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DJ Coffman publishes ebook on revenue streams

DJ Coffman, creator of Yirmumah and Hero By Night (which is now in development as a live action TV) has published an ebook entitled “CASH for CARTOONIST$” – detailing 15 methods he’s used to make money through cartooning. You can read a description of the 15 methods on his website. Some of the 15 ways aren’t exactly new and detailed on other blogs and books. He is offering anyone who buys the book in September one-on-one coaching, which might be the most valuable thing for the $47 purchase.

Community Comments

#1 Scott Kurtz
September/1/2010
@ 3:14 pm

Google Third Tribe Marketing and Teaching Sells.

#2 Brian Clark
September/1/2010
@ 3:38 pm

Why thank you Scott. It’s nice to meet another evangelist for the hard work and value we’ve provided to the online world.

Oh, you didn’t mean it that way?

Well, tell us exactly what you do mean. I can’t wait to hear.

#3 Scott Kurtz
September/1/2010
@ 3:51 pm

Brain,

My comment implied absolutely no opinion or meaning by design. At best it can be considered a suggestion for further reading on this topic.

#4 Paul Cunningham
September/1/2010
@ 4:08 pm

I agree, two great communities.

Congrats DJ on your ebook launch. If resources like that had been around when I left high school I may have stuck with my art instead of fleeing to the security of the corporate world.

#5 Rodd Perry
September/1/2010
@ 4:12 pm

I love that there are valuable secrets behind selling comics. Why should real estate have all the fun!

#6 Ian
September/1/2010
@ 4:37 pm

Kudos to you DJ! I’ll be buying your ebook as soon as I get paid on Friday. Gotta support the nice guys in this industry!

Scott, why don’t you crawl back into the deep dank pits of jealousy that you came from?

Have a nice day! : )

#7 Heather Claus
September/1/2010
@ 4:42 pm

I find it interesting how skeptical people seem to get whenever someone sells something online, be it an eBook, education, forums access, what have you.

And yet, somehow, selling a book with a few hundred pages padded with filler is a status symbol.

Alan is right, though, a consultation for $47 is an excellent deal, regardless of the content of the eBook. I figure that DJ wrote it, and he is pretty darn brilliant, that’s just icing on the cake.

*smiles*

And regarding Third Tribe. It’s good stuff, baby. Been a member from Month 1, and have made enough from my contacts to pay for it for the next 17 years. Not a bad ROI.

#8 Scott Kurtz
September/1/2010
@ 5:17 pm

I’m so jealous right now I can’t stand it.

#9 Calista
September/1/2010
@ 6:20 pm

Admitting it is the first step in knowing that you’ve got a problem. I’m proud of you, bro. Now how about you man up & go back to your miserable existence. Kthxbai!

#10 Scott Kurtz
September/1/2010
@ 6:53 pm

Well…

Maybe one day I can work my way up to online marketing strats, buzzwords and affiliate programs. Until then I’ll guess I’ll have to settle for being a cartoonist with an actual product and continue to steep in this broth of envy.

#11 Dave Stephens
September/1/2010
@ 7:30 pm

Mmmmm….. Kurtz Broth. The cure for the common buzzword.

#12 Calista
September/1/2010
@ 7:37 pm

Or..! You’ll just continue to be the miserable troll that you really are following everything that DJ does like some lunatic stalker with your cronies in tow! It’s really just so sad… ; )

#13 FrankMc
September/1/2010
@ 7:42 pm

I’m interested in checking this out. I downloaded the free sample there and it was packed with info. I don’t think the $47 price tag is too high if it includes consulting work, so I’ll pick it up on payday. I’ve been a fan of Coffman’s work for years and was hoping he’d relaunch his old blog about “Making Money With Webcomics” that was so helpful back in 2004 or so.

I hope this thread doesn’t devolve into a Coffman Vs Kurtz bitchfest, but Kurtz is just poking and prodding here and I can’t figure out why.

I’m a fan of Scott’s work too… Hey Scott, don’t you have a comic to be drawing instead of playing ping pong and trolling on dailycartoonist? :P

#14 Lisa KW
September/1/2010
@ 8:45 pm

Congrats DJ! Sounds like through your ebook, you’ve made it easy for cartoonists to propel their hobby into a career.

#15 Phil Wohlrab
September/1/2010
@ 10:49 pm

I’ve been trying to figure out how to profit from Tshirts but so far all those sites such as cafe press, spread shirt.. etc.. have high base prices so that you can only profit 3 bucks or so from anything you sell.

The price becomes so high with shipping your customer might as well go to the mall and buy a 30 dollar T.
These custom T businesses are in it to make money.. from you.
No over head sounds great, but there’s also no profit.

With a lot of these revenue streams.. it’s almost like you have to decide how big of a headache do you want to give yourself.. Dealing with a whole bunch of freelance clients would be my worst nightmare. I’d love to to have my work licensed but I’d have to get a booth at a trade show.

Personally the easiest money I’ve made has been on
shutterstock and I’ve not had to spend loads of time promoting my site or doing tons of research. All it takes is turning your illustrations into vector art and/or uploading jpegs of illustrations.

It took me a year to get paid, but all this other stuff takes time too… the difference is selling microstock is VERY low stress. You don’t have to deal with people. You build your library and the larger it is the more money you make.

Bottom line is.. if you have art sitting around and it’s not making money for you there’s no reason for it not to be shutterstock… you can still license it. or do whatever with it. you retain all rights.

I’ll probably expand my mini empire to istock, but for those who think selling on shutterstock is beneath them .. there are also the higher end sites like Corbis and Getty which are more exclusive and harder to get into. While I couldn’t get into those I was directed to another upscale site called Veer.
http://www.veer.com/

Anyway that’s my rant. nothing against DJ’s book.. more power to him… I am personally interested in what he’s got to say on licensing.

#16 Ted Rall
September/1/2010
@ 11:26 pm

$47?!?!?!

There is no limit to the gullibility of the stupid and desperate.

Mentioning this crass attempt to separate struggling cartoonists from their hard-earned unemployment checks on Daily Cartoonist is irresponsible.

There is nothing new here, just a ridiculous multi-level marketing scheme. The photons that make up this eBook should be gathered up and annihilated in the Hadron Collider.

Buy Scott’s book instead. It’s cheaper and he knows how to use the English language.

#17 Stephen Beals
September/2/2010
@ 2:29 am

@Scott, thank you for your first post. I did as you suggested and it was indeed educational.

@Phil, Your online portfolio is fantastic.

Ted referred to how little cash the budding cartoonist has and I just thought I would add that any young person who wants to be a cartoonist should stay away from spending money. There are great business books at the library if you want to learn about marketing.

If you want to spend your money on something, webcomics.com is only thirty bucks for a year.

I’ve worked in advertising for many years. Never use a dollar sign as the letter “s” (it makes you look like you’re running a pyramid scheme).

#18 Gar Molloy
September/2/2010
@ 4:36 am

The DoshDosh blog also has a bunch of good tips on marketing, and doesnt’ cost anything.

-Gar

#19 D.J. Coffman
September/2/2010
@ 6:33 am

I wasn’t going to reply, the last thing I want is to get drawn into a pissing match between Scott Kurtz and Ted Rall on the dailycartoonist.com comment section…But when words are bandied about like “pyramid scheme” and insinuating this is a scam, I feel like I have to drop my opinion in to defend myself and my product. (you win Scott, I took the bait!)

Look, I realize a lot of cartoonists are skeptical, cynical, etc. I know the language and headers might be a little cheesy looking, but it gets your attention for better or worse and sparks conversation. If you feel that this product isn’t worth the money, don’t buy it. If you feel you have it all figured out and earn enough money with your cartooning, GREAT! If you think you absolutely know every way possible to make money with your art and are doing it, fantastic. This product is not for you.

And as I said on the site, I don’t feel it’s for starry eyed beginners either, and the price point (and my video) should help alleviate that a little. That being said, I’m confident that if hobbyists did pick this up they’d learn a lot. As far as that special price goes, it also includes one-on-one consultation with me.

I’ve been a full time cartoonist and illustrator since 1998, instead of having tunnel vision and trying to stick to one market, I’ve made myself available to multiple outlets for my work. Along the way I’ve always encountered other cartoonists who couldn’t figure out how to earn more money with their art or didn’t understand the marketing and business side and I’ve often freely given away my knowledge to help a lot of creators, anyone who asked. Years ago, even Scott Kurtz once needed my help optimizing his GoogleAds on pvponline.com, and the same advice I gave to Chris Crosby (founder of keenspot.com) who said it more than doubled his ad revenue at the time. Those are basic things now, but back then not so easy to know about.

After years of print vs web pissing matches and name calling many cartoonists are still not earning enough with their work that could be– I thought I’d put down everything I know that works or has worked for me and what is proven to work for others into one project. This is about giving a look at the full spectrum of possibilities available for your work. Of course what works for one guy won’t for another, (common sense) but when you’re looking at a large range there’s a good chance you’re going to find something you didn’t think of, or that you could do even better…. or even think up a whole new method.

You can choose to not like me personally, or not see eye to eye with my opinions or business decisions in the past, but there’s no doubt that I know how to make money with my cartooning and illustration, and I like to share this info with other creators.

#20 Jason Nocera
September/2/2010
@ 6:39 am

Regarding DJ’s book – Will there be a lower price for the PDF book only without the consultation? I just downloaded the preview and will check it out.

I’m the Creative Director at PrankPlace.com and we currently have an affiliate program. You earn 20% on any sale that comes from traffic from your website. It’s only a simple code you put on a link and it opens up a whole new revenue stream. Check out our wide selection of crazy pranks and gifts. Plus, some of the packaging features cartoons by yours truly, so how cool is that?

#21 D.J. Coffman
September/2/2010
@ 6:44 am

Speaking of sharing info

@Phil – About your comments on t-shirts online, you’re a bit off there. I mention this in the free preview of the book which people can download, but I’ll repeat it here… I think cafepress is crappy. But I’ve had great results with Spreadshirt.com. I believe you can make your base price for a t-shirt at 10.60. That means you can charge 16.99 – That would be a $6.39 cent profit, and even with shipping for customers it’s going to round out to around 20 bucks which is the norm for buying a shirt online. While you can make a lot more money per unit using a local screenprinter, the benefits of using an online site like Spreadshirt.com are that you don’t have to deal with the shipping, storage, sizes, etc. It allows you more time as a creator to have fun and put thought into your design and marketing, and do research to jump on hot trends. Check out http://amorphia-apparel.com/ – they’re a spreadshirt business, but are brilliant at having little unique niche sections… like animals wearing monocles, http://sircritter.com/, or their hilarious Tea Party shirts which made quite a buzz online http://imvotingteaparty.com/

Hey critics, I’d love you to share your formulas for making money with your art in here, I’m sure there will be a lot of cartoonists reading… let’s hear em.

#22 D.J. Coffman
September/2/2010
@ 6:52 am

@Jason – I’m debating a lower price version. I’ve heard from a lot of college students this past week asking for a student discount but I can’t find a way to automate that or confirm… which had me leaning on just putting out a non-coaching version at a lower price point. Like I said though, the single price w/coaching was meant to be a barrier on purpose so that only serious buyers would take this up. I didn’t want teenagers or wet behind the ears people buying it up for $10 bucks when they should be working on their craft instead. Webcomics.com would

#23 Ted Rall
September/2/2010
@ 7:08 am

@DJ wrote: “there?s no doubt that I know how to make money with my cartooning and illustration”

No doubt? Really?

BTW, this is one issue where there is no pissing match between Scott and myself.

The truth is, there is no magic way to make BIG BUCK$ out of cartooning that you couldn’t find out by sitting down with established cartoonists over a beer or two.

#24 D.J. Coffman
September/2/2010
@ 7:09 am

Wrote a comment about the t-shirt services and how to easily make 6-7 bucks per shirt with spreadshirt, but since it included links I think it’s pending approval… scroll back up later. Thanks!

#25 D.J. Coffman
September/2/2010
@ 7:13 am

@TedRall No one, especially me, is promising a magical way to make money. I say it again and again in my info page and in video now. If you have better ideas for making money cartooning, why not post them here? Why not consider this thread a virtual beer conversation for the other cartoonists listening in. I’m more than happy to give away plenty of advice for free.

#26 Drew Litton
September/2/2010
@ 7:26 am

Ted, Hope everything is going well on your trip. I’ll take you up on that beer someday

#27 Ted Rall
September/2/2010
@ 7:44 am

Thanks, Drew. There have been some challenges, as one would expect, but we are fine. Cool re: beer. Mmm…beer…

#28 Dave Olson
September/2/2010
@ 8:27 am

I’m not one of those college students who can’t afford the pdf. I’m a recent graduate who isn’t willing to drop the cash to get the pdf, and I’ll tell you why. I bought How to Make Webcomics back when it first came out, and it’s been a fantastic resource for me. I’m a huge fan of Kurtz, Straub, and Kellet (never really got into Guigar’s work –nothing against him, just not my cup-o-tea). It’s got a lot of high level thinking that have helped me to develop my skill and gave me a few new ways to think. I’ve been creating webcomics for 4 years now, with little success. But it never bothered me, as I never expected to succeed. How to Make Webcomics changed that. It motivated me to start taking strides toward creating something that I was proud of, that would hopefully resonate with some readers.

I’ve met DJ on a few occasions (and even exhibited with him a few times on the DrunkDuck Wizard World circuit back in 07), and he never struck me as the most PERSONABLE of people, but he certainly knows how to sell his craft. That said, I went through the demo version of DJ’s product. I was curious, given DJ’s storied history. I’ll be honest, though, I went in with low expectations. At first glance, it looks like a get rich quick scheme. It does, and it sort of acts like one too. The case can be made that it’s a “Get DJ Rich Quick Scheme,” of course, but any product marketed and sold by anyone is intended for that end. You can’t criticize him for wanting to make money, and if selling his accumulated knowledge as a cheap-looking plastic glorified blog post can make him some money, then more power to him.

I ain’t buying, though. It’s full of practical information, sure, for a businessman. For an aspiring cartoonist, it’s soul crushing. Selling your ‘talent’ for peanuts making caricatures and magazine spots cheapens the romance of being the next Bill Watterson. Watterson is respected for his integrity. He truly expressed himself through his comics, and he truly believed in what he was making. When it comes to the artistic value of comics as a medium, DJ’s product cheapens it. Some people subscribe to the idea that comics are a creation of our culture, a pure reflection of our imagination and a brilliant form of communication. DJ peddles his comics purely as a trade. I don’t agree with DJ. I understand the desire to sell your skill, and I someday hope to make a living at it, but not like this. Somehow DJ makes cartooning seem like the easiest thing in the world to make money at, but he kills my desire to try. Somehow, Kurtz and his ‘cronies’ do the opposite. They inspire me to improve my craft, while still providing equally practical advice for a fraction of the price.

Also, $47? Why? Did you do market research and test cases to determine that this was the ideal price? Just curious, not attackin ya, DJ. Just differing views, that’s all.

#29 D.J. Coffman
September/2/2010
@ 8:47 am

@Dave – Thanks for your opinion. Cool comic in your link by the way. Sorry you feel that way, because I love comics and cartooning as an artform just as much as anybody, but it feels even better when you can pay your bills doing what you love, and I want to see more cartoonists achieve that. I wish you luck in your career… or well, even if you’re just enjoying what you do as a hobby there’s absolutely no shame in that.

I’d like to note, I don’t feel this is a webcomics.com vs MY ebook conversation. There’s no doubt creators can learn from HalfPixel’s book and membership over there. I don’t think it has to be an either or situation. I agree with you that I consider their work more about craft , and mine is more about making money and marketing of your work so that more people can earn a living or at least a good side income doing what they love. I haven’t seen criticism of services like comicsexperience.com which charges $500 bucks just to learn pieces of the craft of creating comics.

As far as the 47 price it was initially designed as a barrier, but also an affordable one. The idea of anyone getting “rich” from this information is a ridiculous notion as the market for cartoonists is REALLY small, but as far as my time in doing coaching sessions one-on-one for that flat rate (when people charge WAY more for other mediums) it helps cover that time. Example: I’ve spent about 2 hours this morning answering one-on-one coaching emails, that those clients say are well worth the price alone… so it pays for a little of my time that I’m not actually illustrating (like I should be now). I’ve heard enough beef about the price that i may be willing in the future to put out a non-coaching edition, but again I kinda want there to be a barrier here.

#30 Ted Rall
September/2/2010
@ 8:52 am

@DJ: As I’m sure you know, no two cartoonist career paths are the same. Everyone has to try different things, muddle around, and figure out where the market is for their work through trial and error.

My point is that there isn’t a single secret about making more money as a cartoonist. Everyone knows about the various markets for cartooning, tricks like search engine optimization, using social networking, etc. It’s all here already, on TDC, for free, in the archives.

What you need is a solid product, followed by some good luck and yes, marketing instincts. But you don’t need to spend $47 to get that stuff.

DJ, there’s nothing wrong with creating, and even selling, knowledge. But you’d probably get a better reaction with a more low-key approach. (When Ted Rall advises you to tone it down…you really need to tone it down.) And you’d better PROVE that you actually made money with these approaches. Simply saying that you have doesn’t cut it.

