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The Washington Post Covers The Business of Webcomics

Leslie Walker, the Washington Post tech columnist wrote today about the business side of webcomics in her column. She talked with several folks, including Keenspot, Modern Tales, Jon Rosenberg and Robert Khoo of Penny Arcade.

Re: The Washington Post Covers The Business of Webcomics

I like that the only hyperlink she could manage in the article was to King Features Syndicate.

I imagine that's for fear of people clicking over to where Jon Rosenberg has written a cheery, impish "FUCK YOU, WASHINGTON POST" across his front page or something, but sheesh, what's the point of being on the internet?

And it sucks if BlankLabel got that article to happen and got bupkis. The articles on the Post's front page.

Re: The Washington Post Covers The Business of Webcomics

Joey Manley's picture

For the record, I never said, nor do I believe, that "advertising is the future of online comics." Also, webcomicsnation will not be providing me with any advertising revenue. That is not the model at all.

Just for the record.

Leslie's a nice person who, I think, got my own message a little mixed up after hearing everybody else. But that's understandable, considering the "everybody else" she was talking to, and the general "information wants to be free" slant of this thing.

Anyway.

Thanks!

Joey
www.moderntales.com

Re: The Washington Post Covers The Business of Webcomics

I actually e-mailed the reporter and let her know of other smaller groups that are making a living doing webcomics, so who knows. Maybe there'll be a follow-up article about Blank Label and other people who haven't "made it big" but are managing to make a living doing this anyway.

Rob H.

Re: The Washington Post Covers The Business of Webcomics

Hmmm... If the release they sent to Washington post and other newspapers was this one then I'm not surprised at all that they got stricken out of the article.

It's not a terrible press release. It could even work for small newspapers with nothing else to publish. But if you are aiming higher then a proper writing ain't suffice. You need strategy. And a good one in this case would be to anticipate how the person was going to write this article.

The way it is it reeks too much of cheap advertising. It is not interesting enough for a newspaper article. Maybe they'd be more sucessful if this press release was about webcomics and somewhere inbetween they stuck their name. In press assessoring sometimes less is more.

Re: The Washington Post Covers The Business of Webcomics

But maybe this wasn't what they sent. In that case ignore this little idiot.

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I doubt your average person who still reads print newspapers nowadays really knows anything at ALL about the existence of online comics.
She had to consider her audience.

I think she did a very good job.

And let's be honest, Scott.
Jon Rosenberg has had a lot more experience and success than Blank Label with taking the risk of publishing webcomics online on his own.

Re: The Washington Post Covers The Business of Webcomics

Damn... I should have put this in the quote...

But the fact that six cartoonists just jumped from being lost in a crowd to making more money in a month than they did all last year by pooling their talents and getting off their asses has just been abandoned. The fact that they acomplished on their own, what Keenspot could not acomplish for them after earning $250k last year is not mentioned. That doesn't seem right.

Re: The Washington Post Covers The Business of Webcomics

That column was WEAK. Especially after finding out it was originally suppossed to be about Blank Label, then never mentioned them at all! That's lame. Poor Blank Label, can't those guys catch a break!?

Re: The Washington Post Covers The Business of Webcomics

Actually, I thinking making more money in a month that you did all last year is to be considered something of a break. Obviously they're kicking ass even if no one's talking about it.

Re: The Washington Post Covers The Business of Webcomics

Scott Kurtz comments on the article:

Leslie Walker at the Washington post contacted the guys at Blank Label comics last week to inquire about doing an article about them. The Blank Label press release had made its way to her and she wanted to write a blurb on them in her next “dot com” column.

In the course of interviewing BLC, Leslie learned that there was a whole world of webcomics out there and decided to investigate further. The blurb on Blank Label, which was supposed to be published Thursday, never saw the light of day. Leslie decided instead to dedicate her entire column to webcomics and where they were heading.

And so today, her article was published... but Blank Label comics was not mentioned in it. Anywhere.

Instead what we got was the same crap that appears in every “Hey kids! Comics on the web? Who’da thunk?” article that’s been written over the last couple of years. And instead of hearing about Blank Label we get to hear about Micro-payments, Sluggy Freelance, The genius of the Moderntales subscription service and Chris Crosby going on about how Keenspot made 250k last year.

Re: The Washington Post Covers The Business of Webcomics

Woops! After some depublishing, Scott has removed those quotes from his site.

Now, in their place he says:

In light of there being a real industry or market place for webcomics, all we truly have to fight over is STATUS. That is our currency of choice. When the rest of the world comes to peek in and look at our experiment, there is a frenzied race for validation.

Now let me get introspective. Considering that I’ve received a lion’s share of status and success, why do I still find myself victim to this behavior? Why do I still feel spiteful towards those I feel are unjustly receiving a higher status than myself (or they deserve). I know that those feelings are petty and wrong. But my first reaction is to have them and remind myself that it’s better not to.

I think it’s because in webcomics, much like university politics, the stakes are so small. Ultimately, I’m an insecure person who has placed my heart and soul on the web to be judged.

But the history of webcomics is important because, well, its history. History should be recorded accurately. And soon, I may just be that guy who did PvP for ten years before all the hoopla died down and went back to having a day job. Shouldn’t I want the recognition I’ve earned? Or is that a product of ego as well?

Whenever drama rears up in webcomics, I think we all need to remember that we’re all fighting over scraps. In the big scheme of things, webcomics are about five minutes of time in the life of the American comic strip or comic book. We all might need to step back and look at the bigger picture. If we did, we may all find that even the guy with the most status, is pretty hard to notice.

Of course, remembering that is easier said than done, when you’re nursing a bruised ego.

I hope I was able to make my point better this time around. Thanks for allowing me a second crack at it.

No problem! Except that the original post is already being discussed here, and on other sites... and there's no way to depublish from all those places, even if we wanted to. Great timing though. ;-)