagner, Minne HA! HA! Magazine, LLC, Minneapolis / www.Kartoons.com

I have been drawing caricatures at all-night high school lock-in parties since they were just getting going in the mid-1980s. Today, almost every high school in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area has its own lock-in party on the night of senior graduation.

Over the years, I have offered my services and those of a select few highly talented, qualified professional caricature artists to meet part of the huge demand for entertainment at these parties. I work ONLY with the best few. fastest artists. Those artists who meet the following criteria:

  • over 20 years of experience as a specialist in cartooning, comic art and caricature
  • a proven "high batting average" by which I mean a consistent ability to capture a good likeness
  • a fun attitude that makes the person being drawn comfortable and entertains them
  • a proven record of professionalism so that they can be counted on to show up and show up on time and behave in a professional manner
  • a level of skill and style that will produce drawings that go far beyond being merely "acceptable," drawings that really are special and fun and truly funny.

We have about a half dozen all-night high school graduation parties that have had us back year after year since the 1980s or early 1990s. This year, we are available to accept additional dates! (I was working on a Master of Fine Arts degree and a PhD in Design for the past eight years, so we were not taking any new ones.)

IF YOUR SCHOOL is open to hiring new caricature artists this year, please consider the following... And I apologize for the negativity that is sprinkled throughout the sales pitch below, but caricatures are a lot more than just a business to me, so I "get my back up" a bit over all the bad things that have been going on lately! I'm an artist who does business, not a businessperson who does art.


I and the artists I offer are by far the "Fastest Drawers in the Midwest." We were so dubbed by a prominent columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. We are the only artists in the Twin Cities area who have posted VIDEO proving that we are both fast and good. Speed is an important factor when judging an artist's suitability for drawing at high school lock-in parties, where the demand is high and graduates have a lot of other fun activities they don't want to miss out on by having to stand waiting in a long, long line at the caricature stand.


It is also important to consider SPEED when comparing PRICES. Jonny, Dian and Jeff and I all draw between 16 and 25 people per hour, in a normal situation. That is more than TWICE as MANY per hour as the average. Some of the "artists" offered up by agencies and party planners draw as few as SIX PEOPLE per hour! So unless the others are offering their services at a rate of less than $45-60 per hour per artist, our rate is cheaper than theirs! Now factor in the level of QUALITY (entertainment, professionalism and experience as well as what a good likeness we capture and how funny the drawings are) and it is hard to beat what we have to offer.

LEFT: Caricatures are supposed to be FUN, FUNNY, COMIC cartoons that truly capture a unique individual likeness-- not just a bland, boring, formulaic cookie-cutter sketch that "sort of" vaguely resembles the person.

GOOD caricatures are true entertainment and keepsakes, not just a cheap "party favor."

ABOVE: ONE HOUR'S worth of drawings by Dian, Jonny and Pete, the "Fastest Drawers in the Midwest," at a recent all-night high school graduation lock-in party. Further PROOF of our speed can be seen in our YouTube videos at www.Kartoons.com.

How is it that some artists can draw 25 caricatures per hour while others cannot draw more than six? Several reasons:

We are TRUE caricaturists, it is not a sideline, it is our specialty. We have been doing caricatures and cartoons since we were first able to draw.

It's a God-given gift that comes naturally or doesn't, not something you can "train" non-cartoonists to do!


While I was "in on the ground floor" and could easily have recruited student or amateur artists to work at all of the many parties as their respective schools were first forming committees to organize them, and made a killing $$$$ doing so, I refrained because it is a simple fact that there are just not that many qualified caricature artists in the area to meet the demand during the all-night high school graduation lock-in party season! There are at least 90 high schools holding all-night lock-ins during those two weeks. NO WAY are there enough GOOD caricature artists to meet that kind of a demand!!!

I felt it would be completely unethical to inflict bad or mediocre caricatures on high school grads and the parents who were hiring entertainers for these parties. Most area party planners and agencies, on the other hand, seem to have had no such ethical dilemma--they hire anyone and everyone who can barely draw and happily take the money of the all-night party parents and students in return for some pretty blah drawings, or good drawings that are just drawn way too slowly to make them party-worthy, or outright horrible drawings that look nothing like the person they are supposed to be "capturing."



Sadly, the planners and agencies who send out sub-par caricaturists know that parents are much too busy at these events to watch over them or to stand there and count the number of drawings they do. I have heard numerous "horror stories" about drawings that were so poor that grads were leaving them behind in trash cans. Even worse, I have encountered many committees who simply use caricaturists from agencies because they think it is too much trouble to take ten minutes to look at our videos or photos of caricatures we have drawn at events, or they fail to do the math and see that our rates are actually cheaper when factoring in the number per hour, or they believe wildly inflated figures on the part of agencies or party planners who claim their artists draw many, many more per hour than they actually do. LONG LINES should not be seen as a testament to popularity--LONG LINES may just be an indicator of S - L - O - W ARTISTS!!!

We strongly recommend that you issue TICKETS good for one caricature per grad, and have two parents stay with the artists throughout the night, and collect one ticket for each person drawn. Keep them in separate boxes for each artist. Make sure no extras are thrown in by unscrupulous individuals!!! COUNT the total for each artist at the end of the night. RECORD:

  • The name of the artist
  • The number of drawings they did
  • The number of hours they were drawing
  • The name of the company that you hired them from

...and enter this information into the records for future planning committees.

We are the ONLY artists in the Cities who will urge you to do this!!!! For good reason!


For more information or to book a date, please download the following documents or give me a call:

CALL: PETE WAGNER, 612-886-2345

LEFT: While all of our styles are "funny yet kind," Dian's caricatures are probably the sweetest, cutest of our group. Each of us attracts different "followings" at the events we draw at.