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Pay you to use your comic?

I'm wondering if the business model that newspapers have been using forever could be transferred to the web. That is, if there was a website that would publish your comic, and you were paid for the rights to publish there, would you accept? Presumably the website would make its money from advertising.

Eddie

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Joey Manley's picture

It's also doubtful whether the presence of a comic on my local newspaper site has any actual monetary value to my local newspaper, if it's also on Yahoo! and MSN and on every other local newspaper's site. Peanuts only ran in one paper where I grew up, though there were still (at the time) two papers in my hometown. If you wanted Peanuts, you bought that paper. If I want to read Doonesbury, though, there are a million places online where I can find it. Why should a web-editor pay money for something like that? If a strip is syndicated all over the web, its ability to draw a reader back to any one particular site syndicating it is limited, at best. Syndicated latest-installment-free strips do work well, though, as a way to pull people back from the syndicating client's site to one central website (where the archive resides).

Joey
www.moderntales.com

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Joey Manley's picture

Ah, that's cool. I'm wrong, then!

Joey
www.webcomicsnation.com

Re: RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Joey Manley's picture

We do. It's worked out reasonably well, in terms of driving traffic -- for example, when a huge mainstream paper in Malaysia (weirdly) chose to post James Kochalka's American Elf on their comics page, along with all their other comics, traffic went through the roof. However, we didn't get a lot of Malaysian subscribers out of the deal, so, for our particular business model, there's no proof that it actually adds any money to the bottom line. Raises the profile, though, and that's cool.

Joey
www.webcomicsnation.com

[quote:6113941a75="timtylor"][quote:6113941a75="Ghastly"]I guess the question is wether for the artist the benefit would be free tooncasting your comic to those websites in order to draw more attention back to your main site or paid syndication of your comics to those sites to generate revinue. I guess it would depend on the size of your comic.

I know Modern Tales et al. once did free tooncasting; for each comic, there was a bit of code you could put in your website so it would show the current strip. I'd be interested to know if they still do that, and whether it worked out for them.

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Townie's picture

Sexy Losers and Slipshine are probably the best examples of what adult comics can do on the web. I know next to nothing about SL's situation, other than there was quite a fit about whether or not it should have been 'Spotted and that it's probably doing better than ever going completely indie. It'd be interesting to hear Lesnick's thoughts on the matter

- Ben

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

No, there are such models. But it is extremely difficult to track use of a comics feature or even a "tooncasting" because of the architecture of the Web. It's more trouble than most small businesspeople can bother with.

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Ghastly had a childhood?

I thought he sprung full-grown from Athena's head after Zeus bitchslapped her one time... ;)

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Erik Melander's picture

DJ, its just your regular comic they run? Not exclusive strips or anything?

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Uncle Ghastly's picture

There was such a service for adult comics. They'd sell adult comics to adult content webpages and share the sales with the artists. I don't know if they're still around. I had contemplated selling GGC in such a way at one time through them but decided I'd rather have GGC exclusive to my site.

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Uncle Ghastly's picture

I'm not too sure. I've never been too interested in doing the "hentai for hire" thing. I know you can make good money drawing hentai pictures for sale on adult websites but you have to be constantly churning out volume after volume of the stuff if you want to make a living at it.

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Uncle Ghastly's picture

I was answering the question. There is/was an online syndication like service for adult comics where the comics are sold for publication on other websites. I don't know of any such service for non adult comics.

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Uncle Ghastly's picture

So there you have it gang. Get over 5 million people regularily reading your comic and people will pay you money to show it on their website.

Or they'll just pass it around on image BBSs with the dialogue edited to make it sound like you spend all your time lusting after sweet man-meats.

I guess it's a win-win.

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Uncle Ghastly's picture

The beauty of the internet though is there's little difference between "niche" and "mainstreme". Even if only a dozen or so people in your city are into something, when they're added to the dozen or so people in every city in the world that's online that "niche" group forms it's own community with it's own mainstreme.

Heck, GGC is a great example of how something "niche" can attain a degree of popularity rivaling "mainstreme".