#31 Glenn Sekse
September/2/2010
@ 9:00 am

If I wanted to talk with DJ about the business, maybe sitdown over a long lunch and beers. Seems to me that it would run about $40-$50. So maybe that is where the price comes in? 8) It’s a book that comes with some interaction with it’s writer. I can’t imagine many other authors considering such a thing for anything LESS. In my business, you don’t get the time of day out of me for less than $75.

#32 D.J. Coffman
September/2/2010
@ 9:03 am

@Ted Rall, I guess I could give people the login for my paypal history… WAIT, no. Or refer them to writers or clients who have paid me in the past and currently.

You’re right about the lower key approach, I’ll keep it in mind.

I also agree, and have said on my info page and video that there is no “cookie cutter” formula. The key though is seeing a full spectrum of possibilities that CAN fit for different types of artists. One guy won’t be interested in doing spot illustrations or feel it cheapens his artform, but he might find the licensing strategies for his art pure gold. A guy might balk at the licensing ideas and LOVE the ideas for thinking local with your work, etc.

I disagree with you on one point:

“Everyone knows about the various markets for cartooning, tricks like search engine optimization, using social networking, etc. It?s all here already, on TDC, for free, in the archives. ”

That’s not a fact at all. I encounter cartoonists and creators all the time who haven’t thought about different markets, or especially strategies for selling more of their work or gaining higher paying clients. You totally CAN learn about SEO and social networking online. I read TDC regularly and know there really haven’t been articles about making more money for cartoonists here. Maybe there should a regular article like that though! Alot of cartoonists could benefit from something regular like that here.

Like i said it would be great if critics posted specific ideas instead of just “it’s out there, go look!” or “go buy this instead, it’s cheaper” – Kinda like how I just showed the guy how he could make more then 6 bucks on shirts when he thought he could only make 3 with online stores.

#33 Adam Black
September/2/2010
@ 9:08 am

I’ve read DJ’s book. Over the past 15+ years, I’ve done many of the things described in DJ’s book, so I know they work. I will be doing the rest of them over the next couple of months, just because they sound like a good way to make some extra cash. Well, and they sound like fun, too. I’m always up for some fun.

Make no mistake: this book isn’t about how to become a Penny Arcade-level success in webcomics. It’s about making money by drawing things–lots of different things. Some of the suggestions in the book are fairly obvious; others are pretty imaginative.

Despite the vitriol above, this book will pay for itself quickly by following any one of the fifteen suggestions. In fact…you know what? Let’s break it down.

Following suggestion #1 will pay for the book in an hour or so.

Suggestion #2? You’ll probably do one or two of those before the book pays for itself.

#3: Hard to say. You’ll have to do that four or five times, tops, before you make your money back.

#4: Depends on who you go through. But that’s more of a side-project, isn’t it? This is a great tip for a “draw it once and have some cash trickle in” idea. I’ve done it myself in the past, and it’s solid.

#5: Tip #5 is actually about making webcomics, so your mileage will vary.

Tip #6: I haven’t done that one yet. Can’t comment on it.

#7: You’ll get your money back in an hour or three if you do this.

#8: I know from personal experience that I can do this in about a day and make over twice what this book costs. I do this a lot, in fact.

#9: I’ll stop here, as I haven’t done this one yet, either, and you’re probably tired of reading all this crap.

So there you go. This book will pay for itself in very little time. I’ve been doing this long enough to tell you that with 100% confidence.

And I’m not some indy comic superstar. I’m just a guy who wanted to sit at home in his pajamas and draw monsters and nekkid ladies to pay the bills instead of working a goddamned Day Job. And that’s what I do.

This book makes that easier for me to do. Because of that, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

#34 Dave Olson
September/2/2010
@ 9:15 am

Thanks for responding, DJ.

Webcomics.com vs your ebook point — I grabbed the closest comparison that I knew of. When it comes to the craft of creating and selling comics, your product just happens to be quite similar in concept to their book. Your execution is clearly very different. Where they went for accessibility and legitimacy, you kind of went the other way in terms of marketing. It certainly doesn’t help that you’re as polarizing a figure as you are. I don’t have a huge problem with the content. It can be useful for a lot of people, and I understand that. There’s 12 years of accumulated knowledge in there, and that IS worth some money.

The $47 dollar price point just seems odd to me. I understand that it pays for your time in coaching sessions, but that’s just a bonus. If only %20 of the people who buy your product use that service, %80 are getting kind of cheated. Your time, I feel, is worth a lot more than the ebook. The coaching should be offered as a separate product, I guess. I dunno, it’s just all packaged rather suspiciously to me. All the $ signs in the advertisements certainly aren’t helping.

I’m sure you love your comics as much as the next Watterson, but you’re encouraging people to abandon the thought and focus entirely on makin bucks. There’s a very small section that encourages quality in your work, but it’s terribly overshadowed by describing it as ‘fuel’ and a ‘vehicle,’ making it seem like it’s simply a means to an end.

I’m somewhat of a purist when it comes to making comics, so clearly my personal views are gonna influence my tastes in products. I don’t have advertisements on my site, I don’t have a store set up, and when I go to conventions, I sell sketches and hand-made books. I’m just not a huge marketer of myself, I guess, and it turns me off that you ARE.

Thanks for the comment on my comic. I’m glad you like it!

#35 Drezz
September/2/2010
@ 9:26 am

I think DJ is appealing to those who are too lazy to do research themselves and want to jump into a structure/regimen where they can start earning money.

If you’re in it for the love of making comics, this e-book/training isn’t for you.

I do it as a hobby, and perhaps someday I’d like to have some merch and possibly printed volumes for sale. Who knows, maybe it could make me some additional income – but its not something I’d leave my job for unless it was stable enough to support my family.

Producing comics for a living isn’t as mainstream as being a doctor, salesman or a laborer. If you want to make a living at it, it’s going to become a job – you’ll hate it, but it pays your bills.

If you ever want to get to the point where you’re sustaining yourself through comics that you love doing , you have to work your ass off for a long time and make relationships that will advance your profile. There are no shortcuts.

You have two paths – be a slave to your clients and earn money quickly, or retain your integrity and do it on your own terms and establish yourself slowly.

You can’t have it both ways.

#36 Adam Casalino
September/2/2010
@ 9:58 am

Okay, the super pro-DJ comments seems a little fake. Just my observation.

But isn’t it AMAZING that we’ve reached a point in the “web comics” discussion where Kurtz and Rall are in agreement?

I don’t know whether to slap my knee or hid under a table.

Oh and I agree with Ted, anyone interested in advice on cartooning online should buy Scott Kurtz’s book.

#37 Jason Nocera
September/2/2010
@ 10:13 am

Drezz – just curious, have you ever had any clients as a cartoonist?

People with your attitude don’t want to be cartoonists – they want to be someone who draws X for a living. There’s a big difference.

#38 Tom Wood
September/2/2010
@ 10:35 am

I think the webcomics model is rapidly going the way of the Dodo. I’m really surprised that the ebook model isn’t getting near as much press. And I don’t mean selling an ebook about how to sell prints and t-shirts, but selling your comics as an ebook.

ebooks are now at about 10% of the book market and are projected to stabilize at 75% within a few short years. Independent authors can publish directly to the Kindle (and soon to the Nook) with same ease as putting up a comic on the web.

You can sell your comics directly to your audience.

No more obsession over ‘merch’ or ads or any of that other stuff that you have to do because you are giving your comic away for free. You can sell your comics directly to your audience.

Here’s a link to a writer who is the biggest success story to date:

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/

There are numerous other up and coming independent writers who are building a following, just the way a webcomic creator does. But they have the entire machine of Amazon behind them. (Plus B&N and the others, but Amazon already has 80% of the ebook market.)

I’d be looking at reformatting my layout to match the 600×800 pixel aspect ratio of these ebook readers. Here’s a link about optimizing for the Kindle:

robotcomics

#39 Scott Kurtz
September/2/2010
@ 10:56 am

A couple of things:

1) Webcomics.com and How To Make Webcomics are geared at giving back and helping people improve their work, not their pocketbook. We talk all the time about how we run our businesses, but we’re very careful to indicate that it’s most likely impossible to replicate what we’ve already done.

2) You can’t get bitchy about people calling your work a multi-level-marketing scheme when there are multi-levels of marketing going on. Level one: third tribe offers marketing advice to DJ. Level two: DJ offers marketing advice to cartoonists. Level three: DJ offers people affiliate sites to resell his cash for cartoonists eboks. That’s multi-levels of marketing.

3) $47 and $97 are identical price points to other products offered by third tribe marketing. Which is a weird and skeevey coinidence.

