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Newspaper editor has beef with King Features’s online DailyINK

According to Editor & Publisher, Dean Miller, executive editor of The Post Register in Idaho Falls, sent a letter to King Features Syndicate saying the existence of King’s DailyINK online service may mean King “places little value on syndication fees.” And he wondered if the syndicate should start paying newspapers to run comics.

Community Comments

#1 Norm Feuti
September/25/2006
@ 3:55 pm

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I am syndicated by King Features and make money from DailyInk.

That said, I think King is the only syndicate getting it right. The other syndicates are giving their content away for free. Why would I buy the local paper to read my favorite comic when I can read it online every day for nothing?

I don’t think it’s fair that King should be singled out for making readers pay for their strips. Especially when the only alternatives are giving them away or having no web presence at all.

#2 Norm Feuti
September/25/2006
@ 9:55 am

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I am syndicated by King Features and make money from DailyInk.

That said, I think King is the only syndicate getting it right. The other syndicates are giving their content away for free. Why would I buy the local paper to read my favorite comic when I can read it online every day for nothing?

I don’t think it’s fair that King should be singled out for making readers pay for their strips. Especially when the only alternatives are giving them away or having no web presence at all.

#3 Paul
September/26/2006
@ 12:48 am

I agree with Norm. I get no money from the online comic services, and I know fans are reading my comic regularly because they write me. I’m not anyone from the free sites except the sites themselves.

#4 Paul
September/25/2006
@ 6:48 pm

I agree with Norm. I get no money from the online comic services, and I know fans are reading my comic regularly because they write me. I’m not anyone from the free sites except the sites themselves.

#5 Jeff
September/25/2006
@ 9:45 pm

I subscribe to DailyINK and find it a blessing because it is the only place I can find my favorite comic strips anymore. My local papers are owned by major chains and their editorial staff could care less which, if any, comic strips I would like to read (I know, I’ve talked with them). I came to DailyINK because I can still find currently-running classics there and because there are also some past classics from King’s great library there. I have also discovered some newer comic strips there that I am now reading daily that more local paper won’t carry either. And I am also a DailyINK subscriber because they are the only syndicate that will give me a decently-sized image (although I wish it were even more higher-res) that I can print out and add to my collection, if I desire. (If other syndicates would offer me some of their great strips from years gone by and give me images at least the size of King’s, I would subscribe to them as well.) So, Mr. Miller, if you can get my local papers to carry something other than these post-modern, cynical-edged, badly-drawn comic strips, if you can get them to print comcis larger than a postage stamp, and if you can get them to go back to publishing large-format Sunday strips in 16-page comic sections, then I won’t have a need for DailyINK. All I can say is that you and your generation of editors brought it on yourself if your readers go elsewhere looking for comic strips.

#6 Paul
September/26/2006
@ 1:09 pm

Sorry, my comment got messed up.

I meant to say “I’m not sure anyone benefits from the free sites except the sites themselves.”

#7 Paul
September/26/2006
@ 7:09 am

Sorry, my comment got messed up.

I meant to say “I’m not sure anyone benefits from the free sites except the sites themselves.”

#8 Paul
September/26/2006
@ 1:12 pm

I also agree with Jeff, and am grateful to know there are people like him who are willing to pay a little bit to a site so the creators get paid.

All the sites should charge.

Anyone out there who’s tried to generate a daily comic strip knows how frustrating it can be to know that people are enjoying it but you’re not getting paid, even though middlemen (like comics.com) are.

#9 Paul
September/26/2006
@ 7:12 am

I also agree with Jeff, and am grateful to know there are people like him who are willing to pay a little bit to a site so the creators get paid.

All the sites should charge.

Anyone out there who’s tried to generate a daily comic strip knows how frustrating it can be to know that people are enjoying it but you’re not getting paid, even though middlemen (like comics.com) are.

#10 James
September/27/2006
@ 7:57 pm

I am a DailyINK subscriber and, like Jeff, I am pleased with the service because I get all my favorite comic strips in one place, all conveniently emailed to me for pennies a day.

My own comics appear in several independent newspapers, and it is difficult to get money AND respect for comics… They pay me a pittance per strip, per use; the comic is normally placed somewhere near the back of the paper, and I usually have to ASK them to list me as a contributor, right up there with the other writers. Dang. Cartoonists get no respect. :-)

#11 James
September/27/2006
@ 1:57 pm

I am a DailyINK subscriber and, like Jeff, I am pleased with the service because I get all my favorite comic strips in one place, all conveniently emailed to me for pennies a day.

My own comics appear in several independent newspapers, and it is difficult to get money AND respect for comics… They pay me a pittance per strip, per use; the comic is normally placed somewhere near the back of the paper, and I usually have to ASK them to list me as a contributor, right up there with the other writers. Dang. Cartoonists get no respect. :-)

#12 trudy harrison
October/2/2007
@ 12:25 pm

I subscribe to dailyink and mycomicspage gladly because I can find all the comics I really like easily delivered to my inbox each morning. As others have noted, various newspaper sites don’t give a hoot about providing comics their readers want, plus they make finding the ones of interest a daily pain.

However recently mydailyink has had repeated problems being down, so images don’t load in the email and the strips can’t be accessed by going directly to the site. I have emailed them several times and gotten no answer. Pretty lousy customer service. I understand an occasional problem, but this is quite excessive. If they weren’t the only useful game in town for these strips, I would have left by now. I hope someone who authors one of their strips will ask them what the heck is going on and why they don’t have the courtesy to respond to paying customers. Thanks.

#13 trudy harrison
October/2/2007
@ 6:25 am

I subscribe to dailyink and mycomicspage gladly because I can find all the comics I really like easily delivered to my inbox each morning. As others have noted, various newspaper sites don’t give a hoot about providing comics their readers want, plus they make finding the ones of interest a daily pain.

However recently mydailyink has had repeated problems being down, so images don’t load in the email and the strips can’t be accessed by going directly to the site. I have emailed them several times and gotten no answer. Pretty lousy customer service. I understand an occasional problem, but this is quite excessive. If they weren’t the only useful game in town for these strips, I would have left by now. I hope someone who authors one of their strips will ask them what the heck is going on and why they don’t have the courtesy to respond to paying customers. Thanks.

#14 Bob Conroy
October/23/2007
@ 12:12 am

I currently have my strip published in only one major newspaper. It originally ran as a daily, but I had to cut it back to run on Sundays only. Through devine intervention I’m sure, it runs on the front page of the color Sunday comic section in its fill size 11.25 X 4.5 inches.
I’m in the process of trying to have a syndicate pick it up, (and the readers mumble, “good luck”), but the horror stories I’m reading really have me thinking twice if all the work is worth it, especially now with the on-line issues. A color Sunday strip takes me between 7 and 10 hours to complete from thought to product.
This is a big time investment for the return.

Bob

#15 Bob Conroy
October/22/2007
@ 6:12 pm

I currently have my strip published in only one major newspaper. It originally ran as a daily, but I had to cut it back to run on Sundays only. Through devine intervention I’m sure, it runs on the front page of the color Sunday comic section in its fill size 11.25 X 4.5 inches.
I’m in the process of trying to have a syndicate pick it up, (and the readers mumble, “good luck”), but the horror stories I’m reading really have me thinking twice if all the work is worth it, especially now with the on-line issues. A color Sunday strip takes me between 7 and 10 hours to complete from thought to product.
This is a big time investment for the return.

Bob

#16 Mike Hobart
December/27/2007
@ 1:45 pm

I’m willing to pay to read comics on-line since most newspapers don’t carry more than a couple nowadays. Back in 1965 I used to buy the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH just for its comics – a full page of comic strips in decent size, plus Pogo which appeared separately on the editorial page.

A few years ago I looked at the same newspaper and they had four tiny comic strips jammed onto the bottom of the second-last page. How the mighty are fallen.

#17 Mike Hobart
December/27/2007
@ 6:45 am

I’m willing to pay to read comics on-line since most newspapers don’t carry more than a couple nowadays. Back in 1965 I used to buy the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH just for its comics – a full page of comic strips in decent size, plus Pogo which appeared separately on the editorial page.

A few years ago I looked at the same newspaper and they had four tiny comic strips jammed onto the bottom of the second-last page. How the mighty are fallen.

#18 Roy Johnson
March/24/2008
@ 3:40 pm

I contend that newspaper comics should operate as TV and radio industries do. TV and radio network shows, which draw sizable followings, pay local network affiliates to carry both their programing and advertising by adding commercials to the entertainment while leaving adaquate commercial time for local stations to plug regional auto dealerships, grocery and department stores and a host of local hometown businesses. I think that if sponsors paid newspapers to carry toons and paid talent for producing topflight graphic entertainment products, as do movie, TV and radio networks, people would respond to commercials inserted around and between popular full sized cartoon features. Such a fresh system would quite kikely give electronic entertainment a run for its money.

#19 Roy Johnson
March/24/2008
@ 9:40 am

I contend that newspaper comics should operate as TV and radio industries do. TV and radio network shows, which draw sizable followings, pay local network affiliates to carry both their programing and advertising by adding commercials to the entertainment while leaving adaquate commercial time for local stations to plug regional auto dealerships, grocery and department stores and a host of local hometown businesses. I think that if sponsors paid newspapers to carry toons and paid talent for producing topflight graphic entertainment products, as do movie, TV and radio networks, people would respond to commercials inserted around and between popular full sized cartoon features. Such a fresh system would quite kikely give electronic entertainment a run for its money.

#20 trudy harrison
August/9/2008
@ 12:22 pm

I subscribe to dailyink and mycomicspage. As others have noted, newspapers couldn’t care less about which comics their readers want, and I am happy to pay the modest fee.

Yet another reason newspapers are going down the tube, don;t they realize good comics are important to readers? And here comes the Internet, ready to supply the unmet need.

But Daily Ink does have repeated times when the web site is just not functioning. That gets quite annoying.

#21 trudy harrison
August/9/2008
@ 6:22 am

I subscribe to dailyink and mycomicspage. As others have noted, newspapers couldn’t care less about which comics their readers want, and I am happy to pay the modest fee.

Yet another reason newspapers are going down the tube, don;t they realize good comics are important to readers? And here comes the Internet, ready to supply the unmet need.

But Daily Ink does have repeated times when the web site is just not functioning. That gets quite annoying.

#22 Malcolm McGookin
August/9/2008
@ 6:10 pm

In the past, editors have suggested that syndicates should actually pay to have their strips included in newspapers. This was because strips like Garfield were making huge amounts out of licensing and swag, and editors thought “hey, we’re effectively carrying ads for their cr@p and WE’RE paying THEM?!”

I believe this tendency from editors will increase over time, not because of a perceived licensing bonanza, but because of the barrowloads of money they feel the syndicates are making through the internet.

Fact is that many, many editors don’t support cartoon strips in their papers and they don’t need any excuse to dump them. If they regard strips sold on the internet as a violation of the relationship between newspaper and syndicate, they will get rid of them and turn that space over to ads.

#23 Malcolm McGookin
August/9/2008
@ 12:10 pm

In the past, editors have suggested that syndicates should actually pay to have their strips included in newspapers. This was because strips like Garfield were making huge amounts out of licensing and swag, and editors thought “hey, we’re effectively carrying ads for their cr@p and WE’RE paying THEM?!”

I believe this tendency from editors will increase over time, not because of a perceived licensing bonanza, but because of the barrowloads of money they feel the syndicates are making through the internet.

Fact is that many, many editors don’t support cartoon strips in their papers and they don’t need any excuse to dump them. If they regard strips sold on the internet as a violation of the relationship between newspaper and syndicate, they will get rid of them and turn that space over to ads.

#24 Tracy Brady
March/17/2009
@ 9:15 pm

Running your cartoon on the internet for free or joining an online subscription-based syndicate seems the likely future for our industry what with how fast newspapers are closing or dropping strips in favour of using all available spaces for advertising. That being said, the following problem exists for cartoonist who have to pay a paper to run their cartoons; affording to run that cartoon in more than one paper.
Perhaps, we as an industry can negotiate with newspapers to give us reduced rates to buy space in their prints in bulk? Or something like that?

#25 Tracy Brady
March/17/2009
@ 3:15 pm

Running your cartoon on the internet for free or joining an online subscription-based syndicate seems the likely future for our industry what with how fast newspapers are closing or dropping strips in favour of using all available spaces for advertising. That being said, the following problem exists for cartoonist who have to pay a paper to run their cartoons; affording to run that cartoon in more than one paper.
Perhaps, we as an industry can negotiate with newspapers to give us reduced rates to buy space in their prints in bulk? Or something like that?

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