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Jim Davis talks about 30 years of Garfield

Next week on June 19, Jim Davis will celebrate 30 years doing the Garfield comic strip. His syndicate, Universal Press has released a Q & A about the strip:

Q: You’ve been drawing Garfield for 30 years now. Looking back, what was the most exciting event that happened during your career with regards to the strip?

A: “While it can’t be considered an event, being embraced by the readers is what I’ve found most exciting about doing the strip. The knowledge that my effort is entertaining someone gets me out of bed in the morning. It’s a heady experience!”

Q: What’s the last time you laughed out loud over a comic strip that another cartoonist did?

A: “It was just a few weeks ago. The strip is PVP (Player vs. Player) by Scott Kurtz. His timing is flawless. PVP isn’t in newspapers, it’s online! Some of the sharpest stuff is being done online by some very talented, young artists. They keep me looking over my shoulder.”

Q: Why doesn’t Garfield ever get to be a taster on those HGTV cooking challenges?

A: “Garfield isn’t a taster; he’s an eater. Maybe if they came up with a show called ‘Binging with Emeril’…”

Q: Did you ever consider another name for Garfield other than the name of your grandfather?

A: “I originally planned to call the strip Jon, the adventures of a single guy who owns a cat. However, every time I wrote a gag, the cat got the punch line. I couldn’t write around the stupid cat. I finally had to admit that the cat had the dominant personality (and ego), so I named the strip Garfield, the adventures of a cat who owns a single guy.”

Q: Will there ever be a time and will you ever reach an age where you begin to travel or pursue other interests and completely turn Garfield and the gang over to the care and supervision of others?

A: “I envision letting the day-to-day tasks go to other staffers while I’ll always continue to do the strip, at least until someone says, ‘Uh, Davis, you’re losing the young readers with the liver spot jokes.’ “

Q: If you were whisked away by aliens to serve as a dictator for a planet light years away, would the business of Garfield continue here on earth without you?

A: “Is that a cute way of asking, ‘Will the strip continue after you’re dead?’ In a word, ‘Yes.’ For as long as Garfield can continue to make people smile, I hope we have someone to do well by him.”

Q: What do you want to say to the thousands of newspaper editors out there who have continued to subscribe to Garfield for years and years?

A: “Thanks for your support. I hope I’ve helped make your readers as loyal to you as you’ve been to me.”

Q: What do you want to say to the millions of fans who love Garfield dearly?

A: “What I always say in the answers to their letters, ‘I’ll do my best to keep you entertained.’ “

Q: What little known fact about Garfield to you know that many of us don’t? For example, we’ve heard, but we can’t confirm, that in Garfield’s early years there was an increase in people seeking orange tabby cats, making them a much sought after item. How cool is that if it’s true?

A: “30 years ago dogs outnumbered cats in American households, now, cats outnumber dogs. Coincidence? I think not.

Here’s something nobody knows (until now): Years ago I did another strip called U.S. Acres. When I ended the feature, one character refused to retire. When Jon and Garfield visit the farm today, look in the background. Sometimes Roy the rooster peeks out from behind a tree and waves.”

Q: You’ve always been so laid back about people who do parodies or who poke fun at Garfield. What gives? Isn’t some righteous anger in order?

A: “Hey, if nobody cared, there would be no parodies. I’ll take the parodies.”

Community Comments

#1 Scott Kurtz
June/12/2008
@ 8:48 am

“Q: Whatâ??s the last time you laughed out loud over a comic strip that another cartoonist did?

A: â??It was just a few weeks ago. The strip is PVP (Player vs. Player) by Scott Kurtz. His timing is flawless. PVP isnâ??t in newspapers, itâ??s online! Some of the sharpest stuff is being done online by some very talented, young artists. They keep me looking over my shoulder.”

Dear print cartoonist-naysayers.

IN YOUR FACE!

#2 Brian Powers
June/12/2008
@ 8:57 am

oh boy, here we go. Let the comments begin. ;)

#3 Corey Pandolph
June/12/2008
@ 8:59 am

What an ass.

#4 Wiley Miller
June/12/2008
@ 9:29 am

“Dear print cartoonist-naysayers.

IN YOUR FACE!”

Who, or what, are “print cartoonist naysayers”, and what exactly is supposed to be in their face?

#5 Rick Ellis
June/12/2008
@ 9:40 am

Scott, Jim says your check bounced. He’ll have to retract what he said.

#6 J.G. Moore
June/12/2008
@ 9:55 am

WOW! Scott got props from Davis? Way to go Scott!!!!

#7 Chris Evans
June/12/2008
@ 10:28 am

Scott – You certainly could be more complete in dramatics with, I BE IN YOUR FACE!, or I’M SO IN YOUR FACE! Or, in a more mature vein, HUZZAH, I DEFY YOU! or THE GAUNTLET HAS BEEN THROWN DOWN! Then there’s the standard “evil genius” laugh, BWA HA HA HA HA!! The old reliable historical standby is, TAKE THAT! Comes from the Greek Ï?άρÏ?ε αÏ?Ï?ού. They’d inscribe that little expression on sling stones, and hurl them at the opposing forces.

#8 Matt Bors
June/12/2008
@ 10:45 am

Scott,

I don’t think any of us who still want to be paid by newspapers for running our strips ever said there wasn’t great material being run online.

#9 Scott Kurtz
June/12/2008
@ 11:12 am

You guys don’t get “in your face” jokes?

You’re cartoonists. You’re supposed to have a sense of humor.

Come ONNNN!

#10 Scott Kurtz
June/12/2008
@ 11:14 am

in your face – defiantly confrontational; also an exclamation of contempt

According to the The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, this slangy phrase originated in sports journalism about basketball during the 1970’s as a phrase of contempt used against the opposing team and extended to other areas in the 1980s.

“In your face, mister.”

#11 Corey Pandolph
June/12/2008
@ 11:15 am

Oh, quite! yes! In ALL our faces, then!

Still an ass.

#12 Chris Evans
June/12/2008
@ 11:34 am

Scott, come ONNN with the gratuitous underestimating. You don’t have to spell it out…we get it. I was being facetious. You’re a cartoonist — have you grasped the concept of being “Facetious”?

Adjective

1. Treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant.
2. Pleasantly humorous, jocular.

FYI — Like in your first post, that started all of this, I was being “deliberately inappropriate”. But what do you expect, posting something like that? Take the heat.

#13 Corey Pandolph
June/12/2008
@ 11:36 am

Careful Chris, or he’ll send the webcomics mafia after you, too.

#14 Scott Kurtz
June/12/2008
@ 11:39 am

The webcomics mafia. That’s rich.

Come on guys. One of the big boys of traditional syndication not only reads PvP, but likes it and acknowledges the web in a positive way without any fear mongering, denial or anything like that.

It’s a good day for me. I’m gonna revel in it a bit.

#15 Chris Evans
June/12/2008
@ 11:45 am

Scott, I’ve been a fan of your work for a number of years. Its a great thing for Davis to use you as an example of the up-and-coming talent he keeps his eye on. I’d be over the moon if I knew Davis even looked at my work one time, and hated it. So congratulations! Revel! But your Mamma wears army boots.

#16 Mike Cope
June/12/2008
@ 11:51 am

Kudos to Scott for the PVP plug.

It’s a cute interview, but I’m scratching my head about the line that reads: “Youâ??ve been drawing Garfield for 30 years now …”

I know what they mean, but doesn’t Jim … Oh, nevermind :)

#17 Corey Pandolph
June/12/2008
@ 11:52 am

“Come on guys. One of the big boys of traditional syndication not only reads PvP, but likes it and acknowledges the web in a positive way without any fear mongering, denial or anything like that.

Itâ??s a good day for me. Iâ??m gonna revel in it a bit.”

So be gracious and let someone else mention it, before being the first to show up at a forum that you regularly provoke, and bask in your glory like a 16 year-old who just got laid for the first time.

We all see you, Scott. We see you waving. We know you’re doing some neat things. You don’t have to keep reminding us.

#18 Wiley Miller
June/12/2008
@ 11:57 am

“…but likes it and acknowledges the web in a positive way without any fear mongering, denial or anything like that.”

Fear mongering? Denial?
What on Earth are you talking about?

#19 Chris Evans
June/12/2008
@ 12:21 pm

“Fear mongering? Denial?
What on Earth are you talking about?”

Do you think that there isn’t even just a smidgen of antipathy coming from print and syndicated artists, towards webcomics and webcomic creators? The monetization of the WWW in this area (or aspect) is still being figured out. PvP and it’s ilk are seen by many as a threat, potentially invading or devaluing traditional business models. In reality, webcomic phenominon like this are a part of change, and of new emerging business models, which is unavoidable. I’m not saying there hasn’t been antagonism from the other side, too. I live with my work primarily on the WWW, I’ve sensed some unease from people who have passionately, exclusively, pursued syndication, or other significant printed venues. But at the end of the day, we’re all in this together.

#20 Darrin Bell
June/12/2008
@ 12:36 pm

I don’t see the naysaying. Where is it? And why would “print” cartoonists be attacking online cartoonists when so many “print” cartoonists have websites too?

#21 Malc McGookin
June/12/2008
@ 12:37 pm

I say good for Scott Kurtz, these “heads up” messages are great boosts for one’s cartooning soul.

OK, here’s a qualifier: Does anyone really think Jim Davis follows the fortunes of internet features, no matter how good they are? Isn’t it more likely he followed the couple of arguments Scott had with print cartoonists a couple of years back? It’s those which brought Scott to the attention of print cartoonists.
And I’m sure it’s those knock down drag out fights that imprinted PVP on an old and very established print cartoonist’s synapses.

In other words, we MADE you, Kurtz!! An invoice will land on your desk shortly, make sure it’s paid, or we’ll fix it so as you’ll never work in this town again.

#22 Darrin Bell
June/12/2008
@ 12:42 pm

“Do you think that there isnâ??t even just a smidgen of antipathy coming from print and syndicated artists, towards webcomics and webcomic creators?”

No.

“PvP and itâ??s ilk are seen by many as a threat, potentially invading or devaluing traditional business models.”

That’s only when cartoonists try to give their work away to newspapers, hoping it’ll give them more exposure. And it has nothing to do with being a webcomic creator. Cartoonists hate it just as much when someone trying to break into print cartooning gives his work away.

#23 josh shalek
June/12/2008
@ 12:43 pm

They really should have asked Davis why he continues to berate and abuse Mondays. Is it a personal vendetta or is he just mean? Tuesdays are equally bad, but you don’t see them getting half the grief.

Garfield’s War on Mondays needs to come to an end.

#24 Chris Evans
June/12/2008
@ 12:44 pm

“…In other words, we MADE you, Kurtz!! An invoice will land on your desk shortly, make sure itâ??s paid, or weâ??ll fix it so as youâ??ll never work in this town again…”

Sheesh, then what do we all owe to Gutenberg?

#25 Chris Evans
June/12/2008
@ 12:50 pm

“I donâ??t see the naysaying. Where is it? And why would â??printâ? cartoonists be attacking online cartoonists when so many â??printâ? cartoonists have websites too?”

You end up in the “other camp” when you almost exclusively live on the WWW. You may have work appearing in print on a regular basis, but you are not syndicated, you don’t seek out syndication, and you don’t feel the urge to have to go out to print to validate what you are doing. Of course, you may get into print often, because you don’t care to try and go out to print, based off the WWW footprint you have built up.

#26 Darrin Bell
June/12/2008
@ 1:08 pm

“â??I donâ??t see the naysaying. Where is it? And why would â??printâ? cartoonists be attacking online cartoonists when so many â??printâ? cartoonists have websites too?â?

You end up in the â??other campâ? when you almost exclusively live on the http://WWW. You may have work appearing in print on a regular basis, but you are not syndicated, you donâ??t seek out syndication, and you donâ??t feel the urge to have to go out to print to validate what you are doing. Of course, you may get into print often, because you donâ??t care to try and go out to print, based off the WWW footprint you have built up.”

I’m not really sure what you’re saying. That sounds like your average, every day, freelance cartoonist. Who’s picking on freelance cartoonists?

#27 Rick Stromoski
June/12/2008
@ 1:09 pm

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar…and sometimes a leg is a fire hydrant in disguise.

#28 Darrin Bell
June/12/2008
@ 1:15 pm

Incidentally, Chris, what’s the difference between those who seek “validation” in print and those who seek “validation” by having a well-trafficked website?

Unless a cartoonist keeps all his work to himself and never shows it to anyone, he’s looking for validation.

#29 Scott Kurtz
June/12/2008
@ 1:21 pm

Can’t believe I have to spell this out.

So, in the past, I have found that some people who make their living primarily by being a print cartoonist have frequently dismissed people who make their living as online cartoonists.

These people have, in the past, insisted that Webcartoonists can’t make a living online via advertising, and selling merchandise. Some of these people have even implied that cartoonists claiming they make a living this way are lying.

If you are not one of these people, then anything I say about the subject doesn’t apply to you. Please take no offense.

If you ARE, one of these people, I would now like to point out that a very prominent figure in your industry has just not only acknowledged my work, but has also noticed the online cartooning community as something to keep your eye on.

Thus…my desire to take that comment, and hold it directly in the face of those whom have previously turned their nose up at the contributions my community has made in the field of Cartooning.

#30 Beth Cravens
June/12/2008
@ 1:23 pm

That’s pretty awesome getting a nod from Jim Davis. I’d be insufferable too. Not sure if I would have been “in your face” about it. But then again I’ve never received that kind of recognition.

#31 Vlad Kolarov
June/12/2008
@ 1:24 pm

In your face, Jim Davis!

#32 Kevin Moore
June/12/2008
@ 1:26 pm

“Q: Youâ??ve been drawing Garfield for 30 years now.”

He has? I thought he outsourced that stuff.

#33 Scott Kurtz
June/12/2008
@ 1:29 pm

Wow. I can’t believe some of your are dissing Davis.

How long does a guy have to draw his own strip before it’s okay for him to hire people to take over art chores and build a huge empire that benefits his family?

4 years? 10 years? When has he paid his dues?

#34 Lee Mayer
June/12/2008
@ 1:31 pm

Now that we have:
http://garfieldminusgarfield.net/

Maybe it’s a good time to introduce:
http://scottkurtzminusscottkurtz.net/

#35 Corey Pandolph
June/12/2008
@ 1:39 pm

Scott, you have to be the easiest hypocrite to wind up. Suddenly Jim Davis can do no wrong because he throws you a bone.

Gimme a break.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… You people are all nuts.

#36 Anne Hambrock
June/12/2008
@ 1:50 pm

“how long does a guy have to draw his own strip before it’s ok for him to hire people to take over art chores and build a huge empire that benefits his family”

Well I think that takes us back to “legacy strips”. There’e quite a crowd of folks that feel the only acceptable cartooning business model is the Charles Shulz “draw every cartoon yourself forever. Period.” model and that creating a huge outsourced empire is a bad thing. Personally, I don’t agree. I don’t feel a comic has to be solely produced by one artist in perpetuity if the feature remains popular and the general public doesn’t care. Even though the idea that only the original artist can capture the true vision of a feature is the argument most thrown out against such strips, I think that is just really camoflage for “retire and give us your space on the page already”.

#37 Mike Cope
June/12/2008
@ 1:59 pm

“How long does a guy have to draw his own strip before itâ??s okay for him to hire people to take over ART CHORES and build a huge empire that benefits his family?”

(emphasis added)

Scott, in my humble opinion, a cartoonist stops being a cartoonist when they stop cartooning. For example, Walt Disney started his career as a cartoonist/animator, but ended as a very creative and talented businessman.

The question in the Davis/UPS interview would make one think that Davis draws every strip. As far as I understand, this isn’t true.

I suppose some of us don’t look at cartooning as being an ART CHORE :)

#38 Mike Cope
June/12/2008
@ 2:00 pm

… Most cartoonists look at the business-side of cartooning as being a chore!

#39 Jason Nocera
June/12/2008
@ 2:04 pm

I do think it’s cool that Jim acknowledged PVP. I don’t have any knowledge to back my statement, but I don’t agree with Malcolm that he heard about it through some flame war. My guess is that someone on his staff pointed him to it. But that’s neither here nor there.

While I think the “in your face” comment was a bit high-schoolish, I can see Scott’s point. There have been repeated threads on many forums about how certain web cartoonists are making a living and most responses from those outside of the web cartoonist community are, “Yeah, but…”

Scott’s presented his business model. Others have adopted it. And a lot of people still say, “yeah, but…” … I can see why he might have some frustration.

#40 Scott Kurtz
June/12/2008
@ 2:10 pm

Corey, you’re such a baby.

Go read any interview I’ve ever given and you’ll find a reference to Garfield at Large being what started me cartooning in the fourth grade.

Jim Davis was and is my hero. Was creatively (I think Garfield changed after the first book and I stopped being into it a long time ago), and is now as a businessman.

And I’ve stated that for YEARS. These feelings are nothing new for me.

That’s not hypocrisy.

Mike, I know someone who works at PAWS and I’ve heard what Jim does every day. If that’s a chore for him, he seems to do it with a lot of joy and a smile.

#41 Corey Pandolph
June/12/2008
@ 2:20 pm

“Corey, youâ??re such a baby.”

How very sad.

#42 Rick Ellis
June/12/2008
@ 2:24 pm

Scott,
Your new check cleared. Jim says thanks.

#43 Rick Stromoski
June/12/2008
@ 2:26 pm

>>>There have been repeated threads on many forums about how certain web cartoonists are making a living and most responses from those outside of the web cartoonist community are, â??Yeah, butâ?¦â?

I think the “yeah buts” are pointing out that the business model that’s being presented as new and innovative has already been put into practice by freelancers for decades.

#44 Alan Gardner
June/12/2008
@ 2:34 pm

Geez, why do I always feel like I have come in here and bust things up?

For the umpteenth time – Please, refrain from calling each other names or making derogatory statements against other participants/visitors to the blog. If you can’t talk about an issue without resorting to name calling, don’t participate.

From now on, rather than close down the thread, I will temporarily ban those who can’t follow the rules. I think that is more fair for everyone else who do want to talk about the topic at hand.

#45 Darrin Bell
June/12/2008
@ 2:35 pm

“While I think the â??in your faceâ? comment was a bit high-schoolish, I can see Scottâ??s point. There have been repeated threads on many forums about how certain web cartoonists are making a living and most responses from those outside of the web cartoonist community are, â??Yeah, butâ?¦â?

Scottâ??s presented his business model. Others have adopted it. And a lot of people still say, â??yeah, butâ?¦â? â?¦ I can see why he might have some frustration.”

I still don’t see how this is any different from print cartooning. If someone were to ask me whether PRINT cartoonists can make a living, my answer would also start with “Yeah, but…”

The cartoonists who make a living off cartooning are exceptions, whether online or in print. Why take it personally when someone points that out? I don’t take it personally when people say print is dying, and print cartooning is a dead end business that doesn’t afford people the chance to make a living (and people say that CONSTANTLY), and that most freelance cartoonists don’t have a workable strategy for making a living in print (which is true). I’m just glad I’m one of the exceptions. I don’t understand why successful online cartoonists don’t have the same mentality.

#46 Mike Cope
June/12/2008
@ 2:36 pm

“Mike, I know someone who works at PAWS and Iâ??ve heard what Jim does every day. If thatâ??s a chore for him, he seems to do it with a lot of joy and a smile.”

That’s exactly my point, Scott. Like Walt Disney, Jim Davis obviously has passions/goals above and beyond being a cartoonist. If cartooning was his first priority, he’d more like Charles Schulz.

I’m not saying everyone has to be like Sparky, but the interview question implies that Davis draws the strip.

I should mention that Garfield was one of my favourite strips as a kid too. In fact, I used to watch the “Garfield and Friends” television cartoon every Saturday morning. So please understand that I’m not trying to diss YOUR hero. I still admire what Davis has done for cartooning in-general.

#47 Darrin Bell
June/12/2008
@ 2:37 pm

I meant to type “SOME successful online cartoonists…”

#48 Scott Kurtz
June/12/2008
@ 2:43 pm

Mike, I can see how the interview doesn’t specify the Garfield is a one-man-at-one-drawing-table production any longer. But for the purposes of a press-release interview, I think Jim was an honest as he needed to be.

he does mention that he has art assistants further down in the interview. I’m not sure it’s as deceptive as you guys are implying. Maybe you’re not implying that.

And yeah, guys, I know I was being high-schoolish here. I’m embracing that. It’s a high-schoolish kind of thing to get pumped up about, right? The popular kid said he liked my work.

#49 Rick Stromoski
June/12/2008
@ 2:45 pm

That’s one way of looking at it.

#50 Scott Kurtz
June/12/2008
@ 3:37 pm

“That’s one way of looking at it.”

What’s the other way, Rick?

#51 Dawn Douglass
June/12/2008
@ 3:55 pm

I dare say that if Jim Davis were my hero, I wouldn’t take a post about his huge milestone and its celebration — a post which should rightfully be full of congratulations from his fellow cartoonists who come to this website, as well as his readers — and immediately destroy the comment thread by ego-centrically throwing out as the very first response a literally in-your-face handful of muck with full knowledge that it would start a mudsling.

If that’s the way a web cartoonist publicly pays back a print guy for inspiring him — after handing him a very nice public compliment, no less! — it’s small wonder online cartoonists are viewed in this industry as the embarrassing cousins you’re afraid to invite to your gathering.

Congratulations, Mr. Davis! Sincere thanks for entertaining my children all those years.

#52 Wiley Miller
June/12/2008
@ 4:01 pm

“From now on, rather than close down the thread, I will temporarily ban those who canâ??t follow the rules. I think that is more fair for everyone else who do want to talk about the topic at hand.”

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Alan.

#53 Scott Kurtz
June/12/2008
@ 4:14 pm

“itâ??s small wonder online cartoonists are viewed in this industry as the embarrassing cousins youâ??re afraid to invite to your gathering.”

Other than myself, I’m not sure any of your embarrassing cousins are interested in coming to any of your gatherings. I seem to be one of the only webcartoonists who still wishes that the print cartoonists that inspired him would include him in their club.

But even before one drop of mud was slung in either direction, the NCS has just refused to acknowledge the living that myself or other cartoonists are making online.

That’s why we’ve had to start our own groups, communities, and gatherings.