4) The value of the personal coaching doesn’t scale. If DJ gets 100 people signing up for his personal coaching and he can reasonably offer them 15 minutes of advice he would be spending 5 hours a day for 5 days of pure coaching. Assume hes take a 15 minute break between each coaching sessions, that’s another hour. so 6 hours a day coaching, five days a week. And that’s only giving each person EXACTLY 15 minutes and that’s only serving 100 people. The reality of DJ being able to offer more than a couple people any substantial amount of ROI on that $47 worth of coaching is dubious.

5) I posted my comment suggesting (quite neutrally) that people read up on third tribe and teaching sells at 3:15 and by 3:38 the author of both systems was posting a follow up comment. Is Brian a regular reader of the Daily Cartoonist? What about all the other third tribe members who suddenly and immediately showed up to defend DJ? All within an hour of my very neutral comment. It’s absolutely STUNNING that so many third tribe marketers have been lurking here at the Daily Cartoonist for so long.

The bottom line is that if you don’t want people accusing you of get-rich-quick schemes and multi-level-marketing schemes then you can’t sell multi-level marketing systems with dollar signs in the copyblogger structured headlines promising proven methods of earning fast cash while simultaneously setting up affiliate programs at ejunkie.com so that others can re-sell your non-scaling marketing course.

P.S. Not only are Ted Rall and Scott Kurtz on the same side here, but Ted Rall typed the words “buy Scott’s book” and stated clearly that I had a good handle on the English language (which we all know is inaccurate).

If that’s not a sign of things changing, I don’t know WHAT is.

#40 Drezz
September/2/2010
@ 11:00 am

Jason – I’ve done a wide variety of illustration based work including cartoons. I started off in my career as an illustrator, and now I just do webcomics as a hobby. I occasionally get requests for commissions, but I don’t take them on as much as I used to due to workload and time constraints.

I agree with your statement as being ‘the guy who only wants to draw X’ because you’re right – and thats the same boat Kurtz is in and various others who have established their own brand with their own characters and stuff.

A lot of people starting out can’t discern that, so if they see DJ’s offering, they assume that’s what they need to do in order to have their work gain the notoreity and income they feel they deserve.

All of the people posting on the forums here have had to earn their dues and participate in trench warfare etc. The fact is, you have to work to get the reward. In order to get the reward, you have to take certain steps to make sure your time is spent efficiently.

That’s what DJ’s book does – promotes an efficient way to make money as a cartoonist through commissioned work. But, if you took the time and did the research or asked people in the industry, you’d figure it out and it wouldn’t cost you 47 bucks.

#41 Chris Fournier
September/2/2010
@ 11:03 am

Why don’t we simply take this book for what it is, a chance to tap into other markets we may not have thought of and earn some cash from someone else’s success and hard work.

How much time would you save by doing your own research on SEO for example….I’d like to think my time is worth more than $47.

If I picked up one client from doing something that I learned in this book, or from DJ’s consultation, then the book has more than paid for itself. Anything else on top of that is a bonus.

To all the purists who don’t want to make money from your creations then this book ain’t for you – yet! When you decide that you wanna get rich and learn how to do it then skip the hardwork and hours of research time and invest the $47 for the book.

Chris.

#42 DJ Coffman
September/2/2010
@ 11:07 am

As I figured, nobody here is willing to share ideas to help cartoonist earn more money, which is what my coaching and ebook is all about. The coaching scales because not everyone needs something right away or to differing levels of degree. It’s a good point though about how I’ll handle it as it gets busier. Another reason the price increase for that is going up after sept

#43 Scott Kurtz
September/2/2010
@ 11:33 am

Nobody here is willing share ideas to help cartoonists earn more money because we feel that making those kinds of offers is irresponsible.

We ARE comfortable sharing ideas on how to better your work and make the best product possible because that’s the only thing we know is safe to advise cartoonists. Especially cartoonists hungry for a success we can not guarantee.

#44 Drezz
September/2/2010
@ 12:00 pm

Of course quality is paramount – but this sharing of ideas argument is kind of silly, since it is all logical information you can deduce on your own with a couple of hours of research on the internet.

I’m sure you could send out a bunch of emails to cartoonists and webcomic creators alike, and so long as you’re not a complete idiot expecting them to hand over the keys to the vault, you can easily get some clear insight on how to start working towards some sort of profit.

The method differs from artist to artist, but the paths are somewhat similar.

#45 PhilWohlrab
September/2/2010
@ 12:04 pm

Thanks Stephen! DJ I will look into Spread Shirt thanks for that.

#46 PhilWohlrab
September/2/2010
@ 12:17 pm

I’ll say it again if no one heard.. sell on shutterstock.

These sorts of discussions are more for freelance illustrators who work in a variety of mediums and in different styles. Cartoons are great… but pen and ink is one medium and for me to work in just one medium would be boring and I’d never learn anything new or grow as an illustrator.

#47 Mike Krahulik
September/2/2010
@ 12:19 pm

The last time I looked at what DJ was doing he had sold off his comic to a shady media company that refused to pay him. He was complaining about being broke and offering to draw anything you wanted for five dollars.

Is that one of the secrets I wonder?

#48 Dave Olson
September/2/2010
@ 12:50 pm

Jesus, the big dogs come out to play. Gabe AND Scott. Out of morbid curiosity (I’ve made my opinion clear, i think) what problem do you guys have with the product, exactly? Is it the fact that he’s selling it, or the idea that he’s instilling a sort of false hope in potential cartoonists (via his ‘guaranteed’ revenue sources)? Or is it something else entirely?

I hope I get a response from one of you… cause it’d be cool, you guys are like my idols n schtuff.

#49 DJ Coffman
September/2/2010
@ 12:57 pm

Let me recap for you since its been two years since you checked in on my work. Mike, you’re correct, when I lost my ongoing comic pay through Platinum unexpectedly I was between jobs for that month and I started my webcomic again and doing commission work, I wanted to practice drawing faster on the Cintiq so i offered the “will draw anything” to my readers only… After getting a link from Seth Godin, a well known and respected author, I ended up doing over 600 of them and the amount of other freelance work that snowballed because of that was well worth that effort it even lead to HBO art directors finding my work and licensing some of my work for the True Blood show. So I guess that worked out okay. Had I been a one trick pony type of artist I wouldn’t have been able to do such a variety of work that sprang from that one side project.

#50 Corey Pandolph
September/2/2010
@ 1:04 pm

“I’m better!”

“I’m more successful!”

“I can tell you how to be rich like me!”

“Joss Whedon!”

Nerd c**k fight.

#51 Drezz Rodriguez
September/2/2010
@ 1:16 pm

How many people will get links from Seth Godin though?

I think that’s the type of false hope Scott was referring to. Sure, you didn’t solicit a response from him, but you got one – and it was pure luck.

A lot of the methods you mention require some sitting back and waiting – you can back it up with all the great things that came out of your experience, but it will greatly differ from person to person. In your case, you got really lucky on your pull – but for some shmoe just starting out, they may never get that opportunity, even if they follow all the tips provided to the letter.

I’ll say it again – you need to put in the work to get the reward.

#52 D.J. Coffman
September/2/2010
@ 1:28 pm

Yeah, I’m bowing out of this conversation now. Like I said, it will be up to individual cartoonists to decide the value of my product or service, they can decide to buy it or not. The ones who have have posted their thoughts about the value here and in the testimonials on the site.

#53 Mark_Tatulli
September/2/2010
@ 1:47 pm

Scroll all the way to the bottom:

http://www.amazon.com/Lios-Astonishing-Tales-Haunted-Horrors/dp/0740785419?&camp=212361&creative=383961&linkCode=waf&tag=ucomicscom#reader_0740785419

#54 Frank McHale
September/2/2010
@ 2:36 pm

It’s sad to see some of the biggest names in webcomics harping on this advice.

Wonder what Penny Arcade would have become without business advice from Robert Khoo? he said:

?It was just two guys who created this great comic out of their apartment,? Khoo recalls. ?Their main revenue stream was donations from readers. They set their drive limits on how much they needed to pay rent and groceries. They had accidentally signed away the company twice already, and gotten it back by sheer luck. In the first 15 minutes, I realized they had no idea what they were doing.?

#55 Frank McHale
September/2/2010
@ 3:02 pm

And I just saw this link over on Reddit/comics about a scam Webcomics.com members have been running to vote/cheat their numbers. Is that their idea of marketing and honorable business practices? http://www.reddit.com/r/comics/comments/d8oom/webcomicscom_paid_users_try_to_game_rcomics_by/c0ydeo8

#56 Scott Kurtz
September/2/2010
@ 3:55 pm

the word scam is libelous, dude.

LIBEL!

#57 Dave Stephens
September/2/2010
@ 4:14 pm

Up-voting is a scam? If that’s considered a “scam”, then Google Adwords is the biggest scam of all….

#58 Lord Google
September/2/2010
@ 4:18 pm

I heard that!

#59 Scott kurtz
September/2/2010
@ 4:36 pm

Reedit $camming is just ONE of the proven method$ we teach at webcomic$.com to make more ca$h with your art!!!!!$$$!!!!!!!!$$$$$$$$$$$

($)

#60 Derf Backderf
September/2/2010
@ 4:43 pm

There IS no libel on the web.

#61 Mike Brown
September/2/2010
@ 5:18 pm

Kurtz, I think it is a pretty big deal that according to those screenshots on Redit that you guys taught that way of marketing and now it’s gotten all of those members banned from a great place.

And since you’ve criticized MLM so much, have you disclosed to webcomics.com members that you guys are taking a cut from printing and hosting referrals? Or could you go on record denying that? Do you disclose to members the types of deals you’ve made for monetizing from them? Just wondering.

#62 Layne Myhre
September/2/2010
@ 5:34 pm

Man, getting your friends to upvote your links on Reddit isn’t some sort of nefarious scam. It’s a fricking social networking site! Nobody broke any rules, it was one registered user, one vote, no vote-bots or multi-account cheating. Someone decided to get their panties in a bunch about it over at Reddit, much in the same way overzealous Wikipedia morons go on deletion-binges, and there’s not much anyone can do about it now.

You think that trying to use social networking sites to get exposure is a “dishonorable business practice”? Gimme a frickin’ BREAK.

What DJ is doing is selling his knowledge. Probably for a lot more money than it’s worth, sure. But it’s not illegal to do so, and if he can find enough suckers willing to pay such a high price for information they can get for free elsewhere, and make some serious cash doing this, then all the more power to him. However, personally, I would advise friends and colleagues to save their money, because I don’t think it’s worth it. That’s my opinion, and I’m entitled to it, just as DJ is entitled to ignore all detractors and carry on.

#63 Adam Casalino
September/2/2010
@ 5:50 pm

@Mike Brown you shouldn’t comment on something you know nothing about. Members of webcomics.com voluntarily participated, nowhere did any contributor of the site “teach” it as a way of marketing. Banned from a great place? Reddit basically a link-sharing site, dude. There’s plenty of others like it, none of which are gold.

Taking a cut from printing and hosting referrals? This is a subscription based site; people are already paying THEM to join. Why do you imply that Scott or any other contributor of the site is “secretly” taking cuts from anything that goes on there? Why would members be upset if the founders of the site make money from SUBSCRIPTIONS?

#64 Scott Kurtz
September/2/2010
@ 6:10 pm

The only money Webcomics.com collects is from our members. It’s a $30 annual membership.

We do not receive a cut of any printing or hosting referrals. Nor have we been offered any. Nor do I think the margins involved would even allow for it, honestly.

In fact, to date the only person to offer us a cut for any referrals is DJ. He offered us a chance to be an affiliate for cash for cartoonists.

We turned him down, of course.

#65 Randy Cantrell
September/2/2010
@ 7:23 pm

I guess I missed the “All Cartoonists Must Be Communists” memo. I never knew earning money from cartooning was sinful.

I’ve now become enlightened. Glad I never pursued that dream of becoming a cartoonist as I’ve grown rather fond of having food on my table.

#66 Scott Kurtz
September/2/2010
@ 7:28 pm

It’s so telling how everyone defending DJ right now are new posters who’s names link back to websites where they are selling themselves as coaches and or marketers.

Randy, if I could work as a “remarkable” consultant like you, I wouldn’t want to be a cartoonist either.

#67 Isaiah McAllister
September/2/2010
@ 8:02 pm

I’m actually working on a book entitled “How not to make money in Webcomics, but how to write a book on making money in Webcomics, and make money from that instead.”

I’m open to suggestions for a catchier title.

#68 Chris Cantrell
September/2/2010
@ 8:25 pm

The DJ Effect?

#69 Von Reddinbocker
September/2/2010
@ 8:48 pm

Ohhh Randy you sure cut to the core on that one……you and your cronies are acting like a bunch of Scientologists.

All cartoonists want to earn a living off of their craft. the point made over and over is to work hard at doing what we love and rewards will follow. because if your work doesn’t speak for itself it won’t sell. period.

Saying his book is for “pro’s” is really just bait and a hook for the inexperienced. We called it for what it is in private. try and smear us.

#70 Rob Tracy
September/2/2010
@ 9:33 pm

As I said in person DJ. Congrats on the book. I know you’ve been working on it for awhile.

Don’t let the haters get you down. Just do your thing. ;)

#71 Randy Cantrell
September/2/2010
@ 9:36 pm

I’ve personally purchased cartoons from some of my favorites like Jerry Van Amerongen. Cartoons are all over my studio and I happily supported these artists by paying them. I happen to think they deserve to earn a living by their creativity and craft.

As for “working hard and the rewards will follow” – to quote Dr. Phil, “How’s that workin’ out for ya?” Many people work hard, but do not earn what they’re worth. The world is full of hard working people who struggle to earn a full-time income. Success demands much more.

Marketing and selling aren’t the evil some of you may think – any more than art is necessarily made more valuable because the artist is starving. I know marketers who are crooks. I also know musicians and artists who are, too. And I know people who have high integrity.

Scott, I hope attacking people works out for you. Perhaps anger fuels your art. I prefer to find my fuel sources from more positive emotions.

Personally, I hope more artists – cartoonists in particular – find ways to earn full-time income from their craft…because I happen to have a lifelong love affair with the medium.

All the best. Thanks for allowing me to chime in.
Randy

#72 Von Reddinbocker
September/2/2010
@ 9:58 pm

Its worked out real fine for me Rand ol boy. Bet my resume trumps yours….

#73 Von Reddinbocker
September/2/2010
@ 10:03 pm

BTW Randy throwing smart alec comments like getting the communist memo…..does not make what you say now any nicer.

#74 Rob DenBleyker
September/3/2010
@ 1:36 am

Hey, I don?t really post here often but I read the DC quite a bit and felt compelled to comment. I’m not going to speak about the book because I haven’t read it, but I find the tone of the promo page kind of deceitful.

If it?s a book about the business end of web comics, that?s fantastic. I know you have a lot of experience, and good pointers to give. But instead of pitching this to talented artists lacking business skills, or online cartoonists who suddenly find an audience and don?t know what to do with it, it seems like you?re pitching it to people who “have a good understanding of computers, software and the internet”. I don?t know if it?s intentional, but it comes off as a book for anyone.

I earn a living off of my web comic but I would never promise other people that they can do the same by following some advice that?s so secret it costs 50 bucks. Too much of it is up to chance. My guide to turning an online comic into a career would be “make something that doesn?t suck, have fun with it, then seek business advice if it starts getting popular”, not “15 proven methods to make money”. That implies a guarantee.

I?m not going to knock the book because I?m sure it?s got solid advice, but the way you?re marketing it is obnoxious, with the whole “and now you can do it too!” philosophy permeating the title, tagline, and summary page. Even if it?s a tongue in cheek homage, it?s still misleading.

#75 Stephen Beals
September/3/2010
@ 1:37 am

I don’t think anybody regards marketing as evil.

Marketing is very important. It’s so important that marketing itself is a big business. That’s why people in any field have to be careful how they spend their money. If you’re a one man show, you have to be especially picky.

The company I work for represents auto dealers. Can you think of a worse product to try and market right now than automobiles? They just had their worst month in 27 years. They’re on the front lines of the bad economy. Despite that, and despite the fact that we have our own marketing director, the owners are bombarded weekly by people with new ways to market cars. Social networking, contests, blow up animal-shaped balloons tied to the cars … the works. Everybody is looking at everybody else to see what is working and it really boils down to your product and the incentives you’re offering.

If you have a really unique comic idea, like Axe Cop, it may just take off on its own. If you believe in your comic and you like what you’re doing, then you will have to stick with it consistently and build your audience. Look around and see what people are doing that works.

But never spend a dime unless you can afford to lose that dime.

#76 W. D. Blankenship Jr.
September/3/2010
@ 2:09 am

Hey, gang! I wanted to share the free preview of DJ’s eBook so you can all see for yourselves how it’s not completely worthless at all!

http://djcoffman.com/cash4cartoonists.pdf

#77 Gar Molloy
September/3/2010
@ 3:43 am

Marketing’s kind of a tricky beast, you can be all “Hey! Read Neko the Kitty and share it on Facebook!” and the internet will ignore you until you manage to get a good spokesperson to tell them to read Neko the Kitty and share it on Facebook.

It’s all about generating word-of-mouth. Once you start getting a bit of buzz going, that becomes self-perpetuating as long as you keep pumping out quality content. Axe Cop didn’t ‘take off on its own’ it just had a particularly brilliant pitch – a comic written by a five-year-old boy and illustrated by his thirty-year-old graphic designer brother. I know that got ME curious, and the strip delivered on its promise. Effective hook – quality content. That gets noticed, and passed around.

