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Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Scott McCloud emailed us this morning about an essay he wrote and posted to his website that is his response to the recent controversy over a documentary on digital commentscomics. The essay is titled "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology."

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Joey Manley posted a comment on the TAC blog.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Joey Manley's picture

Typo in the news post: documentary about digital "comments" instead of digital "comics".

Joey
www.moderntales.com

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Here is Cat's response.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Aleph's picture

I'm autistic, I ramble, deal :-p

The thing that really bothers me is that a lot of what he says is just wrong on its face. One, can someone point me to where they made fun of the Cat picture in the video? I have yet to see it. Nobody can point it out to me. The Age of Aquarius crack is dealt squarely at the floaty good-feeling 'we're revolutionizing the world' stuff, nowhere is that tied to Cat.

As for the hiding behind masks bit... does anybody remember that the characters in the PA strip weren't originally avatars of the creators anyhow? They didn't even have NAMES for a lot of the first year. I've known what they looked like for YEARS... their bloody webcams brought me that shocking image ;) Hiding behind masks doesn't wash, they do charity work and appear in person. The PAX pictures were up long before this controversy, too, for more recent readers.

And the insulting caricatures bit... can you point to anybody who's ever been depicted in the strip who's had a better likeness? Apart from Charles, who got an in-character two-story makeover. It's called caricature... and comparing the images McCloud posts to the images he points to, it seems like a pretty spot-on caricature. Nobody got on their case for being "uncool" to Rob Liefield.

Their opinion of BitPass and the 'revolution' is long since logged. Of COURSE they're going to snipe at anybody who makes a documentary lauding it. Taking this personally is out and out drama, and I gotta respect the fact that the only person who even has any CALL to take it personally was pretty late to chime in to that effect. Websnark took this personally on BEHALF of anybody involved, and so many people listened to the whining and identified with it that we're all a-tizzy.

How unspeakably maudlin.

I'm all for settling things with humour and expression. They got served. Quit shrieking and serve back!

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

I'm amazed at how much fuss is happening over a TRAILER. You'd think we were looking at the second coming or something. That documentary is getting a LOT of attention and generating a lot of discussion for 70 seconds of footage.

<a xhref="http://www.inniesandoutties.com">~leonard</a>

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

I'm in agreement with Cat at the end there - what PA has done is given the documentary (and Cat) a lot of free publicity. It's just a shame that it was done in such a childish manner.

<a xhref="http://www.inniesandoutties.com">~leonard</a>

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Erik Melander's picture

heh, I deleted mine since this one has more comments.

but I was first dammit :)

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Erik Melander's picture

well its remotely related to webcomics so ofcourse

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Well Gaiman's also got that smouldering, pouty look that makes him look dark and mysterious and all. Chicks dig that sort of stuff, you know. I just can't pull off smouldering pouty.

Pre-Emptive Correction (Thanks bud)

Aleph's picture

Gads I hate replying to myself but an NT friend pointed out that one point I raised could be misread, so let me clarify before anybody gets tizzied further ;)

Of course the characters always represented their personalities, though they switch roles sometimes to preserve character integrity, but, I'm talking about avatars as in the /public face/ of the creators. As far as I can remember neither of them took on the character as a public face until Gabe proposed to his girlfriend-- and the characters still didn't have names yet ;)

Just didn't want to be unduly confusing-- I'm talking about passing those characters off as themselves, making identities of them. That came after the character design was set, so it's hard to call them masks. As far as I can tell they were originally John Q. Everygamers imbued with the ideas of the creators rather than representations thereof. Actual avid PA fans can probably correct me there.

So, if yer gonna pick at me, pick at me for /that/ and not for the idea that they were never representations of the artists :)

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Aleph's picture

The thing is, there is already a bitpass in place in the form of ads, especially google ads. And while people may bitch about ads, they don't have to pay for them. The sad thing is that the CTR on ads, even targetted ones, is about .5 percent as industry standard. The proof of the pudding in BitPass is right there in the tasting. If people aren't willing to click ONE ad per visit and back their site by visiting a sponsor for /free/, how the hell does anyone think they're going to get people to pay out of their own pockets per click?