#54 Mike Lester
June/12/2008
@ 4:42 pm

Whoa, break it up, Propeller-heads. I logged on to a professional cartooning site and a skateboarder fight broke out. Dude.

Ms. Douglas your are obviously an adult and worse, a buzz-kill. Brutal.

I don’t know who’s turn it is to play GuitarHero, fellas but from the first (likely misinterpreted) untoward illogical attention-grabbing bloat at 8:48a.m. until nine posts later -3:37p.m. not a whole heck of a lot of work got done.

Nice work if you can get it. Epic, Dude.

P.S. I wouldn’t walk across the street to read GARFIELD but I know success when I see it. Kudos to the man for his 30 year career.

#55 Alex Hallatt
June/12/2008
@ 4:44 pm

This site has expanded to embrace all forms of cartooning and we should stand shoulder to shoulder and support all kinds of cartoonists.

Charles Schulz was a master of the craft and broke new ground in the format of the newspaper strip. The fact that he drew the strip himself up until his death is admirable, but not necessarily to be recommended to those cartoonists who want to have lives outside their work and maintain good family relationships.

We all have a lot to learn from Jim Davis, whether we enjoy the strip or not. He seems to have a balanced work ethic and has created jobs and a work environment for other cartoonists to enjoy and gain experience from. David Reddick works for Paws and is now doing the fabulous web comic, “Legend of Bill”.

The only thing that really differentiates web cartoons from print cartoons is the editorial control. The success of print cartoons is determined initially by editors (at syndicates and in newspapers), before readers get a say. Web cartoons cut out the middle man. If anyone should be concerned about that, it should be editors, not cartoonists.

#56 Lee Mayer
June/12/2008
@ 4:57 pm

“…the NCS has just refused to acknowledge the living that myself or other cartoonists are making online.”

What proof is required? If it’s cartooning income, why isn’t it acknowledged? There are a lot of NCS people who post here. Please explain.

#57 Scott Kurtz
June/12/2008
@ 5:00 pm

“What proof is required? If itâ??s cartooning income, why isnâ??t it acknowledged? There are a lot of NCS people who post here. Please explain”

I’ve had several people sponsor me, but they get shot down by people in the NCS who don’t want me in the club. I’ve heard that first hand. It’s not that I don’t meet the requirements.

#58 Scott Kurtz
June/12/2008
@ 5:01 pm

And for the record, guys. My initial comment was meant VERY tongue in cheek. I made similar comments to my friends in the webcomics community via text and they all got it.

This just isn’t a place where I’m very popular.

#59 D.J. Coffman
June/12/2008
@ 5:06 pm

I deem this thread completely hilarious.

#60 J.G. Moore
June/12/2008
@ 5:10 pm

WOW, this is like Rosie vs. Elisabeth:

#61 Garey Mckee
June/12/2008
@ 5:19 pm

“And for the record, guys. My initial comment was meant VERY tongue in cheek.”

Scott, I really did laugh out loud when I saw your first comment on this thread. I didn’t really take it as an attack or stirring the crap.

I think it’s cool that Jim Davis recongizes your great work. And that’s just what it is. Great work is great work no matter if it’s on the internet, in a newspaper, on the side of your brother’s shoe (Corey lol).

I sometimes poke fun at the sheer commercial exploitation of Garfield. But, as Alan once pointed out, we all WISH we could have that kind of commercial success. Congratulations to Jim Davis and many many thanks for such a great cat and such a neurotic owner!

#62 David Reddick
June/12/2008
@ 6:57 pm

I’m a little late to this party, but I wanted to drop my two cents. Working both sides of the fence of cartooning, I didn’t take Scott’s post as offensive, but silly and giddy, rightfully so. Good work, Scott.
And Malcolm, your question is valid, but let me just say that Jim is actually incredibly up on the webs, webcomics and the next steps in cartooning evolution all the time, as are we all. That’s how he has managed to stay successful for so long in an ever fickle and changing climate out there. He recognizes change, up-and-comers, trends, etc, and acknowledges them when they are due. And if being so successful that one no longer draws every single comic by hand, but oversees every single one, writes a large amount of it and nurtures assistants as friends and co-workers and has created a company that employs 50 people who are able to feed their families on it, raise their children on what it has brought them, encourages his own staff to pursue their own dreams and comics goals just like any cartoonist would, well, then, I’m finding it hard to see the negativity in it. While I personally prefer to do all my own comics solo, having assistants is as old as comics themselves. Think Ham Fisher who employed Al Capp, who then employed Frank Frazetta, among others, etc., etc. … and even a certain Tumbleweeds cartoonist hired a young advertising employee who wanted to work as a cartoonist, and did so for 9 years until a lil’ orange fuzzball was born.

#63 Dawn Douglass
June/12/2008
@ 7:52 pm

“I made similar comments to my friends in the web comics community via text and they all got it.

This just isn’t a place where I’m very popular.”

Here we go again. Once again, (how many times has it been now?) you provoke something and then later come off acting like the innocent victim, like everybody is being mean to you because you aren’t a print cartoonist. It’s nonsense. The majority of participants here aren’t print cartoonists.

Given your consistent behavior that doesn’t include regular participation at TDC, but rather, irregular drive-bys, why shouldn’t we think that you are using/abusing this forum to gain street cred with your boys? “They don’t get it. They’re mean to me. They’re anti-Web. Buy my t-shirts and show all the has-beens and wannabes who is successful!”

I, for one, would really like to know once and for all if it’s all marketing with you, if youâ??re just here periodically for the attention it awards you, (online marketing is ALL about gaining attention, often via controversy, which seems to be your forte), or if you really would like to become more friendly with and more knowledgeable about the parts of the industry that are outside web cartooning.

#64 Scott Kurtz
June/12/2008
@ 8:19 pm

Dawn,

No, I’m not trolling these forums for an extra 50 hits a day on my website. But I would love to see one of your uni-bomber-manifesto whiteboard videos about it.

#65 Corey Pandolph
June/12/2008
@ 9:24 pm

“But I would love to see one of your uni-bomber-manifesto whiteboard videos about it.”

Okay. That was effin funny.

#66 Howard Tayler
June/13/2008
@ 1:48 am

Regarding internet drama as a form of publicity:

1) It doesn’t work well.

2) For it to work at all, you have to pick a forum in which there is a lot of traffic, and from which your drama will spill virally into other areas.

If we assume for a moment that this particular forum is read by a five hundred people, who each post links to Scott’s work on pages read by an additional ten people each, the five thousand new pairs of eyeballs on PvP will be an unnoticed blip in the regular cyclical ups-and-downs of Scott’s website traffic.

I’m not saying that “In your face” was a wise way to open the conversation. I’m saying that for all his goofy quirks, Scott’s far too web-savvy enough to believe that picking a fight in here will garner him more readers.

#67 Howard Tayler
June/13/2008
@ 1:56 am

Regarding Jim and Thirty Years:

CONGRATULATIONS JIM DAVIS!

You inspire me.

I celebrated eight years on June 12th, and while I think I can imagine doing this for another 22 years, there’s a big difference between imagining yourself doing something, and getting out there and doing it.

So, congratulations to Jim for dreaming big, and then living even bigger. You inspire us all.

#68 Dawn Douglass
June/13/2008
@ 7:47 am

“Scottâ??s far too web-savvy enough to believe that picking a fight in here will garner him more readers.”

I didn’t say a thing about garnering him more readers. It’s all about staying the anti-comic-page-hero of those readers he already has, to stay relevant and emotionally connected to them and make sure they continue to give him devoted attention. And money.

I agree that Scott is web savvy. So he obviously understands that different sites have their own personalities, yet he constantly acts here like he’s complete ignorant of that fact.

So what IS this game he keeps playing here, if it’s not talking to his own readers?

And if you don’t like my videos, Scott, why did you subscribe to my channel?

#69 Rick Stromoski
June/13/2008
@ 7:52 am

>>>â??â?¦the NCS has just refused to acknowledge the living that myself or other cartoonists are making online.â?

What proof is required? If itâ??s cartooning income, why isnâ??t it acknowledged? There are a lot of NCS people who post here. Please explain.

There are several criteria one must meet to be accepted into the NCS.

From the NCS bylaws:

Eligibility for Regular NCS Membership:
Cartoonists who are currently earning the major part of their income from cartooning and have done so for at least the past three years;
Work must be of a high professional quality and their reputation good.

I suspect that a fraternal organization like the NCS would be hesitant to accept an individual, regardless of his professional status, who consistently and publicly besmirches the work of fellow cartoonists, many of whom are NCS members.

Reputation is quite often the deal breaker in such cases.

#70 Scott Kurtz
June/13/2008
@ 9:46 am

Rick,

Think of all the people in your organization who are cantankerous bastards on purpose and then tell me again why I’m too much of a rascal to be in your club.

How many of my sponsors have you played Grima Wormtongue to?

Reputation indeed.

Dawn,

I subscribed to your videos because they make me laugh and I am dying to see the next one. I want to learn more about these triangles.

#71 Dawn Douglass
June/13/2008
@ 10:06 am

Too late, Scott. Those were all up three months ago, but I had to take the last ones down recently when investors expressed concern that I’m too open with my ideas.

Regarding reputation among peers, this is an inherent problem with current models for making a living online. As I said in this post http://tinyurl.com/64swk6 :

Bloggers, video producers, animators, writers, cartoonists… if you want to play in this game as it currently exists, you’d better get a taste for eating your own. Unfortunately, this is the zero sum war with which the “free” Web economy has left us. Bon appetite.

#72 Scott Kurtz
June/13/2008
@ 10:30 am

Dawn,

My reputation among my peers is just fine. My reputation amongst the comic book community is aces. My reputation with my fan-base is also really great.

These are all circles of mine where everyone involved is aware of both my good and bad sides.

I would really LOVE to have you on our podcast to talk to you about your fight against free. How can I set that up?

#73 Corey Pandolph
June/13/2008
@ 10:31 am

These petty little forums make me so proud of my chosen profession. The next time someone asks my why I don’t have more cartoonist friends, I’m going to link them to this little gem.

What a bunch of bitchy little cry-asses who can’t take an ounce of criticism without flipping the Monopoly board over and crying “no fair”.

Life sucks. Get a f***in’ helmet.

#74 Scott Kurtz
June/13/2008
@ 10:40 am

Corey,

I doubt anyone’s actual life outside of this comment thread is as petty and bitchy as it makes everyone sound.

I have a LOT of cartoonist friends and I would highly suggest you find some. It makes doing this so much better.

#75 Dawn Douglass
June/13/2008
@ 10:58 am

Sorry, Scott, I can’t do that now, but I’ll be happy to later down the road.

A national magazine is supposedly going to print a story they wrote about me some time ago before too much longer, so everyone will learn more then.

But right now, I’m working towards getting a lot of money and am making great progress. As I’ve said, they don’t want me to be so public, so there are very few questions I could answer to anybody’s satisfaction. I don’t want to sit there and just keep saying, “Sorry, I can’t answer that” when you ask me what we’re doing to combat the culture of free.

Anybody who wants to know my feelings about free can find them at my website and lots of other places around the blogosphere.

And as for your response, good for your circles for getting to see your “good side.” Those of us from Toontalk and The Daily Cartoonist, which includes many in the NCS, can hardly be blamed for not knowing that part of you. We react to what we see. If you’re so online savvy, you should know that you can’t act like you do with your best buds everywhere else on the Web.

