Living on 1000 True Fans

Kevin Kelly wrote a widely discussed blog post called "1000 True Fans" about the prospects of making a living off of a 1000 "true" fans – those completely dedicated to a particular artist.  He’s posted an interesting letter from musician Robert Rich about his life as an independent musician making music in a fairly niche genre which both confirms and tempers the optimism of Kelly’s first post.

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Platinum Studios 2007 Financial Report

Journalista! catches the release of Platinum Studios financial report for 2007.  Platinum owns major webcomics community DrunkDuck and publishes webcomic-to-comic Hero By Night by DJ Coffman.  Platinum reported net revenues of $1.96 million, of which arouund 1.3 million seem to be directly attributable to Hollywood options on Platinum IP.  There’s more details at Fox Business and a summary of the 10-K report to the SEC at Yahoo Business.

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Rockin’ The Cash Bar of Comics

So the big interesting "thing" this week was two ongoing conversations at FLEEN and THE DAILY CARTOONIST among cartoonists about how to make money via the web and/or print.  As this decade (the "naughts"?) has gone along it’s obvious that cartoonists need to learn how to use all their options – web and print – to connect with the audience and turn that into a living.  These threads still had a bit of what in the past folks have called "print" versus "webcomics" but when you get down to it, this is really a generational divide combined with technological shifts. 

It’s basically as if all of the big band musicisians were released on 78s and they were talking to rap musicians released on casette tapes — it’s a whirlpool of baked in business and artistic assumptions on both sides that the average person can’t get past.  I suppose this crystalized for me reading Jeff Vella’s comments about  GIven it’s audience and rocket growth, there’ really shouldn’t be any doubt that xkcd is a rock star in comics, web or otherwise.  But if you’re a big band musician you may not want to admit that xkcd is even playing music, let alone that it’s a star at it.

But they’re both very interesting threads, especially if you’re a creator trying to make sense of what to do with your comics.  And Scott Kurtz has set up a Talk Shoe call tonight at 7 PM to continue the discussion.  You can call into (724) 444-7444 ( Call ID: 5786) or sign up at and use your mic and headset to talk for free using their built in software.

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Weekend Webcomic Update


This has been out there on the intertubes this week – Kevin Kelly wrote an essay on 1000 True Fans, the notion being that there is a sweet spot on the long tail for the working artist to make a living – not poverty and not superstardom.  Nothing earthshattering in it to most readers here, but well-written and a lengthy discussion ensues in the comments.  FLEEN picked up on it with a post yesterday on venture capital for comics.  Well actually Gary is just flagging the idea that print and swag costs money upfront that artists don't necessarily have to do those thing right (and in a way that will actually make real money on the back end).  So we have seen some folks call for pre-orders to help gauge interest before committing the money.  What about just getting someone else to float the money to the creator so there's no hurdle?  Well – let's think about it some.  If it was me I'd much rather invest in a Topatoco set-up; help that kind of thing expand, then give my money to a creator in the kind of scenario Gary is talking about.  But it's an interesting idea to think about.


You Thought We Wouldn't Notice, a blog focused on pointing out suspiciously similar designs.  FLEEN had great coverage of the recent Soap Swindle saga.


I'm out of the loop – when did Digg get a Comics And Animation section?


Checking out Xylia — anyone else reading this fantasy webcomic?

International History Club is neither international nor historical.  Discuss.

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Platinum Studios Files For IPO

Kevin Church has a post on Platinum Studios filing with the SEC to become a public company (it filed a SB-2 statement with the SEC). Kevin’s post is a little bit of snark with some highly superficial speculation on the traffic at (a site owned by Platinum Studios). He links, however, to an American Ventures magazine story slash press release on Platinum Studios filing which also details Platinum’s closing of a $5 million dollar round of equity financing. Digital Media Wire also filed a story on the potential IPO but no one seems to offer any independent reportage on the details of the financing round or the realistic prospects for an IPO (including the almost prequisite speculation on initial valuation).

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It’s Business, It’s Business Time. Part 3: Longform Comics Need to Man-Up

I was never a fan of newspaper comics. Calvin and Hobbes may have been the first comic I ever read, but once it ended, that was it for me, everything else seemed formulaic and contrived to me with no room for any real artistry. That may or may not be true, but it’s how I feel.

Now, comic BOOKS, that’s another story. Just as Calvin and Hobbes was ending I began devouring X-Men, and Spider-Man and Batman, and it’s where my love of comic comes from, what originally inspired me to make a career out of comics.

Those are the kind of comics I love and the kind of comics I want make, but they’re not dominating the web. Continue Reading

It’s Business, It’s Business Time. Part 1: Welcome to THE WOOOOORLD OF TOMORROOOOOOW

You know when Tim is running ComixTalk for a week it's time for business, that's why they call him Business-Tim.

Internet! How are you? It's me again, your pal Tim. You may recall me from such internetery as,, and Reckless Life. I'm gonna be taking a look at the changing face of digital comics we seem to find ourselves in these days over the course of the week as it relates to stuff I know enough about to comment on.

Today I'm going to take a broad look at what's going on right now and what it means to you. Yes, YOU. So why not click read more and read some more, because I know what you're thinking, you're thinking, aaaaaaaah yeeeeeah, it's time for business. It's business time.

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