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Matt Bors interviews Kevin Allman

With alternative newsweeklies chopping off comics in their papers nationwide, cartoonist Matt Bors did an interview with Kevin Allman, an editor for The Gambit newspaper in New Orleans.

Community Comments

#1 abellsmith
February/3/2009
@ 8:45 pm

Two purposes:

1. Great job, Matt!

2. Testing my Gravatar.

Allman’s first two answers were most interesting to me, the second one in particular… makes me thing Shannon Wheeler was on to something with “Postage Stamp Funnies.”

The implication is that if we make our comics small enough, papers would publish a bunch of them! (This would be an interesting experiment, come to think of it…)

#2 abellsmith
February/3/2009
@ 8:47 pm

whoops… I meant “…makes me think…”

#3 P.S. Mueller
February/5/2009
@ 3:53 pm

I started publishing in an alt weekly called The Illinois Times in 1976, I believe. They fired me two or three times before they brought me back and let me go again a few years ago. This occurred with a number of weeklies in the 80s and 90’s. At one point I was up to around 60 or so papers when founders began selling off to chains and businessfolks, and then my numbers began dropping.

Dealing with people who are more concerned with the ever-trending zeitgeist than actual human beings has always been a source of puzzlement for me. Mercurial types who specialize in keeping everyone off balance with a mix of alternating rudeness and approval just plain wears me out. So, when treated badly, I never ever return, at least until that editor or art director has been absorbed by Salon.com. That’s where they all go, by the way.

Also, back in 1976 I was paid $15.00 per cartoon published, which is what I made with them 25 years later. I ask you, has anyone in this business ever received a raise? Aren’t we that much more of a bargain to be working for 1976 dollars?

Cutting Tom Tomorrow or Jen Sorenson or Max Cannon or anyone else really makes no sense to readers who end up stuck with stream-of-consciousness reviews of the local music scene.

I need to develop a specially adapted typing claw.

Pete

#4 Wiley Miller
February/5/2009
@ 5:10 pm

“Also, back in 1976 I was paid $15.00 per cartoon published, which is what I made with them 25 years later. I ask you, has anyone in this business ever received a raise? Aren?t we that much more of a bargain to be working for 1976 dollars?”

It’s the same in syndication. The last time there was a raise in the basic rates for comics was 1970, and it was only by about 50 cents, from what I understand. Of course, back in the old days when we had a competitive newspaper industry, syndicates were able to charge a great deal extra for exclusivity in the major markets, and if you had a very popular feature, you could get into a bidding war with competing newspapers. Those days, however, are long gone and we are still working at 1970 wages. Yet editors still have the impression that all cartoonists are wealthy like Charles Schulz was, or Jim Davis is today, so it’s not going to change. In fact, a lot of editors have actually demanded in recent years that syndicates provide the comics to them for free, as they think having it in the newspaper is nothing more than an ad for the features to sell licensing products. It’s difficult to get through their tiny brains that there are only a couple of cartoonists working today who are making anything in licensing.

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