The thing that makes webcomics revolutionary is the ability to reach a wide audience for free, something comics can't do when they have to front the print cost. Bandwidth is nothing by comparison and increased bandwidth means increased attractiveness to advertisers to defray the cost. Any sucky comic, including my own, can reach out to everyone and get in their faces until some readers stick. I never could have kept going for two years if I had been facing the need to sell issues right away. A comic that is story-intensive and forces the reader to really read and follow along would be DEAD in this system, and only very familiar, easily recognized comic styles would have a real shot. But if GOATS can't do that, what hope does ANYONE here have?

Bitpass essentially nullifies that, and it ain't free to the artist! The pennies people resent paying are getting an automatic percentage taken out of them.

OK, I wanted to refrain from saying this but it's beginning to make me mad... PA doesn't play games for a living, I keep hearing that reading all the various essays linking about this and that is completely fucking insulting to say. There is mad artwork being done behind the scenes, personalized attention to advertisers, versatility, and a lot of grinding, grueling work there. Rather than just sit back and try to get people to shell out for their attention, they go where the money actually IS and tailor themselves to it while still producing content every damned update. There is a constant need to stay relevant, priorities and productivity to juggle, and the fact that they make it fun is something to respect. I wish I could produce a TENTH as quickly as Gabe, to be honest... and they didn't luck into their slot in things.

It goes directly to this conversation because the model McCloud puts forward says, ignore all that, don't work outside your infinite canvas, just sit back and let the pennies roll in. Don't learn from the established success, close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears, and yell "la la la" until success comes to you. That's a dangerous Kool-Aid to get people to drink.

If we were really "Reinventing Comics" we would be treating it as a new medium. Not a cheaper version of an old medium. For all the hullabaloo about reinventing the space, they are de-inventing the medium. The freedom of the web needs to be FREE, and that emotional attachment to a title is what seduces people into shelling their dough out for the other things a comic provides. That is the magic of infinite PUBLISHING. Take that away, and we're all subjugated again, to publishers who know they've got us by the short ones, to overhead and the need for return on our investment, and to the desperation that comes of trying to fit creativity into the gaps between depressing failures.

No matter what happens to a webcomic it can start right where it started the first time, gather an audience from the beginning, and that is NO HARDER than it ever was. Nothing PREVENTS somebody from seeing your stuff and finding out about you. You don't end up in the trash can like the million zillion hopefuls sending their pages to publishers. Right now only three things can truly kill a webcomic, now that most hosting companies offer you the opportunity to put a limit on how much bandwidth you 'go over' in a month--

1) Evil lawyers with tricky contracts who take your rights because you didn't read carefully enough.
2) Running out of time/equipment to do it
3) Giving up.

And that is the most infinite canvas anybody can have.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Wow... so then what you're saying is Scott McCloud is just like ass sex.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Although a documentary about "digital comments" wouldn't be without its charms.

LOL! OMFG STFU NOOB, ROFL!!!!111!1one

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Aleph's picture

While you make good points, you also hit sideways on the thing that makes it just as easy now to make your name as it did before. There are more avenues of promotion and more people paying attention to those promotions. The thing is, while that bucket might have been smaller, so were the number of people fishing in it. Before the 'giants' today, there was a very small webcomic audience. The idea of webcomics was a little ridiculous when the 'big names' started carving out their share.

Not only am I an artist who purposefully avoids promotion (having an ad up scares the hell out of me despite having long ago embraced my suckfulness) but I'm also not just unwilling but UNABLE to muck into the "community". But there IS a community and it can work to support and promote its own. The fact that it doesn't seems to have more to do with the competitive mindset, like the fact that someone else gets 10,000 hits a day keeps you from doing so. People are so much more likely to shell out time than money, aren't they? Wheras in the little bucket world, people had to rely on word of mouth or adverts that competed with a billion other "legitimate" advertisers on sites that weren't relevant or welcoming. So in essence it does balance out. Plus, the people who work hard to get deep-pocket companies to advertise have more luxury to promote small comics at a lower rate if they choose, a gratis you couldn't expect in a world without a big following. But extra advertising does cost money. Most of us can't afford it in the beginning stages of a comic... we have to rely on the grassroots first, and establish ourselves. And that grassroots following is gonna get pissed off and leave us if we say, 'thanks for making us popular, now cough up the cash.'