Crashing other people’s communities with consistently rude behavior and blaming them for the negative reaction you get is either disingenuous (a marketing stunt to shore up your base) or just plain social ineptitude.

#76 Rick Stromoski
June/13/2008
@ 10:59 am

â?¥â?¥â?¥Think of all the people in your organization who are cantankerous bastards on purpose and then tell me again why Iâ??m too much of a rascal to be in your club.

The NCS has it’s fair share of “rascals”. They just don’t go on public cartoonists bulletin boards and denigrate other people’s work calling them hacks, has beens and dinosaurs. That sort of thing doesn’t sit well within a fraternal organization.

>>>How many of my sponsors have you played Grima Wormtongue to?

I’ve had no membership committee duties for NCS for several years now and have not been privvy to any applications in that time.

You assume that since I’ve challenged you here on this board in the past that I have taken a personal interest in keeping you out of NCS?.

Cartoonists tend to read cartoonists bulletin boards.Some of them are NCS officers that review applications for membership. Perhaps your well established pattern of trashing print cartoonists on this and other forums had something to do with why your application wasn’t accepted. Sometimes it’s wise to reflect on our own actions and take accountability for it instead of blaming others.

#77 Chris Evans
June/13/2008
@ 11:04 am

When posting to any forum, I try and follow the rule that I won’t post anything I wouldn’t be comfortable saying to someone facet-to-face. This rule may be a “no brainer” to the more experienced posters…and when I’m being snarky, I try to be freindly snarky. But even that can be overplayed, or plain misunderstood, and then you become noise. This has been an interesting thread. It shows how passionate we are about cartoons & cartooning. Also, it shows to me how huge technological change is scary. I feel, ultimately, that through change, there will be bigger audiences for all types of cartoons, print will not die, and there will be lucrative (proven!) new business models for creators to take advantage of. In the meantime, we do what we do best, the work.

#78 Scott Kurtz
June/13/2008
@ 11:22 am

I hope print never dies. I sell too many books.

Dawn, I don’t care about your future plans to combat free and I can guarantee that I would not ask you any questions about any of your upcoming future plans. I just wanted to ask you to come on my podcast and explain how free is dangerous.

I guess I’ll just have to keep reading inkswig to find out how I’m destroying comics.

And Rick, I guess I just got confused. The way so many NCS members crap on the work of MY peers, I just thought that was what we were supposed to do to get in.

But now I know that the besmirching is only allowed to go ONE way. Got it. Thanks. I’ve never belonged to an official fraternal organization, so…

#79 Dawn Douglass
June/13/2008
@ 11:35 am

“I guess Iâ??ll just have to keep reading inkswig to find out how I’m destroying comics.”

There you again with the hostile hyperbole that has no basis in fact. I’ve never ever accused any web cartoonist of “destroying comics” and never would.

Tell you what, Scott, when you’ve put tens of thousands of dollars and several years of your life working to find/create a way for ALL worthy cartoonists to make a living online, then come back to me and ask me for an interview.

#80 Chris Evans
June/13/2008
@ 11:39 am

BARTENDER: Ladies and Gentlemen, last call! Last call!

#81 Scott Kurtz
June/13/2008
@ 11:40 am

Dawn,

Why would ANYONE put tens of thousands of dollars and several years of their life working to find or create a way for ALL worthy cartoonists to make a living online.

Such opportunities already exist.

#82 Dawn Douglass
June/13/2008
@ 11:56 am

That’s right, Scott, just like like they do for all worthy cartoonists wanting to make a living from newspapers.

Let’s just leave it at that then. Have a good career.

#83 Lucas Turnbloom
June/13/2008
@ 1:00 pm

To go back a bit —

I couldn’t even imagine it if Jim Davis was reading my material, AND said he liked it.

Congrats on that, Scott.

#84 Rick Stromoski
June/13/2008
@ 1:05 pm

>>And Rick, I guess I just got confused. The way so many NCS members crap on the work of MY peers, I just thought that was what we were supposed to do to get in.But now I know that the besmirching is only allowed to go ONE way.

I really think you’d be hard pressed to find any NCS member or non-member for that matter on this or another board who called out Dave Kellett, Brad Guigar, Owen Dunne , Nicholas Gurewitch or any other web cartoonist such as yourself who is making a living off their web work. I recall no print cartoonists publicly calling any of the above names hacks, has beens, or used the word “sucks” as you have time and again towards specific print cartoonists. I seem to recall a thread where it was advocated that some of these guys die to open up space for the up and comers. Such statements have resonance .

People may debate your business model but they haven’t personally attacked your work.

#85 Scott Kurtz
June/13/2008
@ 1:20 pm

Rick,

I remember things differently, but I guess that’s how it goes with these things. I’m not going to apologize for having an opinion about the work of many NCS members, when so many NCS members have no problem expressing their similar opinions in the direction of my peers.

How many times can I stomach someone claiming that, for example, Diesel Sweeties is contributing to the increase of mediocrity in newspapers, before it’s okay for me to say that Mullet’s ain’t exactly Shakespeare?

I speak my mind, I’m fine taking the lumps for it.

But to accuse me of doing anything that NCS members are not also guilty of, is ridiculous and insulting.

#86 Wiley Miller
June/13/2008
@ 2:35 pm

Having an opinion on the quality of the work of some members of any professional organization does not disqualify one from membership, providing the person meets the qualifications to be accepted. The difference is how one conducts him or herself, whether it’s in a professional manner or not. One can disagree without being disagreeable, or confrontational.

#87 Scott Kurtz
June/13/2008
@ 2:42 pm

Well spoken, Wiley, but again, I think what you say applies to both sides. The difference is that I’m really open to meeting everyone in person and getting to know them TRULY. It’s just that when ever an opportunity comes up for me to do that, it’s shot down by someone in your organization.

I’m not sure what you envision I would do at a Reuben’s weekend that would shake the very pillars of your club. Are you convinced that any of us are, in person, the way we come off on message boards?

The question is do you guys feel you have anything to gain by letting me in, and do I feel like I have anything to gain by being granted admission.

I think just getting to spend even a weekend with the cartoonists that inspired me growing up is invaluable. I think I still have a lot I could learn from meeting NCS members.

It’s sad to hear I’ve closed that door for myself forever.

#88 Lee Mayer
June/13/2008
@ 2:51 pm

You mean that door was closed… IN YOUR FACE?

#89 Scott Kurtz
June/13/2008
@ 2:54 pm

Lee wins.

Lock the thread.

#90 Wiley Miller
June/13/2008
@ 2:57 pm

Scott-
Cartooning is no different than any other profession. As such, one expects members who have reached the standards to be a part of that profession to conduct themselves in a professional manner. It’s nothing more than being civil and mature.

And I should point out that I have nothing to do with what the NCS does regarding membership or anything else.

#91 Scott Kurtz
June/13/2008
@ 3:06 pm

Hey, Wiley.

Maybe one day, I can organize a meeting of the minds about cartooning where I can meet all you guys and you can meet me and we can all talk and have a pow-wow. (outside the NCS)

How awesome would THAT be?

#92 Alan Gardner
June/13/2008
@ 3:13 pm

In the age of the internet this blog provides exactly that – a place for like minds to meet and talk. If one (note I’m not naming names) can’t act professionally on this blog – what expectation should anyone have that a face to face meeting wouldn’t be any different?

#93 Dawn Douglass
June/13/2008
@ 3:14 pm

Tim Russert died today. :(

Now there was a professional.

#94 Dawn Douglass
June/13/2008
@ 3:52 pm

>How awesome would THAT be?

Part of my business plan provides for face-to-face get-togethers with cartoonists, including what I’m calling an annual “Brew Ha Ha” up here in Portland, home to lots of great micro-breweries and standup comics. An awards ceremony will accompany the two day celebration.

But that will take a few years to get to. It’s a multi-phase rollout.

I do think getting together face to face periodically with all different kinds of cartoonists — web, print, comic strips, editorial, comic books,…, even from different continents — would be a healthy and productive thing to do, and should be lots of fun, too.

When it comes to my own gatherings, I won’t close the door on any working cartoonist who wants to come, but would I be tempted to? Absolutely.

#95 Bill Kellogg
June/13/2008
@ 4:02 pm

“And Rick, I guess I just got confused. The way so many NCS members crap on the work of MY peers, I just thought that was what we were supposed to do to get in.

But now I know that the besmirching is only allowed to go ONE way.”

I understand this is sarcasm, but just because they did it to you and your peers doesn’t make them right, but they have the advantage of already being members. My advice, for what it’s worth, is don’t stoop to their level.

I have been very fortunate to meet some big name cartoonists and I was surprised to hear how much negative comments affect them. One very popular cartoonist told me “you may get one negative comment for every 100 positive comments, but you always remember the negative ones.”

Personally, I think no cartoonist (print or web) or anyone related to the field such as syndicates should ever trash someone else’s strip. We all know that no strip is everything to everybody, no matter how popular it is. Whether or not you like a particular strip, someone is devoting a substancial part of their life to it. Leave the trashing to the public.

#96 Wiley Miller
June/13/2008
@ 4:06 pm

“…where I can meet all you guys and you can meet me and we can all talk and have a pow-wow. (outside the NCS)”

That’s already there for you, Scott. I don’t know where you live, but I’d be willing to bet that there’s an NCS chapter in your region that has regular meetings. You don’t need to be a member of the NCS to be a member in a local chapter. That would be a good place to start toward becoming a member. Go to Reuben.org to check out the various chapters.

#97 Bill Kellogg
June/13/2008
@ 4:10 pm

By the way, congratulations to Jim Davis. He has built an incredible empire.

#98 Wiley Miller
June/13/2008
@ 4:20 pm

“…”but just because they did it to you and your peers doesnâ??t make them right, but they have the advantage of already being members. My advice, for what itâ??s worth, is donâ??t stoop to their level.”

Wait a minute… what do you mean, “stoop to their level”? Who are “they”? The rather hyperbolic accusations leveled here have been quite vague and completely unsubstantiated. And even if there was a shred of accuracy to them, those criticism would be coming from an individual who may or may not be a member of the NCS. Simply because one is a professional cartoonist does not mean they’re a member of the NCS. And any opinion they may put forth is entirely their own, not that of the NCS. Their opinion shouldn’t reflect on the organization any more than it would if they’re a member of the Rotary Club.

If anyone has a beef with something another person said, then simply consider the source and respond to that source. Don’t paint everyone else in the profession with the same broad brush.

#99 Bill Kellogg
June/13/2008
@ 4:32 pm

Wiley,

I only meant don’t stoop to the level of someone who is trashing your strip. That is not at all meant as a slam on the NCS as I have never personally seen any NCS members slam any strips.

Sorry I wasn’t more clear.

#100 KRANKY (JOE RANK)
June/13/2008
@ 5:38 pm

Is it OK with everyone here if I draw a cartoon with two sides throwing things at each other? One side would be hurtling ink bottles, pens and brushes, books, etc.; the other would be tossing (pixels?) and verbal assaults.

I have the unusual experience of having once held a job making license plates. Yes, I get questioning looks, and No, it was not in the Joint.
When I tell people now that I am a cartoonist, it seems that I get similar quizzical stares.