It’s getting the ball rolling that’s the tricky part, where you have to be absolutely shameless in your marketing (it helps to have a”product you’re genuinely proud of). Once you get someone the reader trusts to make a recommendation, then you have the attention of that reader, and have to work to keep it. From there you build their trust by providing consistent quality content that they keep coming back to. Once they’ve established a relationship with your site and they trust you, they’ll be in a position to be willing to buy stuff if you ask them to. In theory it’s really very simple.

The DJ Coffman thing is being quite well marketed. There’s certainly a lot of discussion about it. Mr Kurtz is helping – he’s expressing his disapproval of the product, and the Coffman camp is making ad hominem attacks on him to detract from his credibility. This course that just wants to help you for the low low cost of just $47 now has a heroic narrative and a big “powerful” enemy with enough fans to be a worthy foe, and enough people who hate him to want to place themselves into that narrative.

#78 Gar Molloy
September/3/2010
@ 3:59 am

(First you get the Women, then you get the Power, THEN you get the Money…)

#79 Gar Molloy
September/3/2010
@ 4:19 am

It occurs to me, Mr Coffman, that you may be selling the wrong thing. You’re advertising business consulting free when you get the book, where it might be less contentious to sell the book on its own (at a lower price, as you are already considering), but offer it free when someone hires you for a business consultancy session?

(Sorry for the multiple posts, I keep thinking of things after I think I’m done)

#80 Jason Nocera
September/3/2010
@ 6:40 am

Point one – the market will dictate whether the price is too high for DJ’s book. Maybe he’d rather sell 4 copies of the book and make $200 than try to get 40 people to buy it for $5.00. In the end, it’s DJ’s decision and he can always adjust it later. A high price tag might also cut down on the illegal sharing. If I’m spending $47 on it – I’m not giving it away to someone else for free.

Point two – the arguement that everything in the book can be found on the Internet is a stupid one. You can’t find what you haven’t thought about. The idea of the book is to open up new ideas that haven’t crossed your mind.

Point three- his book isn’t just about promoting a webcomic. It’s about making money as a cartoonist and illustrator. Most of you are so narrow-focused on your webcomic that this book doesn’t make sense for you. This is for an open-minded cartoonist who wants to make a living with their art.

Point four – webcartoonists have cluttered up the internet so much that unfortunately the idea of “If you build it, they will come” is getting more and more far-fetched each day. You have to be seen first and then retain the readers with quality.

Lastly – DJ has a chapter on SEO. I haven’t read it – but if it gives some of the tips that I already know – it would be well worth the price for most of you. I’ve looked at a lot of your homepages and they show a surprising lack of SEO knowledge. Ted Rall’s site included.

And no, I haven’t bought the book yet. I haven’t had time to read the preview. I’m not sure if it’s worth it for me or not.

#81 Gar Molloy
September/3/2010
@ 6:56 am

It only takes one person to share a file. After that, it’s Shared and will propagate.

Signed up to receive the first five tips free. Testimonials so far have been that the tips are worth at least $47 each, so if I make $47 I wouldn’t otherwise have gotten, then that’s going into Coffman’s coffers.

#82 Adam Casalino
September/3/2010
@ 7:46 am

@Gar, ah I always love a good Homer quote!

#83 Dave Shabet
September/3/2010
@ 8:32 am

I paid $47 for an electronic book and all I got was one-on-one counseling with a man who lost the rights to his own IP.

#84 Frank Pauer
September/3/2010
@ 9:54 am

Sorry — just got back from my shift at the spats factory.

Did I miss anything?

#85 Rob DenBleyker
September/3/2010
@ 10:38 am

To be fair, you can’t really consider this a book. At 24 pages it’s more of a pamphlet.

And with such indispensable advice as “get a scanner”, how can you not afford to drop $50 on it?

It’s fairly safe to assume your one-on-one sessions are the hook here, DJ. You may want to drop the pamphlet portion or at least re-brand the product like Gar mentioned.

This is like selling a lollipop for $120 with a free dentist visit.

#86 Stephen Beals
September/3/2010
@ 11:28 am

@Gar You described, perfectly, Axe Cop taking off on its own. I guess announcing your presence is a slight form of marketing, but I wasn’t attracted to it because of a marketing campaign. That’s all I meant.

#87 Corey Pandolph
September/3/2010
@ 12:42 pm

If you lemmings would start thinking for yourselves, instead of paying guys like Kurtz and Coffman to do it for you, none of this would matter.

You all cry and moan that these guys are disrespectful to the business when you’re the ones keeping them relevant by arguing petty points and shelling out cash for their opinions.

The “Submit” button in these comments should be changed to “Take the bait!”

Jeez.

Beer,

Corey Pandolph

#88 Dave Stephens
September/3/2010
@ 12:54 pm

Said the lemming.
Who took the bait.

#89 Stephen Beals
September/3/2010
@ 1:16 pm

I agree that commenting can be a series of endless debates, but at its best it’s a chance to talk to other cartoonists. In this particular case, I thought it was necessary to spread a word of caution because I’ve seen too many people unnecessarily part with their money.

The irate “Why are you people commenting?” seems to be the new way of winding down these threads. At least I contributed to that yet again.

#90 Shane Davis
September/3/2010
@ 1:46 pm

Hmmm…how can I work illegal immigration and Sarah Palin’s legitimacy into this? I really wanna see the post count go up to two or three hundred…

#91 Derf Backderf
September/3/2010
@ 2:10 pm

What I really like about this thread is Ted chiming in on a webcomics pyramid scheme again… from a mud hut in Afghanistan!… and no one finds that at all unusual!

#92 Dave Stephens
September/3/2010
@ 3:24 pm

Anyone who truly makes a living drawing cartoons is an “expert,” whether political cartoons, cartoons for magazines, graphic novels, comic books, caricatures or webcomics. Or whatever.

If an actual “expert” currently making a living using his cartooning and business skills writes a pamphlet containing usefull suggestions to cartoonists, that is a GOOD thing. I haven’t purchased his pamphlet, so I don’t know how good it is. But as far as I can tell, he did/does make a living at it. So he might have some good stuff in there, though if the info is, as Kurt said, “Third Tribe Marketing” focused, I myself have no interest in it.

Now if there is SEO info in there, that is very important. I make a living, such as it is, by drawing caricatures at events and drawing cartoons for publication and the Web. I can say first hand that SEO is extremely important – within months, my business increased by more than 20% when I focused on improving in that area.

SEO = Search Engine Optimiztion = clients can more easily find you.

Of course, if I WASN’T making a living drawing funny pictures, I doubt SEO improvement would mean diddly squat. YMMV

#93 W. D. Blankenship Jr.
September/3/2010
@ 5:12 pm

“Hey, gang! I wanted to share the free preview of DJ?s eBook so you can all see for yourselves how it?s not completely worthless at all!”

I did not post this. Someone posted it using my name and possibly my email address. I didn’t even have that link on hand to post, nor was I interested in the discussion really. If I find out who posted this is who I think posted this, I’m going to be very upset with that person for using my name.

3!LL <That's how you know I didn't post the previous messagwe using my name and website, I always sign my posts like this.

#94 Gar Molloy
September/3/2010
@ 5:13 pm

@Stephen: Announcing your presence to the Right People. Ethan Nicolle didn’t just spring from the aether with Axe Cop, he had a bit of industry clout from his existing work which he was able to leverage to get people with popular sites to take him seriously enough to look at his stuff. Reputation is the first tool of marketing, after all

Think about it, did you click through to my site earlier when I was going on about it? I’m just some schmuck on a message board, my recommending my own comic doesn’t carry much weight. If Wil Wheaton said he liked it, however, the server would probably explode.

#95 W. D. Blankenship Jr.
September/3/2010
@ 5:33 pm

?Hey, gang! I wanted to share the free preview of DJ?s eBook so you can all see for yourselves how it?s not completely worthless at all!?

I did not post this. Someone posted it using my name and possibly my email address. I didn?t even have that link on hand to post, nor was I interested in the discussion really. If I find out who posted this is who I think posted this, I?m going to be very upset with that person for using my name.

3!LL <That's how you know I didn't post the previous message using my name and website, I always sign my posts like this.

#96 W. D. Blankenship Jr.
September/3/2010
@ 5:47 pm

I just want to make it CLEAR, I did not post the link to DJ Coffman’s Book preview. I cannot reach Mr. Coffman so I can only assume two things. 1:Someone who has my email and web address is playing games, or 2: D.J. Coffman Fraudulently used my person to sell his book in this comments section. This is an even sadder fact that I was actually interested in purchasing this book. It seems though, to my best guess, that Mr. Coffman has Fraudulently used my name and person by including my email address and Web Address to make it appear as I had written a comment in support of his book.