Plus, even if you're big online there are still going to be more people online that haven't heard of you and your work then there are people who have. The internet is quite remarkably large and diverse. So it's entirely possible that people who would be interested in reading your comic are not reading your comic, but they are visiting other websites regularily that might benefit from displaying your comic.

I guess the question is wether for the artist the benefit would be free tooncasting your comic to those websites in order to draw more attention back to your main site or paid syndication of your comics to those sites to generate revinue. I guess it would depend on the size of your comic.

My comic is already popular so I'm not terribly motivated by the idea of free tooncasting my comic to generate traffic for it. Although, on the otherhand, I'm doing this for fun and the idea of having to sell my own syndicate like subscriptions to channel my comic to other websites seems like a lot of work to me and I barely have time to accomplish all my procrastination as it is.

If you're a really big fish like Penny Arcade then I suppose the money that comes in from those online syndication deals must be equally sweet, plus Penny Arcade has the added benefit of having staff that handles all the crappy stuff that most artists have traditionally hated having to deal with (ie. accounting and contracts).

And just to keep the drama llama at bay, let's not turn this into a PA bashing/pep rally thread. I don't care if Jerry and Mike drink the blood of christian babies to maintain eternal youth and power, or if they can raise the dead and cure the sick with their own precious bodily fluids. Let's keep the conversation strictly about business models.

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Cracked Magazine? Ah man, childhood memories flooding back. Cracked was the magazine I bought whenever MAD was sold out. Good old Cracked and MAD.

Re: RE: Pay you to use your comic?

[quote:972d62b288="Ghastly"]I guess the question is wether for the artist the benefit would be free tooncasting your comic to those websites in order to draw more attention back to your main site or paid syndication of your comics to those sites to generate revinue. I guess it would depend on the size of your comic.

I know Modern Tales et al. once did free tooncasting; for each comic, there was a bit of code you could put in your website so it would show the current strip. I'd be interested to know if they still do that, and whether it worked out for them.

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Greg Carter's picture

It will be do-it-yourself. You should ask some sites that you think could use your strip about the idea. In spite of what it seems there are still many more people on the intarwub that don't make comics than do. And plenty of sites that would use comics if they knew such a thing was available.

Joey is right about the total value being limited, but if you find a niche then it should work on a smaller scale than what PA is. Niche syndication! I think it could work for Vito.

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

I'm not a HUGE comic, but I have it's been picked up by the nationally published magazine, and the popular Crapville site. -- I think it has much more to do with quality over popularity ranks.... and publishers out there, they ARE looking for quality daily content.

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Just my regular daily comic.. . although with Cracked, I'll likely be doing some other works as well--

RE: Re: RE: Pay you to use your comic?

We provide two free cartoon feeds - one of them a smaller version for blog sidebars. And they've worked wonders for our traffic and profile. Just to create some incentive to land on our actual site though, the feeds actually run a week behind. For a paid syndication we'd probably offer them a week ahead of the site.

http://www.bifsniff.com
A Weirdism That Works

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

spargs's picture

Keenspace (now Comic Genesis) used to offer a "pay per impression" service for all hosted webcomics. I used to host a comic "Casual Jim" there. I think I made three cents all up.

This feature has since disappeared along with the dot-com boom.

[url=http://www.digi-comic.com][img]http://www.digi-comic.com/images/dcLilLink.gif[/img][/url]

Re: RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Greg Carter's picture

[quote:1b9753ed51="Ghastly"]The beauty of the internet though is there's little difference between "niche" and "mainstreme". Even if only a dozen or so people in your city are into something, when they're added to the dozen or so people in every city in the world that's online that "niche" group forms it's own community with it's own mainstreme.

Yep. By niche I meant by breadth of content focus, not traffic size. So yes, a very narrow focus on the intarwub still has a global reach. Sites need content, no matter what their focus, and webcomics can be there. At first it will be easier to get on the lower-traffic-smaller focus site that directly relate to your strip. Then work up from there. That doesn't mean don't try any and all sites because opening communication is good. But I'm not getting my hopes up any time soon.

