Where Should A Webtoonist Live?

T Campbell reports that he’s getting evicted in a couple months and it led him to muse on where to live.

This puts me in a strange situation– I have no day job, and the business classes I’m taking can be taken online. I’ve discovered– unfortunately– that I am no longer content taking jobs that are just “writing-related” or “editing-related” instead of being “comics-related,” so the Washington, D.C. area doesn’t hold quite as much attraction for me as it used to…. What this means is, I could pretty much live anywhere.

I’d like it to be somewhere comics-fertile, not too expensive, yet with enough things to do and see that you just have to get out in it, you know?

Also recently, Tycho commented about how the affordability of Spokane played a key role in the success of Penny Arcade.

So what’s the best place for a webtoonist to live and why?

Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.


  1. I wrote about cartoonists moving to Fayette-Nam after I read Penny Arcade’s words about Spokane. I don’t know that there is much to do here– there’s interesting things in Pittsburgh and a nice comic scene going on there. I blogged about it here– http://www.yirmumah.djcoffman.com/blog/index.php?p=146

    Also, read the cool interview with the group that meats downtown on Wed nights– I was supposed to be there that night they did the interview, but I missed it– check it out.. .Pittsburg has some cool comic creators– Read all about it here– http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04361/431053.stm

  2. Northampton, MA has a handful of cool comics creators. Boston is a great place to be, but much too expensive. I’ll be making my way down toward Providence soon, myself. Much more affordable, but a nice town in its own right, and still within an hour of Boston.

  3. The choice is quite obvious: CRESBARD, SOUTH DAKOTA.

    You can buy a nice big house for, like, 10 bucks here.

  4. Phil Foglio moved to New York when he wanted to break into comics, and it seems to have worked for him. Of course 1) that was twenty five years ago 2) that was print comics 3) he now lives in Seattle (last I heard). I’m just sayin’.

  5. If you moved to Hamilton we could hang out at Tim Hortons together and draw pictures of hot babes with machine guns and stuff.

    Of course on the down side you’d have to live in Hamilton. On the upside you’d be living in Canada.

  6. Christ, come to Dubuque, IA. It’s a crappy, racist town, but a webtoonist would be gold living here. I’m in an apartment that charges $450/mo, water and heat paid, so I only have to cover electricity.

    Besides, I have no one to keep me company. Most folks here think Family Circus is hilarious, SO GOD HELP ME.

  7. I just posted this on T’s blog, but to encourage webtoonists in general to move closer:

    Massachusetts has around 620 comic book shops (I just made a list). We have at least 3 science fiction conventions every year (Arisia, Boskone & Readercon) – probably more I don’t know about and also many more in the New England area if you’re willing to travel a bit.

    There are more schools and colleges and extension schools and adult education places around here than you can shake a really big stick at. Some of them, like Tufts, offer a free class (auditing, not for credit) twice a year to Somerville and Medford residents. Harvard’s extension school regularly has big name authors in to teach writing classes if you’re into that sort of thing. Small & medium-sized reputation types do a lot of adult ed. teaching.

    We have a good public transportation system. The bus routes are extensive, and the T (short for MBTA – in other places you’d call it “The Underground” or “Subway” or “The Metro” or “BART” or what-have-you) kicks butt. It’s got a couple of commuter lines that go out to the remote and more affordable areas. We also have ZIPCARS, which is a rental car system where cars are parked in useful places throughout the local cities, meaning less time spent at a rental desk and more time just jumping in and driving around. The Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area is all VERY walkable as well. MA drivers (sometimes called Massholes) are not particularly friendly to pedestrians, but the cities are designed for wandering around. Logan airport is pretty insane, but it’s big and can fly you to most places direct. NYC is about a 4-5 hour drive, or you can fly super cheap, or take Amtrak down in less time than it takes to drive. Lots of skiing within an hour’s drive if you like to ski – it apparently gets even better the further you’re willing to drive.

    Boston is killer expensive to live in, as is Cambridge. But Somerville can be affordable and much of it is on the main MBTA line (the red line). It’s also very friendly to artist-types. Further out, but still on the main bus lines, you have Medford and Watertown, which are more affordable with roomier rental properties.

    There are plenty of gyms and health clubs and even YMCA/YWCA places where you can work out for a day for $6. We have a good number of local bookstores, most of which are independent (you have to go to the Malls or the burbs for the big chain stores). They’re all willing and happy to order books for you. Lots of author and poet readings in the area – a big arts community in general.

    Downsides: there are weird racial tensions here that I especially noticed moving up from New Jersey. And the economy’s a bit slumped, but that’s not terribly relevant to you. The sports fans are RABID and can be quite loud. People talk about skiing constantly through the winter months. The HUGE student population can cause problems – population fluctuation in the summer, crappy housing at inflated prices, nasty messes after loud parties, and insane traffic on June 1st and September 1st. The driving’s as bad as you’ve heard, but although drivers are psychotic, it’s not really personal – they hate everyone equally. We have some impressive weather changes and can end up with deep snow falls. The pizza is mostly Greek style and the few that are New York style don’t quite get it right, but other than that you can find pretty much every type of food imaginable.

    I moved to Cambridge in 1995, then over to Somerville in 2001. I love Somerville. It’s a good-sized city, but gives you the feeling of being a small city. It’s efficient and friendly and people are REALLY involved in local politics. There are a lot of great little restaurants and coffee shops in the area, lots of local businesses, lots of local produce from the farms out west. I’ve never been happier, but then I like living in the city. (I grew up in a part of the NJ burbs that required a car to get anywhere and everywhere.)

    Plus you’ll be in reasonable hanging-out distance of me, Eric Burns, the North Hampton crew, Alexander Danner, and quite a few other comicky folks.

    Kelly J. Cooper
    Comixpedia Editor

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