Michael Jantze has announced that he has ended his relationship with his syndicate, King Features. The last installment of The Norm appeared in newspapers this past Sunday. Jantze had already begun to follow in the footsteps of Frank Cho by reprinting The Norm strips in comic book format and Jantze announced that The Norm Magazine would continue its bi-monthly publishing schedule (Issue #5 is due next month).
Jantze, however, will continue to post completed strips of The Norm on his website, thenorm.com, but he indicated that future work beyond the end of October will be dependent on other opportunities and what kind of revenues he can obtain from readers directly. In many ways Jantze’s website now reads exactly like any webtoonist who has never been syndicated. He is providing a daily update free, but additonal “features” are available only to those who donate and right now there is a plea from his wife on the site for fans to sign up for “subscriptions to The Norm.”
Without specifying numbers, Nicole Jantze states, “If enough people became members of TheNorm.com, I think we can convince Michael to keep drawing the strip — NEW STRIPS — beginning on November 1. Michael thinks I’m crazy. I would like to call myself a visionary. I truly believe that together we can break the cycle of syndicates and newspaper editors determining what comic strips we read. Here’s the deal: He has given me 6 weeks to do this. We have until October 31, 2004 to reach our goal.”