#101 Dawn Douglass
June/14/2008
@ 5:50 am

I had written:
I, for one, would really like to know once and for all if it’s all marketing with you, if you’re just here periodically for the attention it awards you, (online marketing is ALL about gaining attention, often via controversy, which seems to be your forte), or if you really would like to become more friendly with and more knowledgeable about the parts of the industry that are outside web cartooning.

Well, I have my answer. Scott said himself he doesn’t care what it is I’m actually doing, but he was happy to pretend that he does, to once again exploit his “we’re the superior ones who get it and everybody else is an idiot” marketing strategy.

So he spread lies via Twitter and who knows where else about how I’m out to destroy what he and other web cartoonists are doing because they’re destroying comics.

So he get accolades as some sort of enlightened web-cartoonist-hero-leader, and I get harassing emails and blog comments.

Scott, I’ll tell you what I’ve been telling the others: Happy Father’s Day. I’m sure your children are very proud to have you to look up to.

#102 Scott Kurtz
June/14/2008
@ 7:45 am

Let me officially, apologize for the comment that started this entire thread of comments and hijacked and otherwise wonderful article about Jim Davis.

The initial comment was meant in jest but was still very ill-advised.

Subsequently, allowing myself to engage in any kind of back and forth over topics that have already THOROUGHLY been exhausted was, for lack of a more politically correct term, freaking retarded.

To see that it’s devolved into Dawn Douglas ranting incoherently about something she’s interpreting I said in either my twitter feed or elsewhere is disheartening.

Dawn, I unfortunately HAVE no children. But despite what you may think, I gain NOTHING from a marketing standpoint by stirring up this pot. If anything, it’s damaging to my marketability.

I have read your site and I am quite well informed on the topics you discuss. If you would like to have an open discussion with me about anything I’m happy to do so with an open mind.

Again, I sincerely and with great humility apologize for starting this.

#103 Dave Krainacker
June/14/2008
@ 8:38 am

I’ve been following this discussion with some confusion. I’m not a cartoonist. Can someone explain what was the original point of contention? Is it the difference between web based and print based cartoonists?
Aren’t all of you more or less on the same team? What difference does it make if someone is web based or print based if they can make a living doing what they love and entertain bunches of people?
This is not a criticism, but an honest question about why such acrimony. (I’m in medicine, and Lord knows we have all sorts of less than intelligent arguments about things some fairly esoteric issues.) From what I can deduce, print comics aren’t going away anytime soon. But why not take advantage of any medium possible to get your product out? If it is on the web, so be it. If only print, great. But remember that for every reader of a particular comic in a newspaper, there are millions who may have never heard of your work, but would enjoy it. (I can think of dozens of strips I read only on the internet (via subscription) that I would have never seen otherwise.)
So to get back to my original question, what is the bone of contention?

#104 Mike Cope
June/14/2008
@ 9:31 am

Excellent observations, Dave.

The truth is, you’re absolutely right … No matter the medium we may work in, we’re all cartoonists. Pardon my pun, but for better or for worse, lines have been drawn in the sandbox at various times.

The way I see it, shovels are better for building sand castles, rather than digging graves.

#105 Dawn Douglass
June/14/2008
@ 10:23 am

I’m not a cartoonist. Nor do I have any dogs in this fight, print or web. My desire remains, as it has been for the past 5 1/2 years, to create new opportunities for those who want them.

To carry your shoveling metaphor further, if I might, Mike, and add to my “incoherent ranting”:
Those who throw dirt lose ground — esp. when they’re trying to build themselves a mound on top of others.

#106 Corey Pandolph
June/14/2008
@ 10:25 am

My comments are seldom driven by the ludicrous mind-numbing web vs. print thing (I have both web and syndicated comic strips). My beef is with the trend of huge egos that seem to be amassing in a medium that seems to have little, if any, accountability for one’s actions.

Why do so many Interweb cartoonists feel the need to stand up and self-congratulate themselves on a job well done with every stroke of the pen? Why do we need to discuss at length and with great sincerity, the state of a field that’s just silly to be able to make a living at.

Shouldn’t great art speak for itself? Shouldn’t great movers and shakers rise to the top and make a difference on the kudos of others in their field? It’s one thing to confidently self-promote in a gracious manner, it’s quite another to keep shoving accomplishments down the throat of the readers.

Who the Hell really cares if you’re doing your work on the Interweb or in print? Do you like to draw? Do you like to make people laugh? Are ya havin’ fun and makin’ a couple bucks?

Good. Awesome and bully for you.

Just stop telling me about it, every minute of every day. The worse thing to ever happen to online comics was the addition of a blog underneath the comic. Is nothing sacred anymore? Why do I need to tell you what I ate while I drew this comic? Or how wonderfully drawn the horse in the third frame is? Aren’t I a great artist? Would you like to hear me talk more about my greatness, how I’m going to change things and what the doctor said about the corn on my toe last Wednesday? Come, join and listen to my new podcast: “What I’m doing, all of the time.”

Maybe that’s why some folks are a little apprehensive about the “new media” through the Interweb. Maybe it was nice to read the comic in the paper, chuckle and then move on with your day… Not read the blog, listen to the podcast and add reader’s comments… Thus wasting an afternoon on useless information that’s going to shove out some of the good info in my head. I need my brain cells. They’re reserved for beer.

THAT’S my problem with this whole deal. And I just wasted 10 minutes talking about the fact that I’m sick of talking about the fact.

Yay me.

#107 Phil Wohlrab
June/14/2008
@ 12:02 pm

To Dave Krainacker, “Print vs Web” is to comics as “Herbal vs FDA Approved” is to medicine.

People have faith in herbal, it makes em feel better, but in the end, if you have a heart condition there ain’t no subsitute for FDA approved blood thinners.

#108 J.G. Moore
June/14/2008
@ 12:27 pm

FOOD FIGHT!!!!!! :-)

#109 Anne Hambrock
June/14/2008
@ 3:30 pm

Dave, The print versus web thing should probably be more accurately described as independent vs syndicated in some cases. To put it in medical terms it is the difference between a pediatrician who has a private practice and handles all his own insurance, billing and overhead and the same pediatrician who is part of a big medical center that takes care of all those things.

Most of the web cartoonists have a storefront available to them, as it were, that did not used to exist. If you wanted your work seen be a huge number of people, syndication was your only hope. The internet has changed all that.

The other matter here that compicates the issue is the way revenue is generated from the cartoons. Many web cartoonists use a business model of not charging people to view their work and instead making money from advertising and merchandise. Most print cartoonists are paid directly for their work instead – although, if their strip has a big enough following they also make $ from merchandising.

In the music and art worlds this is absolutely nothing new. I am a professional musician who gets paid a set fee for every gig I play. I have a friend who is a recording artist who plays a ton of gigs for free but she makes money selling her cds on the site of the gig. People who hire me for their event usually don’t want me hawking my stuff on what they consider to be their time so that model would not work for me, but she and I play totally different venues so it works for her.

The contentious point between many cartoonists is the difference between these two business models and whether one is hurting the other. If I were unable to get any gigs because everyone was hiring my friend for free instead, I probably would not be so relaxed about my friend’s business model and we probably would not manage to remain friends.

#110 Jason Nocera
June/14/2008
@ 9:03 pm

I think the frustration can be summed up pretty easily. Whenever cartoonists seem to bring up the web, one of them usually says “Boy, I wish there was a way to make money with cartoons on the Internet.” Then, a voice in the background says, “I do! Let me tell you how…” and then the first cartoonist repeats, “Boy, I wish there was a way to make money with cartoons on the Internet.” And that’s when the frustration starts.

Corey – I agree – but this notion is not limited to web cartoonists. Everyone and their grandmother has a page on some social network site and they all feel like they should tell us what they had for breakfast in their blog. It is what it is.

#111 Mike Witmer
June/14/2008
@ 9:18 pm

Corey: That whole rant sorta seemed like the pot calling the kettle green. No offense. If ya don’t like what other cartoonists are relaying to their readers, the choice is simple. Just don’t read it.

I agree, the print vs. web argument is a waste of time but that whole edgy “screw you” attitude just cries “look at me.”

#112 Mike Witmer
June/14/2008
@ 9:22 pm

Corey: While I agree that the argument of “Print Vs.Web” is a waste of time, I find your rant a little hypocritical. Just a tad. It all comes down to this: If you don’t like how an artist relates to his/her readers, the choice is simple. Don’t read it.

That’s the beauty of the “interweb.” If you don’t like what you see on one page, you can close the browser and turn on Sanford and Son.

#113 Wiley Miller
June/15/2008
@ 7:00 am

“Whenever cartoonists seem to bring up the web, one of them usually says â??Boy, I wish there was a way to make money with cartoons on the Internet.â? Then, a voice in the background says, â??I do! Let me tell you howâ?¦â? and then the first cartoonist repeats, â??Boy, I wish there was a way to make money with cartoons on the Internet.â? And thatâ??s when the frustration starts.”

No, Jason. The frustration begins and ends with web cartoonists not listening, then paraphrasing the question incorrectly.

The question is not “how to make money”. The question is, “how to make a living”. There’s a huge difference.

The point is, there is no such thing as “web vs. print” cartoons as they are two entirely different mediums, just as comic strips are a different market from comic books or magazine gag cartoons. The rancor is always one sided, where the young web cartoonists come barging in full of false bravado, proclaiming their inherent superiority to syndicated comic strips, proclaiming print is dead. As Corey pointed out, it has long since become tiresome. Cartoons done on the internet have nothing to do, nor have any affect, on syndicated comics. If they did, professional cartoonists would already be doing their work on the web. And once there’s a market here that can replace our living in print, we will be here in full force. After all, as I’ve tried to explain here many times, as a professional, one is always looking for a bigger and better market, especially as the old market is drying up. Print are cartoonists are not, or have been, dismissive of the internet. What the internet lacks is a clear marketplace for professional work similar to what we’ve had in newspapers and magazines, where the medium pays for our work.

#114 Phil Wohlrab
June/15/2008
@ 7:42 am

I want to make money off the web too, but I’ve chosen to sell vector art on microstock websites. People have sold thousands of images this way, (depending on how good you are at illustrator)
That is a clear cut example of selling art on the web. You buy what you see on your screen. All this other nonsense about showing your comic for free, bulding a web audience, and hoping people buy your books and merch, just seems far fetched.

It’s hope based income.

I wrote a childrens book, I’m not going to post the whole thing on the web and hope people read it and buy the book. I would never offer it for free to childrens book publishers to gain exposer. I just don’t see how any of that gets me a steady paycheck.

#115 Scott Kurtz
June/15/2008
@ 9:03 am

“The question is not â??how to make moneyâ?. The question is, â??how to make a livingâ?. Thereâ??s a huge difference.”

And whenever those of us on the web EXPLAIN how we’re making a LIVING, people tend to ignore, dismiss or discount us. Even if we offer to provide tax returns.

Some people just don’t want to accept that, yes, we’re making as legitimate and stable a living as the rest of the cartooning world.

Leading some on the web side to speculate that our traditional-model brothers are just scared of what’s ahead of them if things keep changing the way they are.

Everyone likes to paint me as someone pushing MY way on others, or as some advocate that the WEB is better than PRINT or SYNDICATION. I have friends successful on both sides, including many buddies doing work-for-hire for Marvel and DC.

