Carson Fire Takes On His Critics

In response to wide-ranging discussion over his recent art sale (where Carson Fire discussed the potential removal of parts of his archives if he was not able to raise sufficient funds to pay the rent), Carson Fire has pledged to spend this week “goof[ing] on Carson Fire’s archive deletion scandal.”

The strips are actually part of Fire’s new daily gag strip at the Elf Life website, Garden Gnome.

Uncategorized

Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.

18 Comments

  1. Can someone help me out and summarize the controversy in a 50-words-or-less type arrangement?

    Cause if I’m reading it right, he basically said (A) “If I don’t make enough money from selling my art” (B) “I’ll have to make less of my art available for free.”

    There’s controversy over this?

  2. There can be controversy over anything in webcomics, apparently. Usually said controversy makes matters worse.

    I don’t think the controversy, beyond people’s personal disagreement, was necessary at all. But “free” on the internet doesn’t seem to mean “oh, for me?” – rather, it means “gimme gimme!”.

  3. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with the situation that had occurred to spawn all of this. I do understand and sympathize with the emotions that led to the “situation.” Not everyone understands that most webcomics are not thrown together in 5 minutes and the creator of that webcomic goes on with his life. There is as much commitment to making webcomics (in some cases) as there is penciling Capt. Spandex for one of the “Big Two.” There’s quite possibly even more commitment. You have to wear many hats and the rewards are tragically limited.
    Going ***** crazy is also part of that. The more committed you are, the crazier you may likely be. I’ve howled at the moon many nights wondering why I’m doing this and why I can’t even afford a 6 pack! Carson has been giving his stuff away for free a lot longer than most. Give the guy a break. Remember, there’s a life going on beyond, and behind the ink and pixels.

  4. Well, I have to say I sympathize with him on some level. I recently tried a fundraising trick of my own over at Jeremy a few weeks back where I put ten pieces on eBay. These pieces were no different than others which had garnered $20-$25 apiece in private sales or commissions, but they only averaged between five and eight bucks each when sold on eBay.

    Nature of the beast, I suppose – eBay buyers are looking for deals as well as merchandise. I chalked it up to a humbling learning experience, and am moving on …

    (Thirty bucks for a sketchbook page? Oh weh es mir, PLEASE tell me that’s hyperbole. I’ve gotten commissioned works from established comic book artist for less …)

  5. I think the one thing Carson failed to realize when he put his work up for auction is the law of supply and demand. If he was disappointed that each work was selling for so little then he either A)should not have auctioned it, or B)not put so much of it up for sale.

    For every 1000 readers your comic gets you’ve probably only got 10 who actually be willing to buy something and for every 100 that will buy something there’s probably only 10 who will be willing to pay “big bucks” for something. So there’s never that many buyers who will be willing to part with the “big bucks” for your work. If you flood the market (especially in an auction environment) with more works than there are buyers it’s only natural to expect the prices each work sells for to be somewhat depressed.

    Now was Carson upset because he wasn’t making a lot of money, or was he upset because he felt his work was being undervalued? If he was upset because he wasn’t making a lot of money, well… there are better ways to make money than webcomic art when you find youself in a pinch. If he was upset because he felt his work was being undervalued then he either should have sold it at a set price he felt it was work, or not put as much of it up for sale.

    As for what do I think about Carson’s threat to pull his archives if he doesn’t get more money from his readers. I don’t really see how it effects me in my world. Personally it is not something I would ever do. I don’t know why I would punish my readers because of my own financual failings. I don’t see how it’s his readers’ fault that he wasn’t able to pay his rent that month. I suppose it would be different if his readers drove his bandwidth expenses up so high that he couldn’t keep the comic’s archive online without more financual assistance from the readers. But Carson’s bandwidth is paid for by the same company that pays for my bandwidth.

    A weird situation, to be sure, but like I said, I’m not Carson and whatever it is he does with his comic doesn’t really effect me much in my little world. Even if I was an Elf Life reader I’m not sure how threatening to delete the archives would effect me in any way. Seems the only people who would be effected by such an act would be newcomers to the comic who would likely stop reading since they wouldn’t know what was going on. So I’m really perplexed as to the outrage. I can understand perplexed amusement over it but not anger.

    I did get a big kick out of Hard’s April’s Fool’s Day take on the incident. Yakuza hookers… the classics never go out of style.

    Incidently, did Carson end up making enough money from this scheme to cover his rent that month? I can’t help but wonder too how much publicity and traffic this little incident generated for his comic. Maybe controversy is the way to go. I think I’ll start a campaign whereby I pledge to kill off a baby duck a day until my readers send me $100K in Paypal donations. I just won’t tell them that by “baby duck” I mean the cheap wine and by “kill off” I mean drink. Either way it’ll be a win-win situation.

  6. But “free” on the internet doesn’t seem to mean “oh, for me?” – rather, it means “gimme gimme!”.

    Why am I thinking about Teel McClanahan III?

  7. arggh! arrgh!

    doesn’t really effect me much in my little world. Even if I was an Elf Life reader I’m not sure how threatening to delete the archives would effect me in any way. Seems the only people who would be effected by such an act

    ‘effect’ /= ‘affect’

    Sorry for nitpicking, but that paragraph made my brain hurt.

  8. D’oh! I’m usually better than that too. Damnit, and I wasn’t even drinking today… unless you can get drunk off Dr. Pepper?

  9. No, that was never even close to being the issue, Nonny. The fact that you even have to ask that proves my point that people went overboard with distortions and unrelated issues in the different forums complaining about this.

    What you’re thinking about probably stems from the Pete Abrams argument, which I will try to reconstruct here despite its rickety framework: when successful webcartoonist Pete Abrams needs to raise money to pay server fees, he can count on numerous and proactive Sluggites to save the day without much prompting; ergo failed webcartoonist Carson Fire has no right to put some pressure on his far more limited readership to sell his art in order to make his rent while he’s getting ready to start a new job.

    This is related to the more general “webcartoonists have no right to make any money beyond their server fees” which has also incredibly been put forth. If this is true, every webcartoonist on Keenspace should Paypal every dime they ever made from their webcomic to Chris Crosby *today*.

  10. Basically, yeah.

    Which in and of itself is twitty enough, but he thinks way too highly of the stuff he’s selling. If he’s asking $30+ for pages torn out of sketchbooks, they better bloody well have Jesus Christ’s autograph on them in addition to the art.

    The part that really tickled me: the one where, when eBay was suggested as a place to sell his art, he complained that he put a “$30 drawing” up for auction and only got $10 for it. Nooooo, Carson, you put a $10 drawing that you thought was worth $30 on eBay and got what it was really worth.

  11. Dah… don’t start this again. Or at least give your name if you feel you must.

  12. I’ve personally found that the Carson bashers have been so nasty about it that I started feeling sympathetic to him after reading their comments. Anybody else share this experience?

    –Freak

  13. I thought his whole $$ arguement was that the archive was costing him money, but if it’s hosted on Keenspot, isn’t the bandwidth free for him?

    I’m confused. Was that not the issue?

  14. This is related to the more general “webcartoonists have no right to make any money beyond their server fees” which has also incredibly been put forth. If this is true, every webcartoonist on Keenspace should Paypal every dime they ever made from their webcomic to Chris Crosby *today*.

    Isn’t this what we already do?

Comments are closed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *