Scott Adams has announced on his blog that he is launching a web site to sell his original cartoons. He says that there is a limited number of original Dilbert strips because in his beginning years he used a water-based ink that fades and these last few years he’s been doing all the strips directly on the computer.
The only Dilbert originals suitable for sale are the ones created during a certain window when I used a permanent ink. I have framed a few of them, signed the mat with a drawing of Dogbert, and included in the frame a smaller finished version of the comic as it ran in newspapers. The originals are in pencil, with only the outside panels and the drawings inked-over. The text was later completed on the computer so it shows up as pencil on the original. The price is $1,500.
On the site, he’ll also be selling PowerPoint slide show of business related Dilbert comics that can be played as a background show during mixers, between events, etc. A license for an event (per event) is $800.
What also interests me about this news is, like his blog, he’s able to generate additional profit off of his feature without giving a split to the syndicate (that’s my guess). If so, it reinforces my new view that cartoonists that run their feature as a product and business get rich and those who view it as art continue to be “starving artists.”
11 thoughts on “Scott Adams launches web site to sell his originals”
I’ve always wondered how lucrative the collector’s market was for original strips of modern comics.
The market varies considerably depending on the feature. I approached Wiley Miller several years back about purchasing one of his originals and he quoted me about $200 (might have been $250) for a Non Sequitur original. I don’t know if that’s changed, but as you can see the market fluctuates quite a bit. I think Scott’s capitalizing on the fact that he has a limited supply of originals, his feature is hugely popular, and – at least for the $800 slide show) – the people who would buy it probably won’t blink twice to pay that much for it.
To give you an idea of how badly “Dilbert” originals fade, here’s an old Heritage Auction for a “Dilbert” original
You’ll need to register to view the full image, but it’s free.
“If so, it reinforces my new view that cartoonists that run their feature as a product and business get rich and those who view it as art continue to be â??starving artists.â?
A bit of a sweeping condemnation if you ask me. Plenty of cartoonists who view what they do as a business are financially unstable and many artists who revere the art form are very well off. I can list several in the cartooning world who work very hard to make their art the very best it can be and are excellent business people to boot.
Many artists who are purists regarding their art who would never “sell out” use that as an excuse for their lack of business savvy or the fact that what they’re offering nobody’s buying. Basically because it’s cr@p.
The same can be said of artists who approach their art as a business but their work isn’t very marketable becuase it isn’t very good.
It comes down to the product. If it’s good it will sell. That’s assuming you wish to sell it.
I don’t begrudge Scott Adams his success, and I actually enjoy his strip — he’s done a very good job for a long time. But after all his best-selling books, paraphernalia, and speaking engagements, how much more monetization does he really need? I’d like this better if he was offering to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Fund for Retired Cartoonists or something.
Maybe he’s already a very charitable person, I don’t know. But as I read it here, this smacks of unbridled greed — like a superstar athlete who wants to renegotiate his multi-multi-million-dollar contract.
I don’t know. If I could sell some line art for that price and maintain a straight face, I’d do it too. I say if he can get that much, more power to him!!
I agree. As long as your not compromising your storytelling or characters to make a quick buck, then go for it. Did Charles Shultz damage the integrity of Peanuts by selling his characters to whomever would buy them?
To answer your rhetorical question, Rob: Yes, I think the Peanuts characters did suffer from the innumerable (and sometimes bizarre) products they endorsed. After a while, you forget who Snoopy is; you just know he’s the one on the METLife ads.
That said, I don’t think selling original art is akin to using your characters to sell hand lotion. You aren’t changing the way people see your characters.
Hey, if he’s willing to part with those strips, then why not make some money? I’m just surprised that he’s asking so much for them. A lot of original comic pages (which is a fairly lucrative business) don’t go for that much. Well, if it works, good for Scott.
I have an original Scott Adams drawn in 1998 which I then had framed. It is a 2′ x 2′ image of the group of dilbert charcters and is slightly imperfect as one of the characters lower half is not drawn. I also have evidence of its creation as being authentic etc. I also had it well framed etc. Any idea of the value of such a thing?
A few notes. All businesses pass taxation on to their customers, if they want to continue to do business and HAVE customers. In reference to the idiots who think we should tax the rich…what a stupid idea. People gamble, play the lottery, and start businesses to BECOME rich, successful, and wealthy. If the Looterfest Mobocracy succeeds in persecuting and chasing-away all the gamblers, lottery players, and businesses, who will the looters loot then? Always remember, what you do to your friends, family, neighbors, and fellow human beings today…they get to do back to you tomorrow. How about them robot drone attacks on the men, women, and children of some-such-istans…is it no wonder that America cannot collapse quickly enough for the rest of the humans on the planet?
Comments are closed.