It’s funny how only the freelance cartoonists in traditional media refuse to accept that we’re making a legitimate living on the web. Those colleagues in print comic BOOKS not only believe us, but are actually envious of what we got going and are excited and interested about the opportunities out there.

#116 Scott Kurtz
June/15/2008
@ 9:06 am

Phil,

I would not advise you to give away your children’s book for free online either. But I would certainly advise you to create something associated with it on a semi-regular to regular basis that introduces an online audience to your work.

You could sell a lot of books, directly to people wanting to read it that way.

Again, there are SO many misconceptions about what we’re doing online that it’s completely frustrating. We don’t give away our work for free or devalue it. It’s a ridiculous notion.

But nobody here wants to try to understand what we’re doing with an open mind. Everyone just wants to deny and refuse to accept that there is any validity to what we’re doing. You guys are the FDA and we’re the hippy homopathic types. Whatever makes you feel better about things.

At least Jim Davis gets it.

#117 Anne Hambrock
June/15/2008
@ 9:29 am

“we don’t give away our work for free”

Well Scott – as I see I it you may not give ALL your work away for free but as long as someone can read the work for free without paying a subscription fee or send a copy of a strip via ecard for no fee, then that is at least giving SOMEof your work away for free.

I’m not saying your business model doesn’t work, I’m saying it’s not for everyone and, as Wiley pointed out, as soon as there is a business model that works on the web and is more similar to the print model most syndicated artists prefer, that is the route they will take.

#118 Mike Cope
June/15/2008
@ 10:00 am

Anne, don’t forget that ALL of the syndicates give away comic strips for free … every single day.

#119 Wiley Miller
June/15/2008
@ 10:06 am

“And whenever those of us on the web EXPLAIN how weâ??re making a LIVING, people tend to ignore, dismiss or discount us. Even if we offer to provide tax returns.”

Once again, you’re not listening.

#120 Wiley Miller
June/15/2008
@ 10:18 am

“Anne, donâ??t forget that ALL of the syndicates give away comic strips for free â?¦ every single day.”

Explain, please.

#121 Corey Pandolph
June/15/2008
@ 10:27 am

I guess I don’t understand why ANYONE needs to constantly “prove” that they can make a living at what they do. What’s the point? Are you fishing for compliments and feigned respect? I don’t care who you are, to do such a thing makes you sound jerky. No one likes to hear the successful brag about their success. I’ve done some neat things in my career and I’ve made some pretty cool friends and at times, those friends have said some nice things about me, publicly. However, I’m not about brag about it until I get a response.

It comes off as grandstanding and in poor taste to keep yelling out how much money you’ve made. I don’t gain anymore respect for someone when they find it necessary to divulge last year’s income just to get me to say “uncle” and yes, you’re great. I have no argument that money and success can and are being found online. I’ve seen how lucrative producing and selling your own books can be, firsthand.

But, there’s a tactful way to comment on your success it and then leave it. Weather people believe you or not shouldn’t matter.

#122 Anne Hambrock
June/15/2008
@ 10:39 am

“All syndicates give comic strips away for free every day”

Mike, I cannot address any syndicate other than King because that is the only one I have any inside info on. One week per month King gives my husband’s strip away for free, as it were, on their main website. The other 23 days of the month someone is paying for it – either a subscriber to dailyink or a newspaper. Even the large papers like the Houston Chronicle, who put the strip up for free every day for any reader that accesses their web version of the paper, pay for that privelege. They pay for print rights and they pay for internet rights. Whether they pay enough for the internet rights is probably open for debate but they pay none the less.

Is it a perfect model? No. Is it the only model they are working on? No. Do I think they will eventually crack this nut and produce a more viable internet revenue stream for their artists? Yes I do.

#123 Chris Evans
June/15/2008
@ 10:56 am

In this culture, we tend to monetize everything. Money runs our culture. How much did you make on that job? What do you charge per hour? How much did he pay for that? Does he/ she really make a living doing comics on the WWW? For us, on the gross level, if something has “value”, it has “value” because there is some aspect about that can be monetzed. Davis built a financial empire off of Garfield. We admire his achievement. The paradox, is the things that have the greatest value in our life, have no monetary value, or cannot be monetized. The unselfish creative impulse cannot be bought or sold. The honest give-and-take between professionals & friendships between creators cannot be bought or sold. The fire, the bolt-out-of-the-blue, the idea that comes to you at 3AM and shakes you out of bed to draw, cannot be bought or sold.

#124 Mike Cope
June/15/2008
@ 11:11 am

Just to clarify as Wiley requested …

The subject of “giving content away for free” has been mentioned by numerous times above. Up until now, it seemed to me that Scott Kurtz (and other “web cartoonists”) were being identified as the scapegoats. My comment to Anne was a general reminder that all syndicates currently provide readers access to comic strips via their websites at no charge (i.e., “free”).

As Anne has pointed out, some syndicates provide more free content than others. King Features limits how much content they give for free, but they do. Other syndicates like Universal and United have a monthly archive. No disrespect is intended towards anyone here. It just seems to me that all cartoonists/syndicates are just as guilty (right now) with respect to “free.”

Like many others here, I also hope that the nut is eventually cracked for viable internet revenue — that is, revenue earned from cartoons, themselves, and not just merchandise.

For example, I’m currently drawing a monthly gag cartoon for a company’s website, and they’re paying what a respectable print magazine would pay for first-time rights. It’s only one example, but look at how many websites are out there.

The trick is to provide content that people feel is worth paying for.

I’ll be quite honest and say that I’ve never subscribed to a newspaper because of the Internet. I’m quite a news junkie, but I don’t see the point in paying for something that a company is giving me for free on their website … including comics.

On the otherhand, my bookshelves are overloaded with treasuries that I’ve purchased.

I hope that clarifies things :)

#125 Mike Cope
June/15/2008
@ 11:12 am

Sorry, that should have read “numerous times above.”

#126 Wiley Miller
June/15/2008
@ 12:02 pm

“Up until now, it seemed to me that Scott Kurtz (and other â??web cartoonistsâ?) were being identified as the scapegoats.”

And just has anyone of them ever been made out to be a “scapegoat”? Scapegoats of what?

#127 Norm Feuti
June/15/2008
@ 12:02 pm

I have to echo Anne’s statement. King Features doesn’t give away our strips for free. With the exception of the single week of month-old samples they display on their own website, any website that (legitimately) displays a King Features strip is paying something for it.

Sure, the reader is getting the strip for free on the internet, but the website is still paying for it just like a newspaper would … albeit to a lesser degree.

As for the web vs. print stuff, I really think the vast majority of cartoonists have no problem conceptualizing the business pros and cons of either side. I believe the only thing that’s keeping this “argument” alive is the constant disrespect each side shows for one another’s work.

It’s hard to be happy for someone who openly hates you. If I told some cartoonist he sucked right to his face, I couldn’t very well expect him to applaud my future successes. That’s just common sense. There’s a few very popular strips in print AND on the web that I don’t find interesting in the least, but I would never talk sh*t about them. I try to show other cartoonists (print or web) the same professional courtesy I’d like them to show me. Who the hell am I to tell anyone that their fans are wrong?

Really, I think when you put the hurt feelings and bruised egos aside, there is no argument.

#128 J.G. Moore
June/15/2008
@ 12:09 pm

Sadly alot of this “free” content may start drying up once the ISPs go to metered service. It won’t matter if content is free because consumers will start rationing Internet usage, just like they do gasoline. This will hit all content providers.

Metered Internet may “help” cartoonist since we do short form content and static images.
Time will tell.

I just don’t get giving away sh@!#t for free. Walmart does not do this. Toyota does not do this. WHY Artist always gotta “cave in” and give away stuff for free?!?!

we need to STOP DOING THIS NOW!!!! That is the first step, we have to value our own work first. If we don’t why should anyone else.

I admire Scott and Jim Davis alot. As an artist these two models are hard to match if you want to have a “life”. Davis has an army of talented artists who produce Garfiled. PVP is a one man band, but damn Scott is puttin’ in some “serious” hours to make PVP a success.

I’m not trying to go out like Tim Russert just to make a dollar out of 15¢.

I think that dissing other artists is a bad idea. I also think that rubbing success in other peoples faces is a bad idea.

I’m a big fan Scott, but you could learn from Davis. Davis NEVER rubs his success
in anyoune face. Act like the sccess that
you are Scott, no need to diss others.

“Dead tree” cartoons and “webcomics” are both good. The sad thing about ALL of this is it really doesn’t matter. Most print or web, cartoonist STILL don’t make much money being cartoonist. I reallly hate that this is a “fact” and does not seem to be changing anytime soon.

#129 Dawn Douglass
June/15/2008
@ 12:55 pm

I’ve never dis’d web cartoonists work and never would. In fact, I started a forum to help all cartoonists put their best work out there. And yet, for two days I’ve been getting hate mail and curse-filled comments on my blog because Scott Kurtz decided to point to me as an enemy in his made up print vs. web war.

If anybody is using anybody as a scapegoat it’s Scott Kurtz who wants NCS-type recognition but keeps screwing up his own chances. He needs somebody else to blame for why he can’t get more professional acclaim, just like he had to blame others for not making it in newspapers. So now I’ve become his latest victim because I dared to stand up to him here.

Why would newspaper cartoonists give one care about web cartoonists? Web cartoonists are not in competition with them. It’s the web cartoonists who have a huge chip on their shoulder. If you don’t believe me, you should read my inbox. Many of them obviously can’t wait to sock it to SOMEbody — ANYbody. I’m the target du jour for their resentment.

I just wonder how they can say on the one hand that they have the perfect business model, yet so many of them are so angry and resentful.

I believe the key to cracking the nut is to make cartoons social objects, which I talked about in this post:
http://inkswig.com/2008/04/09/why-we-need-cartoonists/

That’s what I’m trying to do. But all I get is this hate-filled blow back from people who claim they already have the answer, they already have the key to financial success online. Fine. I’m happy for you. But then answer me this: Why are you so bitter and hate-filled and ready to attack if you’re living in such bliss???

#130 Mike Cope
June/15/2008
@ 1:05 pm

“And just [how] has anyone of them ever been made out to be a â??scapegoatâ?? Scapegoats of what?” (Source: #125 Wiley Miller)

As I wrote above, Wiley, scapegoats of the whole “giving away content for free” argument. How? Here’s just one example from this current thread:

“The other matter here that compicates the issue is the way revenue is generated from the cartoons. Many web cartoonists use a business model of not charging people to view their work and instead making money from advertising and merchandise. Most print cartoonists are paid directly for their work instead – although, if their strip has a big enough following they also make $ from merchandising.” (Source: #121 Anne Hambrock)

We need to remember that many web cartoonists, like freelancers, wear more than one hat. They not only draw their cartons, but also are their own syndicate (i.e., they are “self syndicated”).

Once again, no disrespect is intended towards anyone here. If the top syndicates and self-syndicated cartoonists are both giving away content for free, then “free” shouldn’t be an issue of contention.

The real issue should be: “How to provide content that people feel is worth paying for?”

I think that part of the solution is utilizing the image resolution that computers can offer. Why make a reader squint their eyes when you can make them stand back in awe? Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with: “How do you protect your content from digital theft?”

#131 Scott Kurtz
June/15/2008
@ 1:08 pm

Dawn,

You need to take a big step back and stop and think before you speak about me again. You have NO idea who I am or what my motivations are.

There was a time when I applied for and was rejected by the NCS long before one ill word was spoken between either camp in this ridiculous comedy of errors. I know that NOW I’ve burned my bridges, but keep in mind that there was a time when the only thing anyone knew about me was what was written on my NCS application and expressed in the quality of my work.

So far, I have seen NOTHING from you that indicates you have any solutions to the problems you’re carrying on about. What I have seen from you are half-baked attempts that never manage to do anything but waste the time and efforts of the cartoonists you manage to sign up.

THAT’S why you’re getting blow-back.

Wiley, I’m listening fine. Here what I hear constantly.

Can’t give away your stuff for free.
I don’t give my stuff away for free.

Can’t make money on the net.
I make money on the net.

Yeah, but you’re not making a living.
I do make a living.

Well, but it’s not a good living.
It’s a very good living.

That’s nothing. According to my standards, that’s a crappy living.
It’s a fine living for myself and my family.

Well, there aren’t enough of you making a good living for it to be significant.
There are more of us than you think.

Well, all of you need to stop giving this stuff away for free.
We covered this.

I’m not sure it’s ME who’s not listening.

#132 Corey Pandolph
June/15/2008
@ 1:20 pm

I’m gonna go get drunk and pretend that none of this, or any of you, ever happened.

There is no internet. There is only a bar and a draft in front of me.

Close eyes, repeat ten times.

#133 Chris Evans
June/15/2008
@ 1:54 pm

“There is no internet. There is only a bar and a draft in front of me.

Close eyes, repeat ten times.”

I laughed at that. I bet the monks, scribes, and illuminators working in scriptoriums all over Europe said the same thing about newfangled books, when Gutenberg came out with his mechanically printed Bible.

#134 Mike Wytrykus
June/15/2008
@ 2:37 pm

“I just donâ??t get giving away sh@!#t for free. Walmart does not do this. Toyota does not do this. WHY Artist always gotta â??cave inâ? and give away stuff for free?!?!”

While technically, yes, Wal-Mart does not give stuff away for free, you must not be familiar with the concept of a “loss leader”. There are plenty of items that Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and the other big retailers sell that do not make them a single cent of profit. They lose them money. The idea is to use these items to get them into the store to spend their money on the items that will make them huge profits.

This is not that dissimilar from the business models of webcomics. The strip is the loss leader to get people to the site to generate profit from advertising and merchandise.

#135 Scott Kurtz
June/15/2008
@ 3:08 pm

A good example of a loss leader is the Xbox gaming console system.

Microsoft has admitted the lose money on the console itself. However, they make a substantial profit on the accessories and the games that run on the system.

#136 Dawn Douglass
June/15/2008
@ 3:18 pm

>THATâ??S why youâ??re getting blow-back.

Not true at all. 95% of the cartoonists who worked for Full Tilt Features are keeping in touch and cheering me on.

The crazy emails and comments came directly after you and your followers started talking about my website on Twitter in front of your 3,629 followers, like this comment from you:
Don’t you see? Inkswig shows us that we’re destroying comics. We’re killing the very thing we love. We have to stop!

Inkswig has never made any claim even remotely like that.

And yes I do have an idea who you are and what your motivations are, given that you’ve been shooting them off very publicly for years without any mind at all to who you’re hurting in the process, including yourself.

#137 Scott Kurtz
June/15/2008
@ 3:39 pm

Dawn, I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.

I don’t get to hang out with Mort Walker and the gang once a year. I’ll survive.

I have no interest in you, your website or your business ideas, Dawn. Believe me when I assure you that I have no intention of leading any of my web-viewers to your ridiculous site.

#138 Dawn Douglass
June/15/2008
@ 3:46 pm

Btw, as I’ve said many times before, even way back when Kurtz offered PVP to newspapers for free, that syndicated cartoonists should be the LAST people to gripe at ANYbody about giving stuff away for free! It was the syndicates who started putting your comics online for free back in 1996 who killed the hope of any web cartoonist to charge for theirs.

So I wouldn’t get high and mighty about Kurtz’s business model. It’s irrelevant to cartooning at large. Giving away work for free strategically is not the problem. Everybody should have the freedom to chose to do that, if they want to. And BOTH sides do so!

The real problem is that paying options are drying up and nobody is replacing them. So “free” is moving towards not being a strategy, but being the only option. That’s a problem that I lay at the feet of the syndicates. They’re the ones who screwed up at the beginning of the Web. I warned Lee, I gave him and other syndicates ideas for how to do it differently, and they didn’t listen to me. They didn’t believe newspapers would ever fold. But they are right and left. And now everybody is precarious because of it.

I started Full Tilt Features, because nobody else was trying to figure out solutions to this mess. Did I make a lot of mistakes? Absolutely. But I’ve learned from them, and I’ve kept learning. And I’ve kept trying. I haven’t been sitting around and bitching and moaning and pointing fingers at each other. And talking about and tearing down people behind their backs on Twitter or the Wisen or in person. I’ve put my money and my time where my mouth is. I’ve spent a small forture trying to help cartooning and I’m not even a cartoonist.

SO %$#^ you, Scott! I don’t deserve your snotty schoolyard bullying. And I won’t put up with it. If you think you can treat everybody in this industry like your door mat, you’ve got another thing coming.

#139 Wiley Miller
June/15/2008
@ 5:00 pm

“Iâ??m not sure itâ??s ME whoâ??s not listening.”

Yes, it is, Scott. Everything you said was all about you.
It’s not about you. This is precisely the problem in why these discussions about cartoons on the web devolve so quickly. You and others take any and every comment about the viability of the market on the internet as some sort of personal attack. It’s not. Never has been. It’s about the issue.

For the umpteenth time, what you do and have done is irrelevant to anyone else. You cut out a nice niche for yourself early on and have done well with it. But it’s not about you.

Let me repeat that… IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.
That applies to everyone.

#140 Scott Kurtz
June/15/2008
@ 5:47 pm

Wiley, a couple of things:

I don’t know that I was just talking about “me.” I think most of the time I lose it and allow myself to engage in these mock-debates is because I feel a strong dismissal of the “we” I associate with.

You’re right. It’s not about ME. It’s not JUST ME. It’s US. You may not be aware of it but there is a large, diverse group of cartoonists, who all employ similar business models who gather, discuss and assist each other in a way similar to the Wisen boards.

You say that I cut out a nice niche for myself. Don’t you see how condescending that comment is? I’m not sure how that’s not supposed to be taken personally.

I didn’t co-author a book on making Webcomics to validate myself. I did it to share with others what I have learned the way Randy Glasbergen and others shared their knowledge with me when I was a kid.

What myself, Dave Kellet, Brad Guigar, Rich Stevens, Jon Rosenberg, Bill Barnes, Joey Manley, Merideth Gran, Howard Tayler, Ryan Sohmer, DJ Coffman, Danielle Corsetto, Kris Straub, Chris Crosby, and countless others have done and continue to do is not a happenstance to be dismissed.

If you TRULY want to discuss the issue of the internet as a market, I don’t see how you can, in good faith, simply discard the data that we are offering you.

I agree that it’s not about me.

#141 Dawn Douglass
June/15/2008
@ 7:02 pm

Even as you say that, Scott, it still IS all about you, because it’s all about the way you did it, the way you tell other people to do it in your book, the only way you and your followers can accept that it should be done.

The Internet is vast and ever-changing. Yes, you have a good solution for some people who want it. That doesn’t mean it should be or can be the only solution for everybody.

Wiley is right when he says: “You and others take any and every comment about the viability of the market on the internet as some sort of personal attack.”

You tell me: “I have no interest in you, your website or your business ideas, Dawn.” Talk about a strong dismissal and being condescending! And why? Because you believe you already have it figured out and you don’t like me implying that you don’t.

So it IS all about you and your own set of believers. They’re a loyal bunch, that’s for sure. You have a lot to be proud of. So why don’t you just enjoy your success and back off.

#142 Jason Nocera
June/15/2008
@ 7:25 pm

Wiley – Okay let me rephrase it, still relevant:

â??Whenever cartoonists seem to bring up the web, one of them usually says â??Boy, I wish there was a way to make A LIVING with cartoons on the Internet.â? Then, a voice in the background says, â??I do! Let me tell you howâ?¦â? and then the first cartoonist repeats, â??Boy, I wish there was a way to make A LIVING with cartoons on the Internet.â? And thatâ??s when the frustration starts.â?

Better?

And the whole point of a forum is to have a dialog and conversation – so if one side is not listening, than it’s frustrating. It has nothing to do with grandstanding or anything like that – it’s about being ignored in discussions, countless times.

#143 Chris Fournier
June/15/2008
@ 7:28 pm

Scott, first off congratulations on the accolades you’ve received from Jim Davis. I would be very flattered that someone of Jim’s stature noticed my work as well.

This is my first post on this discussion board but I was a regular poster on the Wisenheimer as I know a few of you were/are as well.

What I’m seeing after my 7 year sabbatical is the same mud-slinging as before and some of it by the same people. What purpose is this serving?

Scott, I’m unaware of your business model but if it’s working for you I’d much rather take your ideas and apply them to my own work. I’m open to learn more because this is the future of cartooning folks!

Giving away your strip to readers for free is a risky venture but if it’s paying off through merchandising and advertising sales then congrats…it’s working for you. Like one poster mentioned Walmart does this all the time with their loss-leaders, it’s what lures people into their stores.

Entrepreneurs take risks! Scott is an entrepreneur! He has a product he is selling but how he does this is up to him. Does it hurt the cartooning community who are trying to make money from the print media, perhaps! But folks, this is his business and he should run it the way he wants.

Giving a strip away for free is the same thing..it’s a loss leader. Now, if someone wants to publish your strip on their web site then you charge them appropriately.

Back to the mudslinging, folks, let’s grow up and act like adults. You’ve spent three days bashing each others brains out.

Grab a beer, sit outside and watch the sunset or here’s an idea…CARTOON and make some money.

Ask yourself, was all this mudslinging getting me closer to my cartooning goals these last three days????

My guess is it wasn’t.

Now, back to lurking!!!! I’ll see you in another 7 years.

#144 Phil Wohlrab
June/15/2008
@ 8:20 pm

I must own this book now out of sheer curiosity. Does this book reveal where your main streams of revenue are coming from? Merch, book sales, stickers, comic cons etc…

You know who is very successful selling art.. Tara McPherson. She had a booth at Mocca, NYC last weekend, and you just know she has a strong work ethic. She recently had a show in the city.. really awsome stuff.

Point being, to do what you did, Scott, would take a strong work ethic, and sacrfice of leisure time.

And then some, because you have no help from a syndicate.

Many don’t have the stamina.

#145 Scott Kurtz
June/15/2008
@ 8:37 pm

Chris and Phil,

The specifics of our business model are very traditional. The biggest difference are the direct interface between the creator and final consumer on many different levels. We are simply bypassing newspapers and syndicates (sometimes even traditional publishing houses) and going it on our own.

The book I co-authored with three other Webcartoonists is called How to Make Webcomics. You can find it at Amazon or on sale at comic book shops. We also sell it directly from our sites.

I do want to clarify I put in just as many hours now as I did at my non-cartooning day job. Most of us webguys work more than we should, but I think that’s because we just get excited and love to push. I’m not sure how many of us have made it to 40 or beyond. We’ll see how many hours a week we’ll work when we start to tire out (it’s already happening to me, and I’m only 37).