The thing is... no matter how hard you promote your site, webcomics have to do with developing an attachment and a relationship to the work. Unlike print comics, what you buy with bitpass is transient and intangible. It's not yours to keep. (and if it were, people would instantly start distributing it for free, don't you think? Practically speaking and not idealistically? And efforts to thwart that will drive up the overhead and drive down the artist's cut) It's really easy to lose your attention span and ask yourself if it's really worth it to keep paying. So not only do you have to promote your site, but you have to keep them happy and never have a slump.

I lose votes on OC.net for the most ridiculous things... I hit rough patches or do something people don't expect, and they flutter off. A lot of them come back, after having left for a while, to check up on us-- and rave about the very things they left over once they see how it pays off. But can you really say you believe the attitude would be the same if you'd bought something, flipped through it, stopped liking it, and cancelled it? There've been times I stopped reading PA or Life of Riley for months, and I really don't think I'd want to pay to go back to it. But I did go back to them for free, and caught up to why I liked it again. Products I stop liking rarely get a second chance.

I see bitpass creating a frantic fanservice mindset, too, because even the best of us has got to be affected by seeing that income drop off when we can see it PAGE BY PAGE. Who amongst us hasn't stared at the stats some cold dark night and felt like they fucked up somewhere along the line? Where is the bold new future of comics going to go when every page you put up risks losing their attention span for good? The 10,000 others out there makes it even more critical that you hold on to them with both hands and the jaws of life.

See, I'm very worried about this, which is why I can't stop perseverating on it-- going back to it over and over. Because I know how heartbreaking and hard it can be trying to do art, never really knowing if you're doing the right thing with your time, facing this sea of unknowns walking through and reacting to everything you do. I have already seen the feeling of futility and failure take the life, literally, of someone I was rooting for.

I see an idea like bitpass ramping that up a lot harder and making the stress a lot more immediate. I see this funnelling money from starry-eyed idealists to people who advertise for them, and I see it driving more and more people under the umbrellas of publishers and syndicates who offer protection and promotion-- and whoops by the way you might want to check what you signed because your characters are suddenly not your own.

I want to see it the way you do.. I want to believe the way you see it. That would be a much prettier picture. It's not that bitpass is OUT THERE that is bothering me. It's that people are being sold the idea that they should just stick it out because famous people keep telling them it's the future. It's the fact that EVERY TIME PA takes on this idea and opposes it, there's a FIRESTORM in response, which reinforces the idea that opponents are big bad monsters trying to keep the dreamers down. Dreamers are going to get BROKEN under this business model. They are going to get chewed up and die in obscurity and no one will CARE. And dreamers are the people being /targetted/ here.

And I don't even much like Tycho, to be honest. I was supportive during the first flackfest over bitpass and he treated me pretty shabbily. But I like it even less that every time they take a swing at this sacred cow so many people jump up and cry "Moo". All those 10,000 people trying to be seen and heard are listening and they need to hear that this is not starlight and unicorn kisses, that the penny fairy takes a cut, that refunds cost about 500 times what they can expect to charge per page, and that many of us believe the majority of people are going to see the 'subscription required' notice and move on to something free. They need to hear that there is another way too, and that it doesn't just work for people who 'lucked out' and got there first.

Hell. Hopefully in 10 years I can be the one to say it, in a voice that people will listen to.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Uncle Ghastly's picture

And Uncle Ghastly? Eh? Eh? What about ol' Uncle Ghastly? Can't a man get some love?

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Crap! He took it down!? Crap! Crap! Crap!

Now people won't know that I'm moderately attractive by webcomic artist standards. Crap!