#97 W. D. Blankenship Jr.
September/3/2010
@ 5:53 pm

I am speaking to D.J. Coffman now and he claims that it was not he who posted it, and that he will speak to the owner of the site to find the IP Address of whoever posted it. That person will then be charged by me with fraud.

#98 DJ Coffman
September/3/2010
@ 5:56 pm

@Blankenship That surely was not me and I can’t figure how you’d come to that conclusion. I know we spoke on twitter and I know you from Pittsburghs comics scene… I’m gonna send an email to Alan now to get this sorted out. he’ll be able to tell you the IP address of whoever posted that.

#99 Dave Stephens
September/3/2010
@ 6:36 pm

Marketing really IS a tricky beast… Heh.

#100 Stephen Beals
September/3/2010
@ 8:31 pm

@Gar, Yes, I’ve clicked through to your work, Gar. But you make a good point. Still, Axe Cop had to actually be good to take off that way.

@Derf, I was thinking it was cool that Ted was writing from Afghanistan, but I don’t think I’d be surprised if he was writing in while getting a tour of the space station. That’s dedication.

#101 W. D. Blankenship Jr.
September/4/2010
@ 12:10 am

@D.J. Coffman
The person has been found and with the help of his ISP I’ll have all the information I need. I’m sorry to have assumed it was you. I had just discovered this upon waking so I may not have been in the most critical mindframe.

#102 Ted Rall
September/4/2010
@ 4:30 pm

I got screwed when I was just starting out. That’s why I don’t like to see young cartoonists get ripped off. It’s hard enough getting started. They don’t need opportunists taking their money,

#103 Jerry Cohen
September/4/2010
@ 9:50 pm

Just wanted to chime in here as someone who actually bought DJs book and say I found it really thought provoking and will be helpful to me in the future. Its already helped me land one job i never thought of. For those who haven’t read the full ebook and are bashing it how can you judge?

What made me buy was the few other people who said they read it and thought they could get their money back on it by trying just one thing, and I was curious to see if that would be true for me, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t actually make a $150 sale yesterday on something I never even thought of doing before. In my case that was doing a custom thank you card for a local business I’m involved with, and now they’ve connected me to my local chamber of commerce director who needs work done for some big fall festival campaigns.

I think more than anything Coffmans advice gets your brain in the right thinking mode for making more money with your art. I never really thought about it all that much before, but it just starts to click. Well worth my money and then some.

#104 Shaenon Garrity
September/5/2010
@ 1:35 pm

$50 so a webcartoonist I’ve never heard of can send me a PDF of a pamphlet and promise to maybe email me sometime (that’s the “one-on-one counseling,” right?). Damn, the bottom-feeders are getting desperate in this economy.

#105 Rob Tracy
September/5/2010
@ 5:52 pm

Shaenon that “bottom feeder” created a webcomic that got popular enough that someone optioned it to make a TV show (who knows if it will ever happen but at least it got optioned). I know you’re pretty accomplished yourself but that doesn’t mean you get to ignore his accomplishments just because you don’t agree with one of his business enterprises. I call foul! Foul I say!

#106 Jason Nocera
September/5/2010
@ 7:32 pm

That’s what makes the Web Cartoonist community so special – the comradery.

#107 Ted Rall
September/5/2010
@ 11:57 pm

Optioned TV shows are a dime a dozen. Actually, less: Most options don’t even pay a penny nowadays.

#108 Scott Kurtz
September/6/2010
@ 12:50 am

His property was probably optioned before he even pitched it to Platinum. That company was searching for cheap IP that it could shotgun against the wall and hope something stuck.

They probably had deals in place before they started the first comic book challenge.

#109 Gar Molloy
September/6/2010
@ 2:55 am

@Stephen Beals: Ouch! That’s some thinly veiled criticism. Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

Mr Krahulik – entirely at your discretion of course – as an experiment in wise uses of amateur cartoonists’ money, I will offer you $47 for a single PA blog link. The full $97 if it goes to your charity.

I know it’d kill my site in the short term, but it’s one heck of a way to settle a debate!

#110 Rob Tracy
September/6/2010
@ 5:25 am

Gar, that would be a wise use of money!

I’ll take two. I’ll take a $97 link from Penny Arcade and a $47 link from PvP. Let me know where to send the checks guys.

And since I’m in a spending mood… Ted I’ll take a dozen options for my IP’s for a dime (the fact that a dime a dozen IS less than a penny per isn’t just math it’s MATH!) and if you have further discounted them I’d like to order a bakers dozen with two in the month of March. The press from getting optioned would be a wonderful boost to my comics.

You can make that happen right Ted? What am I saying…I’m sure it’s happened for you so many times you just have to pick up phone. Have their people call my people. We’ll do lunch.

It’s funny you guys are focusing on the TV option instead of Shaenon’s outrageous claim that DJ, one of the best known webcomics guys in the business, is some kind of bottom feeder. You know better; and shame on you.

Penny Arcade has admitted repeatedly in interviews that they signed away their business on several occasions yet they are the 800 pound gorilla of Webcomics now. Scott, didn’t just about the whole world want to throttle you and Brad when you completely pooched the transition to pay model for Webcomics.com? And look how well that has turned out so far.

Now you guys are haranguing DJ when people who have bought the book are already coming in here and saying it helped them. So what’s the real deal here? Ted says it’s a rip off and due to traumatic early career memories he’s having flashbacks associated with having to eat Ramen noodles for a month in college when he paid for that seminar that guaranteed him a job drawing dirty comics for Penthouse and it didn’t deliver, but he hasn’t read DJ’s book (I assume you didn’t pay the $47 Ted… does Paypal work in Tehran?). Scott is in direct competition with his book and site and we all know doesn’t like DJ because of their never ending public pissing match, so there’s that. Mike is Scott’s friend so that explains that.

Has anyone who has actually bought and read the book had a problem with it’s content and services?

#111 Gar Molloy
September/6/2010
@ 9:09 am

Damn it Tracy you’ll quare the deal!
$97 to ChildsPlay is a token exchange rather than a straight buy. I’m just being a cheeky Irish bastard; PA doesn’t need my money, but the real value’s in being a bollix anyway – I’m trying to trade sh-ts for giggles here!

#112 Rob Tracy
September/6/2010
@ 10:22 am

On the humor exchange sh-ts are trading 3-1 for giggles.

#113 Ted Rall
September/6/2010
@ 10:38 am

The press from getting optioned would be a wonderful boost to my comics.

You can make that happen right Ted? What am I saying?I?m sure it?s happened for you so many times you just have to pick up phone. Have their people call my people. We?ll do lunch.

No, I can’t make it happen. Getting optioned requires Hollywood types deciding they like your work.

But yes, I’ve been optioned. Several times. So have many of my friends. Total Big Deal Factor to getting optioned: zero.

You might think that saying it was optioned would help your strip, but really, that’s just not true. Everyone knows options are not the somewhat-big-deal they once were, so the hype doesn’t work.

#114 Josh McDonald
September/6/2010
@ 11:04 am

Basically, getting optioned is Hollywood’s way of saying, “Someday we might want to do something, and that something might possibly look enough like your thing here that it could create legal problems for us. And our lawyers tell us these papers will cover our collective buttocks, so you need to sign them.”

#115 Rob Tracy
September/6/2010
@ 11:34 am

So someone in Hollywood liked “Hero By Night?” So Scott’s wrong that it wasn’t optioned before it was even created? And I’m sure they would option it if it was crap with no existing audience too. Right? Because regardless of how the rest of the world feels about it THEY liked it.

And the press release in Variety and all the coverage Platinum got when it was announced, I’m sure, didn’t direct any eyeballs to the comic at all. I’m sure their readership remained completely unchanged. And when I say “I’m sure” that means I seriously doubt it.

And still we’re on the option instead of the real issue which is the marginalizing of DJ and his work for the sake of discrediting his e-book offering.

You guys are a trip. Warning people off of something you haven’t even read.

You know it occurs to me that you could learn pretty much everything in Scott’s book on line and through other people in the business if you wanted to put in the time. And yet I recommend it to people all the time because its all in one place and makes a great reference (although it could use a new volume or update). How is that so different from what DJ is doing? Combine a new copy of “How To Make Webcomics” with a year sub to Webcomics.com and you’ve pretty much got the same price (within a buck or two) of what DJ is charging.

Once again… has anyone who has read the book been unhappy with the content or services provided? Because so far I haven’t heard from one disgruntled customer and several who are very satisfied. Right here in this very thread.

#116 Scott kurtz
September/6/2010
@ 12:25 pm

Rob,

Stop it. You’re more of an adult than this. You know the score better than this. And you’ve accomplished nothing which is why you’re so eager to pick a fight.

DJ won a contest. Got paid good money to write and draw a comic for a year by a company that purchases intellectual property for the sole purpose of optioning EVERYTHING and thus attempting to increase their chances that SOMETHING sticks.

Cowboys and Aliens stuck. And now everyone else who sold away their IP is liked to the curb and the comic company that promised to revolutionize the web is bankrupt.

Thats why we say options are a dime a dozen because they are. Which is why Platinum held a contest to draw in cheap IP to vomit towards Hollywood.

I hate to sound like an old man telling the kids to keep it down but please. The grown ups are talking.

#117 Rob Tracy
September/6/2010
@ 1:48 pm

Scott,

if you’re waiting for the day that I come looking to you for acknowledgement of my accomplishments you’ve got a long wait. Nice “voice of reason” tone you’ve got going there though, bet that’s a new experience for you.

Congrats on the Harvey by the way.

I’m not eager to pick a fight. If I was I would have taken all the bait you’ve left for me over the last few months. I mean, aren’t you the guy who sang a song to me (with Straub singing backup of course) about what a douchebag you think I am?

Grown up indeed.

How did I respond to that? I laughed. Because you’re a funny guy. Usually.

But any time anyone dismisses someone else’s work without even reading it, it pisses me off.

I actually had a VERY similar conversation with one of my members at Webcomics Community when they dismissed your book without reading it.

I don’t even know DJ that well. The majority of my contact with him has been watching you two hack and slash at each other. But I like his work. And I don’t like seeing people dismiss something I’ve liked as valueless in their arbitrary bank of what is and what is not good enough for him to sell his advice to others.

Who cares if options are good or not. I wish I hadn’t even brought it up since it just gives those of you looking to tear the man down a different drum to beat in an attempt to distract from the issue which is the man has put out a book of advice to help artists make money and you’re crapping all over it without even having read it.

So once again…. actual customers seem happy so far.

#118 Scott Kurtz
September/6/2010
@ 3:59 pm

@rob

I doubt anyone desperate enough to take part in DJ’s multi-leveling-marketing project would ever complain about the product. I’m not sure that’s a very good position for your argument.

When most professional level cartoonists look at his presentation, free preview and promises of “coaching” and you can HEAR the eyes rolling, that speaks volumes.

You know, people like YOU and DJ spend hours criticizing How To Make Webcomics and Webcomics.com, calling it a rip-off and selling promises to desperate cartoonists. Now you’re defending this infomercial on his site. It’s beyond pathetic.

I mean, what does it say when Ted Rall, Wiley and Scott Kurtz all unanimously agree on something? Seriously.

#119 JP Trostle
September/6/2010
@ 4:14 pm

You only need one more horseman to get the Apocalypse rolling?

#120 Stephen Beals
September/6/2010
@ 8:14 pm

@Gar, My response to your post was “huh?” Then I reread my post and …. NO! That’s not what I meant at all. I just meant that I have a habit of clicking links, including yours.

Neko the Kitty is cool.

Reason #89 why I shouldn’t comment (I really need to remember the other 88).

#121 Lisa Williams
September/6/2010
@ 9:34 pm

Mark me down as another satisfied customer. I found this thread after searching for “cash for Cartoonists” . I’ve never heard of any of these critics who haven’t read the book, but I am a big fan of Jim Rugg, Lora Innes and Dan Taylor who have read the book and are professionals. Those testimonials by other pros kinda put these petty arguments to rest. Just sounds like Scott is trying to sell his own book and website here in this comment section and it comes across as really petty and pathetic to me.

#122 Scott Kurtz
September/6/2010
@ 10:15 pm

Lisa,

So wait…you were looking for how to make “cash as a cartoonist” and that Google search lead you to this thread? And that’s where you learned about DJ’s ebook and you found it a great product?

I’m sorry, I’m just finding that hard to swallow.

– Are you a cartoonist?
– Could you link us to your cartoon work?
– Are you a member of the Third Tribe?

In fact, could everyone in here defending DJ’s book who is also a member of the third tribe marketing community just raise their hands for us?

#123 Stephen Beals
September/6/2010
@ 10:37 pm

Scott didn’t bring up “his” book and “his” website (which are group efforts). Others, like me, brought it up as an inexpensive alternative for people wanting information. That’s not pathetic. That’s responsible.

#124 guy endore-kaiser
September/7/2010
@ 12:57 am

I just found this thread after searching for “dorks fighting nerds”.

#125 Andrew Farago
September/7/2010
@ 1:38 am

I’m curious about what kind of consultation you get for your $47. I’ve spent hundreds of hours offering advice to up-and-coming (and sometimes veteran) cartoonists over the years, and I’ve never charged a dime, especially since it often boils down to “make sure you have some kind of online portfolio” and “do your best to meet other artists in your area so that you can hit them up for advice on a peer-to-peer basis.”

Like Ted said earlier, cartoonists are really accessible people. Go to a comic convention, find someone whose work you like, offer to buy them lunch, and you’ll learn a lot. If you don’t want to go that route (or don’t have travel/convention funds), e-mail a few artists and strike up some conversations online. If you catch the right artist at the right time, you’ll get all your questions answered.

FYI: My first question when people hit me up for advice on being a cartoonist? “Have you actually drawn anything yet?” Nine times out of ten, the answer is “No, but I’ve got an idea…” Before you buy the self-help seminar or ask your favorite artist for advice, get at least a month’s worth of strips first. You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) how many people ask me about movie options or agents before they’ve even put a single line on paper.

#126 Ted Rall
September/7/2010
@ 1:47 am

@Andrew: Amen. When I was at United, I got calls every day from would-be “cartoonists” who worried about copyrighting their idea lest someone steal it. I put “cartoonists” in quotes because they hadn’t actually drawn a single cartoon.

A month’s worth of samples is good advice, but that month should be the best of at least one year’s worth of material. At least. Two or three years worth would be better.

These new posters are incredibly suspicious. Alan, again, I implore you to only allow professional cartoonists to post here.

#127 Gar Molloy
September/7/2010
@ 2:17 am

@Stephen Beals: Don’t worry about it, no offense taken :)

@Scott Kurtz: I actually signed up on webcomics.com in part based on Rob Tracy’s recommendation over on the webcomics community board, so you’re lashing out without justification there. He was annoyed webcomics.com moved behind a paywall, but in public at least he’s got nothing but good things to say about the book and site.

Off topic, I know, but Rob’s a nice guy who turned me into a paying customer of yours, so stop disembowelling him. He needs those.

I do like that nobody’s contested the proposition that a single Penny Arcade blog link is worth more than the DJ Coffman book and coaching combined.

#128 Gar Molloy
September/7/2010
@ 2:26 am

“Alan, again, I implore you to only allow professional cartoonists to post here.”

Please don’t start the ‘what constitutes a professional cartoonist’ argument again Mr Rall! Webcomics exist whether we have a right to it or not. Mr Kurtz is having a pissing contest with Mr Coffman in this thread, he can have another pissing contest with You when he’s done.

#129 Mike Peterson
September/7/2010
@ 4:02 am

?Alan, again, I implore you to only allow professional cartoonists to post here.?

1. There is such a site, you know. Another would seem duplicative — hardly a crime on the Internet, but still unnecessary.

2. There should be a place where less accomplished cartoonists and well-informed fans can become better informed. Until somewhat recently, this was it.

3. The fans and wannabes here do not seem to have captured a corner on stupid remarks. I think some of the “professional cartoonists” are keeping up quite well in that regard.

4. Toontalk requires participants to register, which keeps the trolling and drive-by wisecracks to a minimum and the conversation … um … well, somehow the traffic there has slowed to a crawl. I don’t know why. But you could remedy that by going over there and posting in a more controlled environment.

I don’t know what Alan can do to restore decorum around here, but the obvious steps don’t seem to work. Meanwhile, walking away from a thread remains an option for everyone.

#130 Gar Molloy
September/7/2010
@ 4:32 am

…and we’re derailed.

Restoring decorum is why I’m calling everyone Mister; It’s to encourage civility by drawing a distinction between Friends and Peers. Also it’s pleasingly anachronistic. Give it a try!

#131 Keith Brown
September/7/2010
@ 6:37 am

Mr. Rall said:
“These new posters are incredibly suspicious. Alan, again, I implore you to only allow professional cartoonists to post here”

As an amateur who enjoys this site and looks up to the pro’s, I’m am more than a little annoyed at that statement.
Some of the “pro’s” posting here are acting like children. If I ever do become a pro, I’ll try to act like a grown up.
I don’t know this DJ and porbably won’t buy his product. For those who do wnat to buy it, more power to them and to DJ.
Maybe all the info he gives is available free on the web, but for some folks it might be worth $47 to have it all compiled.

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