——-

I just want Dawn to be clear on one thing: I am very MUCH interested in the opinions, ideas and advice that traditional print-media cartoonists can offer me. I still feel that I have a lot to learn from all of these guys.I even spearheaded a conference call where we could all talk. That call went nowhere fast, but we tried in good faith and I think we could even try again in the future.

I’m not interested in your site because the site itself offers me nothing that peaks my interest. I can’t tell if you’re trying to denounce web2.0, create an online syndicate, create new economic patterns or make the world safe for starving cartoonists in Africa.

If someone offered me the opportunity to sit in a room and talk to Wiley for an hour, I would pay good money for the opportunity. I think the man has a lot he could teach me.

I’m just not so sure about you, Dawn.

#146 William G
June/16/2008
@ 8:02 am

Lemme guess, Scott:

Kris left the room for three seconds and you snuck in an online pissing contest before he could get back and yank the keyboard out of your hands?

#147 Rod McKie
June/16/2008
@ 8:07 am

I thought Scott’s post was funny.

I’ll fight anyone here; cartoonists are all cissies, that’s why they draw!

Any takers?

#148 Rod McKie
June/16/2008
@ 8:12 am

That includes webbies…

Still nothing.

Okay, maybe you all don’t give the work away, but maybe you can you all stop charging like, a dollar for your strips? I’m finding it hard to compete!

Bring it on!!!

#149 Jeff Darcy
June/16/2008
@ 9:51 am

I’d like to know what Odie thinks of all this barking

#150 Corey Pandolph
June/16/2008
@ 11:05 am

I’ll take you on, any day in any bar in any drunken state, Rod…

Preferably not West Virginia, tho… they scare me.

#151 Larry Levine
June/16/2008
@ 11:42 am

Rod, I’ll take you on–it’s spelled ‘sissies’ not ‘cissies’.

I win Round One ;)

#152 Dawn Douglass
June/16/2008
@ 12:56 pm

>Iâ??m just not so sure about you, Dawn.

Then let’s make a deal right here and now, Scott. When my company is making money for syndicated and independent cartoonists alike without any extra work or giving away any rights, you promise not to join. But you’ll remain free to happily take potshots from afar and call me whatever names your misogynistic heart delights in.

Deal?

#153 Dave Krainacker
June/16/2008
@ 1:48 pm

“have you grasped the concept of being â??Facetiousâ??”

To go in a different direction towards some totally meaningless trivia.
Facetious is the only word in the English language with five vowels that has all five vowels in alphabetical order. (There are two other five vowel words that contain all five vowels, but not in order.)

#154 Eric Burke
June/16/2008
@ 2:04 pm

Do you think that Jim Davis still does his own interviews and Q&A’s, or does he has his staff at PAWS do them?

#155 Eric Burke
June/16/2008
@ 2:07 pm

I meant to type “does he have…”

Crap…we need an edit button around here…

#156 Ted Rall
June/16/2008
@ 3:06 pm

Reading Scott’s posts reminds me of an Amway pitch. Lots of jargon. No specifics.

The specifics of our business model are very traditional. The biggest difference are the direct interface between the creator and final consumer on many different levels. We are simply bypassing newspapers and syndicates (sometimes even traditional publishing houses) and going it on our own.

The book I co-authored with three other Webcartoonists is called How to Make Webcomics. You can find it at Amazon or on sale at comic book shops. We also sell it directly from our sites.

Could it be that he makes money by selling books to people who think they’ll be able to make money selling T-shirts to people who read comics? Hm.

Seriously, Scott, I’d appreciate it if you would answer the following questions.

1. Almost all print cartoonists give away their cartoons online for free. Almost all have archives, for free. Almost all use their websites to sell merchandise, including T-shirts and books. Almost all make public appearances at comics conventions. Almost all make public appearances at book signings. Almost all sell advertising based on their web traffic. Almost all do freelance illustrations and other side projects. Is there anything different about “your” “business model”? If so, what do webcartoonists do that most print cartoonists don’t?

2. Many cartoonists criticize other cartoonists’ work, and that’s perfectly OK. Criticism is good for the profession. Could it be that NCS (I’m not even a member, but that’s because I let my membership lapse years ago and they have a rule that requires you to pay for all the years you missed to get back in) is more annoyed by your scabbing (trying to give away cartoons to print newspapers for free in an attempt to replace paying gigs) than your vaguely snarky attacks on various cartoonists?

3. Why did you feel the need to crow about Jim Davis’ kind words about you…right below said kind words?

4. Why do you claim here that you want to create some sort of summit between print and web cartoonists, even citing the phone call you set up? In fact, I suggested just that during said phone call. You blew me off. No worries; I’m busy drawing comics on dead trees. I just don’t understand why you’re trying to pass yourself off as aggrieved.

5. Who are these people who allegedly put down webcartoonists? Certainly not me; I published an entire book of them to bring them to a wider audience and constantly look to the web as a source of new talent. As a chatty cartoonist who gets around a bit, I’ve never heard anyone diss webcartoonists as less talented, less worthy, or anything. Never. Not once.

#157 Garey Mckee
June/16/2008
@ 3:10 pm

I hope Jim Davis hasn’t read this topic thread. It’s a bit of an embarrassment.

#158 Rick Stromoski
June/16/2008
@ 4:34 pm

(Iâ??m not even a member, but thatâ??s because I let my membership lapse years ago and they have a rule that requires you to pay for all the years you missed to get back in)

The NCS bylaws were amended some time back to members in arrears. The NCS now asks lapsed members to pay two years dues (the year you lapsed plus the current years dues and reapply with current updated information for the database) It makes more sense financially for former members who wish to return to the fold.

So welcome back Ted!

#159 Ted Rall
June/16/2008
@ 7:22 pm

Thanks, Rick! I’m glad to hear about the rules change and hope the NCS gets the word out to others who might, like me, think they can’t afford to get legal.

#160 Scott Kurtz
June/16/2008
@ 10:57 pm

Ted, it’s only fair that I try to answer your questions to the best of my ability, so let me try that.

1) I think the point a lot of us are trying to make is that our business model is not that much different than traditional models. We’re just going it ourselves. We’re helming it directly in lieu of a syndicate doing it for us. This could mean more work for us, or it means we hire our own vendors and assistants and publishers. It also means we can make a living with a smaller audience since we retain the majority of our profits.

I grant you that there are some who evangelize that the web is the truth path and print is dead. I don’t subscribe to that belief. I am heavily involved in print and invested it.

At this point I’m not looking to convert anyone to how I do things. I’m simply looking for acknowledgment from people I would like to consider my peers that I’m not some fluke, or abboration. I’m not an exception to the rule or a fly in your ointment.

2) I hope this is true, Ted, because I think that would be a more valid reason to refuse my inclusion into the NCS. I would only offer in my defense that the syndicates seem unprepared to offer me an acceptable distribution channel to papers, so I made an attempt on my own, as misguided as it was. Most papers who took my strip refused to take it for free (not that they paid much or kept it in very long). If that’s really a sticking point…one failed attempt against 10 years of hard work that’s in line with the NCS…I wonder about the organization a bit.

3) It was a joke. I was excited. I was being silly. Most people got it. Some people didn’t. Jim got it apparently, so I’m not too worried about it.

More importantly, it was worth crowing about. I prayed at the Altar of Garfield. I just scanned in my first cartoon attempts from 1981 to email to Jim to show him. It’s a big deal to me.

4) I still feel I have a lot to learn from print cartoonists. I still want to attend a Rueben’s weekend, talk about webcomics and meet some of my influences and heroes. I dismissed you that day Ted because you seemed to refuse to be listening to anything we were saying. You were almost to the point of just sticking your fingers in your ears and singing a verse of King Henry the Eight. You derailed things a bit, I feel. Dave was offering you his tax return at one point.

5) Ted, I think you just put me down right before you asked these questions.

“Could it be that he makes money by selling books to people who think theyâ??ll be able to make money selling T-shirts to people who read comics? Hm.”

How am I supposed to take this as anything but an insult? How is this not a total patronization of what I and my colleagues do?

#161 Malc McGookin
June/17/2008
@ 12:50 am

I never thought I would end up feeling sorry for Scott, as he and I have had our own stand up battles in the past, but I feel he’s had enough noogies, and in my opinion this thread was overdue for locking quite a few posts ago.

#162 Larry Feign
June/17/2008
@ 1:57 am

Thought I’d chime in. I quit cartooning 7 years ago and went full-time into animation. A few weeks ago I was introduced to this site. This thread remains in the limelight on the home page. It reminds me of one of the things that made me uncomfortable in the cartooning profession. Most cartoonists I know – probably 80 percent of them – went into cartooning in the first place because we were pimply, taciturn social misfits who always sat in the back of the class and started drawing cartoons because we were too uncomfortable interacting with the well-adjusted majority population. The class clowns went on to become car salesmen. The class wallflowers became cartoonists, artists and writers. Even as adults, most cartoonists I’ve met have been soft-spoken people who come across as self-effacing (even if inside they’re raging egomaniacs). At NCS or AAEC gatherings I always found most people to be the quiet types or at least somewhat socially awkward. People I could relate to, even if they were 1000 times more successful than I was.

This unfortunately gives rise to a situation where the outgoing, non-timorous types butt in and hog most conversations, misinterpreting others’ quietness as license to pontificate and self-congratulate. Meawnhile, everyone else leans back and fumes with jealousy.

On the other hand, even the biggest foghorn-mouths, who boasted at every opportunity, never dissed others in public. Not that I ever heard anyway.

I can’t comment on “print” versus “web” cartoons. I was a print cartoonist in a single-city single-paper market, paid reasonably for it, but when I put my work online starting in 1995 I suddenly had up to 10 times more readers (sometimes) than in print, and started selling thousands of books to far-off places. Did that make me a “web” cartoonist? Doesn’t matter. Where the heck is the supposed dividing line? I can’t figure out what anyone here is arguing about.

Nothing personal against Scott or any of the others who’ve dragged this thread on to such lengths, but the original blustering remark that sparked this thread and many of the subsequent comments from a few (but not most – again, the 80/20 rule prevails) of the others here bring back bad memories.

Truly makes me sad. Time to crawl back into my warm little cave. Bye.

#163 Eddie Bishop
June/17/2008
@ 7:10 am

@pvp guy — The NCS is for professional cartoonists. That means much more than making a living from the art. It means acting in a way that reflects well on yourself and on your organization. Your behavior here has been appalling and is not in keeping with any professional group that I am aware of.

#164 Scott Kurtz
June/17/2008
@ 8:12 am

Man, my “in your face” is the blustering remark that launched a thousand ships. Such dilettantish and unprofessional behavior. Truly I have brought shame and disgrace to this nobel profession. All I ever wanted was to attend a Reuben weekend and be mooned by Mike Peters.

It’s clear, I’m not NCS material. I think we’ve gone over this now a thousand times. Maybe you guys should just add a section to your charter about it so we make sure everyone knows.

If you guys would like, I can make a tee shirt and wear that to conventions to serve as example to others.

Clearly making tee shirts is all I’m good at anyway.

#165 Alan Gardner
June/17/2008
@ 8:33 am

And I’ll let Scott have the final word as he had the first.

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