Fleen on SPLAT! and ‘Webcomics: A Primer’
Over at Fleen, Gary Tyrrell has a great write-up of SPLAT!, the recent Graphic Novel Symposium, but his coverage of the "Webcomics: A Primer" panel is an infinitely interesting read.
Panel guests included Dean Haspiel, Raina Telgemeier, Rich Stevens, and Ted Rall, as well as Collen Venable, who moderated the event. According to Tyrrell’s report, the discussion hit all of the expected talking points regarding webcomics (what makes a webcomic, definition of webcomickers vs. cartoonists, etc.), but when the conversation turned to the conomics of online comics, well… let’s just say that it sounds like things got really interesting.
Rall jumped in with both feet:
"If I were in charge of the world … I would force everything offline. All cartoonists, all newspapers, no more archives, nothing. And every cartoonist would make fifteen times as much money. Giving it away, I think it’s insane and stupid."
For those who remember the qualifications that Rall made at SPX last fall, where a similar statement was couched in terms of specifically editorial cartoonists, there was no such qualification this time. It was a blanket statement, and it was made while sitting next to one of the strongest proponents of a business model where you (quoting now) "Give away a ton of stuff, and edit down to things of value [that you can sell]."
And that’s not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Tyrrell’s excerpts from the discussion. While I can only assume that the discussion remained civil, it certainly reads as if participants were getting a bit heated in their debate regarding webcomic economics. Even better, the discussion seems to have moved to the comment section of Tyrrell’s post, where Rall, Stevens and a host of webcomic creators chime in with their thoughts on the webcomic business model.
For anyone interested in the webcomics scene, Tyrrell’s post — and the subsequent comment thread — are must-read material.