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United Media to syndicate Diesel Sweeties to newspapers and run on

[Xerexes: Wizard has an interview with Rich on this - turns out that Ted Rall (who is scouting talent for United) was key to this deal.]

Through a new syndication deal with United Feature Syndicate, Inc. (aka United Media), R Stevens' webcomic Diesel Sweeties will begin running in newspapers starting on January 8, 2007. Here's how Stevens made the announcement on his site...

The Fourth Estate in the Fifth Dimension

09/04/2006 - 8:12 PM

I've been kind of busy and falling behind on communicating with people this summer. Hopefully, you will accept my excuse! Ladies and Gentlemen, SECRET PROJECT X:

Starting on January 8, 2007 Diesel Sweeties is going to be running in newspapers through United Feature Syndicate. These syndicated strips will also be showing up on, A.K.A. the best URL ever. Web-only and archived strips will still be here, same as always. We signed the papers a couple weeks ago and I'm still kind of shell-shocked. I'm working hard to finish the sample strips. The newspaper comics are going to be all-new strips with the same characters, seven days a week.

It's a pretty cool deal: I get to do newspaper comics, while still maintaining my own copyright, website and t-shirts. The best part for me is that there will still continue to be new comics here on the DS site! A big part of how I maintain my "sanity" is by staying up late writing comics and posting them the moment they're done. Continuing to have that flexibility in addition to working weeks in advance for syndication is really important to me and I'm extremely glad to still have it.

I'm psyched to get to do the one job I really wanted as a kid, while still maintaining my identity as web cartoonist. Throw in a pony and I'll have burned through all three wishes in one go.

I still get chills every time I think about making Sunday comics. I just finished my first two last week and it was ... surreal. They were Sunday comics, but I got to write and draw them. Insane. I honestly never thought I'd ever have a chance to be in papers. You readers should make out pretty well, too. There'll be more comics to read and hopefully I'll grow as a writer by working in new formats. Your thoughts are welcome, as always.

Time to stop blathering and get back to work. I'll have more news to tell you soon, but right now I have to write some jokes, mail out some t-shirts and eventually get a few hours of sleep. Can ya digg it?

Good Gawd, a syndication

Good Gawd, a syndication deal, and you're too nice to hate.

What the hell am I supposed to do?

My fear of success is so strong I'm scared for you. Congratulations!

My first thought:

Scarybug's picture

Now more people are going to recognize my t-shirts!

I can't wait to see the newspaper version.


Nerdcore: The Core Wars

___ Nerdcore: The Core Wars


Xaviar Xerexes's picture

That's great news!

I guess the questions now are: (1) how much more PG does DS have to be for the newspapers than the web version and (2) how small on the page can DS go and still retain it's "pixel" look? I hate the fact that newspapers shrink comics so much but a lot of them do...


Xaviar Xerexes

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Gnaw.

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

Scott Kurtz Post

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Scott, no stranger to the terms of syndication terms, has a post up with some good questions about the deal.Â


Xaviar Xerexes

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Gnaw.

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

Well, I'm a little curious

The William G's picture

Well, I'm a little curious too, but like how much money someone is making, it's kinda no one's business but his.

Questions, Questions...

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Eric has a good post up on this although hopefully at some point they'll be follow up with Rich or United to flesh some of this out. It's a great story and I think we're all interested in it - how it came about, more about the different approach to (c) and ownership then past syndication deals and just where it all goes.

How much money R will make from all of this is interesting (although whether he wants to share it or not is up to him of course) simply because there are a lot of people who want to make comics AND support themselves from their work. (It can go without saying that NOT everyone who reads is in that boat)Â

It's starting to happen for some people but we're in such an early stage of things that there's no ONE way to do it and anytime anyone pioneers another route to a bit more (or a lot more) success well of course that's of tremendous interest to a great number of people.



Xaviar Xerexes

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Gnaw.

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

That is SWEET! Good luck

djcoffman's picture

That is SWEET! Good luck with the newspapers!

And now I will comment on a story I just posted...

Chris Crosby's picture

Congrats, Rich! I am very happy for you.