I don't think this has been explored very deeply yet, apparently.

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

I tried to reply to this yesterday and I think my comment didn't post...

My Comic, YIRMUMAH , is currently running on two pretty big sites, CRAPVILLE.COM and CRACKED.COM , (Cracked the magazine is relaunching in Feb) -- Those also feature full archives you can read through on thier site--- and it's WAY easy for me to run too.

And yeah, it is a paying gig, and there IS a market for this sort of thing if you have niche comic of some sort and know your audience. I'm not allowed to discuss how much we charge, or how much the places pay-- but I can tell you I'm a happy webcartoonist, and proof that it's possible and you CAN make money with it.

Tyler Martin's picture

I am paid for my comic to appear at a popular content site. Of course I can't discuss specifics but the contract was written for an upfront payment for a set amount of time, non-exclusive, the archives come down if the contract is not renewed.

I am definately going to seek more self-syndication like this and I think it could be a viable business model. It would not take too many of these deals to pay for a comic. And with all that instant audience, I would imagine book sales could do well, but I have not got that far yet, however, this content site gets like 300 times more viewers than I get at my own website so I imagine it will help.

It's essentially the evolution of the newspaper. If the readers are getting their news online, then the advertisers and complimentary content like comics need to go there with them.

Here's the problem, for some reason when everything went to the web it thought it needed its very own site, not as much piggybacking. A comic with its own site has to stand alone, be valuable enough to be just that, a whole site of just itself when once it was just added content, that's a lot to ask out of a 3 or 4 panel strip. I think that's been a problem with the comic syndicates and their websites, its just a huge collection of all the comics they have in the papers, they need to distribute those comics out to various existing content sites out there along similar themes to be added content to already developed readership.

There's a lot more people that go to a restaurant and enjoy some ice cream afterwards than that just go to ice cream shops and gorge all day.

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Fabricari's picture

Is there a market for Adult (pornographic) webcomics in the way there is for the gamer niche? All I ever see is the Hentai reprint stuff, but never enough to read regularly. In my corner of the internet we like to separate our comics from nudie pics. But they go so well together, like chocolate and peanut butter!

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

Pay you to use your comic?

LineItemVito's picture

I'm wondering if the business model that newspapers have been using forever could be transferred to the web. That is, if there was a website that would publish your comic, and you were paid for the rights to publish there, would you accept? Presumably the website would make its money from advertising.

Eddie

--
Vote Vito: Line Item Vito

Re: RE: Pay you to use your comic?

LineItemVito's picture

[quote:1b0b4e37e8="Anonymous"]we have multiple magazines and websites that pay us for the rights to re-print Penny Arcade cartoons.
-Gabe
I won't presume to ask you how much you are paid by these magazines and sites -- although I'd like to know -- but I will ask this: on what basis are you paid? A fixed price per cartoon? Number of "impressions" or "page views" at the websites?

Thanks,
Eddie

--
Vote Vito: Line Item Vito

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

and that's coming from mr 2005!

http://www.drunkduck.com/sando/

Wow, a comic at a free hosting site. It must be great.

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Can we move this topic away from adult comics and return the original question?

RE: Pay you to use your comic?

we have multiple magazines and websites that pay us for the rights to re-print Penny Arcade cartoons.

-Gabe

Re: RE: Pay you to use your comic?

Fabricari's picture

[quote:0f64414110="Anonymous"]Can we move this topic away from adult comics and return the original question?

Apologies for the derail. That's what I get for trying to be funny and serious at the same time. :D

I was more curious about the other niches out there and how successful it's been for people in the past. Apparently there are, indeed, success stories.

I have another tangent. Does anyone here syndicate their comic on other sites for free? It would seem to me to be a great way to provide content and get more of a following. Like someone said earlier... get 5 million readers first. Heh heh.

I remember Jamar Nicholas did this with Detective Boogaloo at Movie Poop Shoot. I suppose you need to prove you can meet a deadline first to pull this off.

[edit]oops never mind, looks like this was already address.

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison