In its latest show On The Media, a radio show broadcast on NPR, covered among other things the current state of newspaper comic strips. The report, entitled Strip Down?, also looks at the impact of the internet on comic strips.
The comic strip has always competed with television and Hollywood for new talent, but ten years ago another player emerged, the Internet. Today lots of people are reading the comics on the Web, rather than in the newspapers. And this is something that worries all the cartoonists I spoke with.
Hilary Price, creator of Rhymes with Orange had this to say:
The only way that cartoonists make money is by the number of papers that they’re in, not by their Internet presence. So if you learn about the cartoon by seeing it in the Globe and then you look at it on line, and then the Globe cancels it, there’s not a lot of incentive for you to call up the Globe and shake your fists at them and scream and cry and that kind of thing.
Story found through the Digital strips blog.
I found it interesting that not only were webcomics not mentioned, but the Internet was at best looked upon as a stepping stone to print. At worst, it was a hindrance to the comic strip art form. One of the guests says, “lets get back to just being funny”, which is great, but a lot of early comics were adventure serials. It’s nice to see that the newspaper comic strip is doing so well, but they’re not the only game in town any more.
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