Online Comics Vs. Printed Comics: A Study in E-Commerce and the Comparative Economies of Content by Todd Allen, examines revenue models for webcomics and contrasts them with the printed comics industry, concluding that webcomics may be a more viable option for emerging cartoonists. Allen talked to artists online and off including Bill Jemas (Marvel), Tony Panaccio (Crossgen), Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics) Robert Khoo (Penny Arcade), Joey Manley (Modern Tales) Jon Rosenberg (Goats) and R Stevens (Diesel Sweeties) about their respective business models.
The current paper can be read in its entirety online here (a printed copy can be purchased from the same website). Allen’s paper is a follow-up to his 2003 paper, Comics on the Internet: A Business Primer.
Allen has a Masterâ€™s degree in Internet Business & Media Convergence from New York University. Allen also covered the “Technology & the Arts” beat for the Chicago Tribuneâ€™s business section, writing about topics like streaming video, online circulation audits, and the economics of webcomics.
I think this paper is a testament to how quickly this business changes. Most of the information I’m looking at is already tremendously out of date, and some of the conclusions it reaches regarding certain business models have been supplanted by newer approaches.
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