scrubbo wrote:I tend to think that things aren't as bad as they are made out to be. With prices for bandwidth slowly creeping down, things get 'less bad' as time goes on for the online cartoonist. However, I don't think things will get as good as some people seem to think they will.
It's a rare phenomenom for web cartoonists to support themselves by cartooning. It's ALSO a rare phenomenom for newspaper cartoonists or comic book makers to support themselves with their work as well. Comic strips fail in the papers. Books last 2-3 issues. Artists struggle for years. Web artists will as well. You try and get what the market will bear out of your work and as artists, that ain't a lot.
However, as Mr. Stevens pointed out, most comics don't even TRY to get what the market will bear out of their work. But that's because it's a painful leap to make. If you offer your merchandise through a third party provider and storefront like Cafe Press, you get jack for your return per item. If you order up a bulk order so you can get a decent return on your investment, you get a huge up front investment. Both are quite scary!
What's a poor little toonist to do?
Talk to your readers. As R. Stevens pointed out, you need to interact. Your readers make the best focus group ever, because they are your actual target demographic. Find out what people would be interested in. Take pre-orders to guestimate how many you'd need. Print up a few extra of whatever merch it is, fill your pre-orders, and shill the rest on the FRONT PAGE of your comic. Let 'em know you gots da goods for them to buy.
I don't think webcomics will ever be much of a paying proposition, but I do think we can make it break even. Or at least come close.
Syke wrote:It makes a LOT of difference. I probably don't even have a twentieth of the readership Sluggy has,... but a lot of the people know me by my stop bys on the tagboard, livejournal and BIG attempts to be in my forums.
Right now,... they've come to my aid in a way that I could never have imagined in my time of need. (I do wish that this happened every month, the response that is... and not just when I have a daughter in ICU. If I got that kind of response every month... I'd be making twice what I make at my full time job. I'd be happy with a quarter of that every month,... I am happy with how generous they've been though and maybe someday I can show them just how much I appreciated it... guess I'll just have to drag my daughter around to all the conventions I go to once she can be around people.
justinpie wrote:The joyful thought of seeing children's eyes light up as they beg for my overpriced product tie-ins on the shelves of the Grand Forks, ND Pamida store is payment enough for the work I do.
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