The latest issue of indie guide Broken Pencil has an article about webcomics by Richard Rosenbaum. “Paper is Boring. Comics are Awesome.” traces the migration of self-published comics online and includes some choice quotes from Dinosaur Comics’ Ryan North:
“I don’t think you can make a living selling your comic online,” says North. “There are so many free comics—worse, so many really fantastic free comics—that it’s hard for someone to sit down and enter in credit card information to read your story when there’s one just as good as it a click away.
“If you look at it really cynically –really cynically– you can say ‘Oh Ryan, you adorable dunderhead. You’re not a cartoonist. What you create are graphic ads for your T-shirts, a new ad every day. That’s not cartooning.’ And yeah, the comics support the shirts and the shirts support the comic, so there’s a symbiosis there. But even if there weren’t merchandise, I think I’d still be doing the comic online. Creating art in any form is hard, even comics. If you’re just in it for the money it’ll show, and you’ll hate your job. I am satisfied to give the comic away for free and sell merchandise. I don’t really see a conflict there, even though it is a bit odd to explain to someone encountering the idea for the first time that you’re a full-time cartoonist, and yeah, you give the comics away for free.”