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

m_estrugo's picture

If you want my opinion about this whole thing, I'd say this is just another clash between the two predominant ways to conceive webcomics. Scott McCloud (and those who side with him) conceives it like an art form, a valid means of expression, etc... something trascendental, while the PA team (and those who side with them) think it's more like a hobby, simple entertainment... something rather intranscendental. Those two parts have been struggling against each other for preponderance on the webcomics field for a while, don't you think?


Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Uncle Ghastly's picture

After reading that essay, by golly, I was left with one and only one observation. I'm not all that terribly bad looking really... you know, for a guy who does comics. Of course I'm no Neil Gaiman. Now that guy is sexy... you know, for a guy who does comics.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Bandwidth/hosting issues are not going to be an issue ever again in just a few weeks (I hope) when Webcomics Nation and Adult Webcomics go online. Joey Manley is going to be offering an amazingly powerful, flexible, and most importantly inexpensive set of webcomic tools and hosting for all types of webcomic artists (even the naughty guys like me). Bit pass, subscriptions, donations, advertising. You will have the tools to experiment with all kinds of online business models until you find the one that works for you. There will be no need to fear falure because you'll be able to switch gears and spin on a dime anytime you feel the need to change directions with your business model.

But it is harder for webcomic artists now to get noticed than it was before. Of course the web doesn't have "the man" dictating who does and doesn't get a chance to play the game. Anyone can go online and present what they've got. This is great! This is beautiful! This is what allowed an unskilled hack like me to start off drawing a comic and slowly have it evolve not only into an increadably popular work (I never dreamed I'd have as many readers as I do) but it allowed me to grow as an artist too. I'm still pretty rough around the edges but if you compair the current work I'm putting out on Ghastly's Ghastly Comic to the earliest works and you'd think they were drawn by completely different people. It's painful for me to go through my archives and all I see are the mistakes but it's great that I had the opportunity to make each and every one of them. It's great I had the opportunity to learn and it's great that I had the opportunity despite such primative artwork to build my webcomic into what it is now. All those opportunities still exist for people just starting out in webcomics but something else exists that didn't exist when I started out...

... over 10000 other people trying to make their mark in webcomics too. Anyone just starting out, no matter how skilled and no matter how talented is going to be just another drop in the ocean of webcomics. That ocean was only a bucket when I started out.

Of course don't get me wrong, being in early was no guarentee of success. There are many artists who started out at the same time I did who never achieved the same popularity I did. Talent and skill isn't enough. There are artists more talented than I am, there are artists more skilled than I am (bajillions I believe) and there are artists more talented, skilled, and been at it longer than I have who have not attained the "success" in terms of popularity that I have and it's because they either lacked the skills or the motivation to promote themselves.

Promotion is the key. Always has been, always will be. Somepeople's true skills and talents lie in their ability to promote (I'm a pretty decent whore in this area). Some artists purposefully avoid promotion fearing it will interfere with their art. It's pretty damned rare though that someone will succeed in the arts world (and I'm not just talking about comics here, in which I dable, but about all the arts such as music where I make my living) without promotional power pushing them forward (either from themselves or someone else dedicated to the task of promotion). Promotion is hard work and it can take a lot of time to bear fruit.

Bitpass might work but you're really going to have to work harder at promoting your site. I have to go with Gabe though on this one, "giving it away for free" is still one of the best promotional methods out there and will open avenues to a lot more revinue opportunities.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Now the only drama I want to see is the one between Xerexes and Giant Panda to see whoever keeps their Scott McCloud's post news.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Ye know... Everyone seems to feel so outraged by the Garza caricature, and yet he hasn't shown up to express how he feels about all this. Maybe there's the chance that he took it all in good spirits because he's a man more mature than any of us.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Also, I remember when they did made this filler strip mocking Rob Liefeld where they portraid the man as a fatso when he's in fact somewhat good looking.

Unrelated message of sorts, but heh...

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Number-wise I stopped looking at the stats once I saw I broke the mark where I had about 100000 people regularily reading my comic. I still do like to check the referal stats every now and then not only because then I get to see people discussing my comic candidly but I also find some interesting, amusing, unusal and occaisionally disturbing things.

You're right though there are certainly more avenues of promotion, not the least of which is the "giants" who've made it. You can buy an ad on their site and be exposed to an audience you already know reads webcomics. But getting that grassroots momentum started so you can get to the point where you can afford advertising on a larger comic takes more work now than ever I would think. It's hard for me to judge this really because since I've already built a fame cache any future project I do will automatically be blessed with instant readership simply by having my name attached to it and GGC promoting it.

I suppose I could start another comic under a different name and keep my association to it secret but I'm not that interested in this as an experiment to go through the effort of building up a readership from scratch again. I faught tooth and nail for every reader I've got now and I don't think the battles gotten any easier now to make me want to try that again. Nope, if I'm going through the effort of creating another comic project (which I am actually, and it'll hopefully be ready to go online by the end of the summer) you can bet I'll be wanting to whore off of every last ounce of promotional go-juice GGC has to offer me.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Should I take back what I said about him, tho?

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Jesus. Does Tycho hate McCloud this much, just because of infinite canvas and bitpass?

Also, it just crossed my mind that John Barber should be way more offended by all this. Whereas the Garza caricature just looks like that badass truck driver from "From Dusk Till Down" (I took a moment to realize what it was reminding me of), Barber's just look like a mafia dope fiend.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

"Those two parts have been struggling against each other for preponderance on the webcomics field for a while, don't you think?"

I dunno. Could you point to me exactly where? Because while it's not the first time Tycho criticizes what he calls the McCloudian preach, I haven't seen anyone who take sides with McCloud or he himself saying that webcomics that could not be printed were more legitimate than the ones that follow the classic model.

I could be shooting myself in the foot just like I did with the Garza dude. So be nice with me.

Also, I don't think Tycho was defending the hobbist part of comic making at all. He did say that in the end all the talk comes to business, didn't he?

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

As a chick, I've got to say: yeah. Gaiman is HOT.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Uncle Ghastly gets enough love from tentacles ;)

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Alas, I think you may have to, Rodrigo.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Fellow chick concurs.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Everyone should run out and get some glamour shots done before commenting on this.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Since there's two articles, I'll just repeat what I posted over there:

"Yessir, I'd call that a grade "A" bitch-slapping."

I don't want anyone to miss these words of wisdom.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

I think it's the 80s hair.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Oh yeah. I can see that. I can only do "pissed off" with any hope of looking good on camera.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Does Tycho hate McCloud this much, just because of infinite canvas and bitpass?

It's nothing. The real problem here is that McCloud represents the idea of comics as a legit form of art. The people who appreciate Scott's work also tend to be folks who also see comics as legit. It's just that some people seem to be convinced, that no matter how popular they become, they're still fanboys making comics for other fanboys and that legitimacy will always be beyond their grasp.

This doesnt have to be true, but given reactions by some creators over this, you can easily see where the line has been drawn, and by who. The resentment becomes understandable at that point.

Anyway, the boy fucked up, and he's taking the sort of shit-kicking that he's more used to getting his fanbase to give for him. Good.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Jesus, I just read that rant a bit more carefully.

If the guy's not locking himself in his room, growing his toenails out, and saving his urine in jars, ala Howard Huges by year's end, I'll be shocked.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

This is starting to sound like Bobby Crosby.

"NO IT'S NOT THAT! IT'S WHAT IS SAY IT IS!"

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Scott McCloud makes baby jesus cry. Witter.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

DrSetebos's picture

Scott's making at least one incorrect/misplaced assumption here: he's inferring that Tycho and Gabe are somehow "jealous" that they weren't included in the documentary. That's just ridiculous. They aren't jealous, they were surprised that there was a documentary coming out commenting on the sorry state of viable webcomics' business models and no one had seemingly tried to contact Penny Arcade or PvP, two very successful webcomics that demonstrated such a business model was possible. Although, it seems as though they WERE contacted and actually CHOSE not to be involved, which ends up making them out to be much bigger jerks when you re-read their comic and comments knowing that.

But aside from that one point, the rest of Scott's comments I agree with. Tycho and Gabe said/drew some things that were simply unnecessary. They're perfectly within their rights and freedoms to do it, but it was simply unnecessary. My two cents.

------------------------------------------
Zoinks! Magazine contributing writer

Evil Avatar Webcomics artist

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

I don't know what to make of Cat's response. So now we're going to criticize an editorial comic for containing topical pop culture references? I guess he was thinking that one cheap shot deserves another, but that's pretty weak.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

It's about Scott McCloud lying to artists telling them Bit Pass is a viable way to make a living from your digital comic. It's not. Jon over at Goats is trying a bit pass comic right now and I'd be surprised if he makes more than a couple hundred bucks off the thing. That's not going to pay his mortgage. And he's got a huge audience to support it that he's built up over the years by giving his comic away for free. A comic that hits the web as a pay strip will never get the audience that a free strip like say CAD or Goats has. The way that comics like PA, Goats, Diesel Sweeties, PVP, CAD and others have been able to make their comic a full time job is like this:

1- Create your comic strip and allow access to it and all your archives for free.
2- Consistently update when you say you will with quality content.
3- Work hard for years to build an audience.
4- Use a combination of advertising, merchandise and conventions to make money.

Sure it's a lot harder than charging 25 cents to read your infinite canvas strip but it works. You can't just expect to put something on the net that no one knows about and then start charging money for it and make a killing. This is a business and just like any business it requires a lot of work. Managing merchandise getting advertising and traveling to conventions is tough but if making cartoons for a living is what you want to do it’s the only way to go.

Even Scott doesn't make a living from digital comics. He makes all his money on books and lectures. There are a lot of artists out there who are actually doing what he only talks about and none of them are using his methods. That should tell you something. If you wanted to go into space would you rather get advice from Neil Armstrong or Orson Scott Card? One has practical knowledge and has done what you want to do. The other writes fantastic stories but has never gotten his feet off the ground.

I think we are having two different conversations. You guys want to talk about the validity of experimental comics. We are talking about the business of making digital art your livelihood.

Gabe

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Id just like to know if anyone has a mirror of Scott's essay. This whole uproar is over an essay that has since been pulled down in a rather cowardly fashion.

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

It's about Scott McCloud lying to artists telling them Bit Pass is a viable way to make a living from your digital comic. It's not. Jon over at Goats is trying a bit pass comic right now and I'd be surprised if he makes more than a couple hundred bucks off the thing. That's not going to pay his mortgage. And he's got a huge audience to support it that he's built up over the years by giving his comic away for free. A comic that hits the web as a pay strip will never get the audience that a free strip like say CAD or Goats has. The way that comics like PA, Goats, Diesel Sweeties, PVP, CAD and others have been able to make their comic a full time job is like this:

1- Create your comic strip and allow access to it and all your archives for free.
2- Consistently update when you say you will with quality content.
3- Work hard for years to build an audience.
4- Use a combination of advertising, merchandise and conventions to make money.

Sure it's a lot harder than charging 25 cents to read your infinite canvas strip but it works. You can't just expect to put something on the net that no one knows about and then start charging money for it and make a killing. This is a business and just like any business it requires a lot of work. Managing merchandise getting advertising and traveling to conventions is tough but if making cartoons for a living is what you want to do it’s the only way to go.

Even Scott doesn't make a living from digital comics. He makes all his money on books and lectures. There are a lot of artists out there who are actually doing what he only talks about and none of them are using his methods. That should tell you something. If you wanted to go into space would you rather get advice from Neil Armstrong or Orson Scott Card? One has practical knowledge and has done what you want to do. The other writes fantastic stories but has never gotten his feet off the ground.

I think we are having two different conversations. You guys want to talk about the validity of experimental comics. We are talking about the business of making digital art your livelihood.

Gabe

Re: Scott McCloud Writes "Why Tycho Owes You An Apology"

Does someone have the text of the original essay or a link to a mirror? The coward took it down.