In what may be the broadest mainstream media exposure for a webcomic so far, Bryan Prindiville of Bassetville has been invited to appear on NBC’s Today Show this Thursday, July 7th. Although the focus of the segment is not webcomics, Bryan has been told that he may show off his comic strip and give the address on national television.
The segment Bryan will be a part of is on mixed breeds of dogs which have developed a popular name, such as “schnoodles” and “cockapoos.” Bryan’s dog Frances is a “bagel,” or basset/beagle mix. Frances is the star of Bassetville, a very sweet animal-oriented humor strip which is closely related to Bryan’s real life involvement with basset hound rescue.
A story about Bassetville and Bryan recently ran in his hometown newspaper. This caught the attention of Today Show planners, who contacted him about an appearance. They will fly Bryan and Frances to New York to appear, and he has been told to bring samples of his comic and that he will be encouraged to talk about it on the air.
If all goes as planned, this will likely constitute the largest single media exposure for a webcomic in history. Although stories about webcomics have run in the major daily newspapers, and other media have sometimes turned their attention to one creator or another (such as Pete Abrams of Sluggy Freelance being interviewed for NPR), no webcomic has ever been promoted on national television.
Bryan is working with his webhost to brace for an onrush of traffic. In advertising terms, the worth of the exposure is in the tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars. It will be interesting to see what the resulting traffic boost, both short-term and long-term, will turn out to be.