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The Great Print to Online Migration: When will that be

When would we see publishers, creators, artists & writers from the print comics world dominated by DC & Marvel migrate to the Internet to do webcomics? When will see these professionals take advantage of the Internet and create great stories online?

And meanwhile, should we usher in auteurs like Gary Larson, Bill Watterson, Berkely Breathed, Frank Miller and Grant Morrison to do their finest work online?

The Great Print to Online Migration: When will that be

When would we see publishers, creators, artists & writers from the print comics world dominated by DC & Marvel migrate to the Internet to do webcomics? When will see these professionals take advantage of the Internet and create great stories online?

And meanwhile, should we usher in auteurs like Gary Larson, Bill Watterson, Berkely Breathed, Frank Miller and Grant Morrison to do their finest work online?

RE: The Great Print to Online Migration: When will that be

Dark Horse Comics seem pretty webcomic-friendly: they're running a good War Of The Worlds adaptation, and hosting or allowing several online Hellboy comics.

RE: The Great Print to Online Migration: When will that be

Not to mention that Girl Genius has taken the leap from paper to pixel

pclips's picture

Don't forget that some of the most widely-syndicated political cartoonists crossed over to blogging years ago. The question seems to imply creators who do well in print would somehow be motivated to abandon print entirely for the web. Why would they do that? You see plenty of live examples like uComics where the popular print stips colonize the net and get most of the advantages of being online without having to build an audience over time.

Any more replies to this? I just felt that people like Bill Watterson and Berkeley Breathed could've and should've taken advantage of the Internet to make huge comeback to the comics scene, but as Malky pointed out, the latter blew it.

Right now, Michael Jantze, Bill Holbrooks, Phil Foglio and others you have listed have moved their comics online, but the steps taken we've seen so far seemed very slow. When will see more professional comic auteurs move online? And if anything, is it possible to persuade them?

Think of it like this:

"Hello, I'm Bill Watterson. I earn money every time I put pen to paper. People pay me for the art of making comics, and I don't have to make a single tech support joke or sell mugs on cafr press to do it. Sure I'll give all of that up to go shleb with people far inferior to myself as an artist."

There's nothing in it for them.

And Brethed's problem was that he was assuming the audience he had in 1985 would still be there twenty years later. No medium on earth could have helped him.

You will see this happening the second web coics become profitable.

I wouldn't hold my breath.

On a tangental note, Larson and Waterson seem to have quit when they ran out of ideas. And Breathed? Well, he should have. A lesson to us all.

I think we'll see a migration to the web once the world runs out of trees.

There's no major motivation (read: money) for a successful print comic to switch to the web. I don't see any real advantage to being on the web for full colour comic books, other than easy access to old archives. I think someone like Bill Watterson would benefit, he really seemed confined in the small strip format. But if you're already making money selling in print, why reduce yourself to hawking t-shirts and monkey-punching banner ads?

Quote:
There's no major motivation (read: money) for a successful print comic to switch to the web.

Seriously. My big ambition has always been to get into print.

But webcomics ARE profitable...not for EVERYONE.. but neither is print syndication. But there are some webcomics making some nice money right now.

If Berke put up a pay only webcomic, or something like Jantze has, he'd be a millionaire in a matter of DAYS.

Believe it.

Unfortunately, Berke doesn't have much faith in this at all.

Indeed, DJ. The most creative minds in comics like Berke, Watterson and Larson could've made a big comeback with the Internet as their red carpet, but then, they lack faith. Meanwhile, Bill Holbrook of On The Fastrack is stealthily making headways in the webcomic scene. If only all Boomer cartoonists are like Holbrook....

Now, DJ, besides the ones from the syndicated newspaper strip, why not invite many great talents over from the DC-Marvel-Image trifecta and have them do whatever kind of they want to do online?

I actually did invite some high-profile writers onto the Web when Graphic Smash started up. One or two expressed an interest, but it dimmed as soon as they got better-paying projects.

"Being profitable" is not the same as "supporting a family," nor is it "making what the syndicates, DC, Marvel or Image pay you." (Yeah, I know syndicate paychecks aren't great except for a few, but those are the same few you're talking about.)

Brian Michael Bendis may do webcomics in four years if a fickle marketplace tires of him, but to expect him to give up even ONE of his Marvel paychecks now, after a lifetime of debt and with a daughter who needs a college fund, is not reasonable.

Bill Watterson is always a possibility, but just because no one knows what in Hell he's thinking these days. Gary Larson is burned out. As for Berkeley Breathed, I think lack of faith is a part of it-- he's been exploring alternative media for years and pretty much gotten nowhere-- but I also think he's tried to please a mass audience for so long, he's lost sight of the thrash-metal vibe that gave him fans in the first place. Given this, he's probably better off in a market that caters to nostalgia than in a market where satire has real bite.

Any comics marketplace has certain needs and quirks. The big dawgs of print have gotten where they are in part by luck, in part by talent, and in part by understanding the needs and quirks of New York-based publishing. Not many New Yorkers want to move to San Francisco.

The migration is more likely to come from the second and third tiers, a la The Norm and Girl Genius. Those who have less to lose.

[quote:b8e86809ab="TCampbell"]"Being profitable" is not the same as "supporting a family," nor is it "making what the syndicates, DC, Marvel or Image pay you." (Yeah, I know syndicate paychecks aren't great except for a few, but those are the same few you're talking about.)
What he said.