Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Diversify Your Newspaper Comics Like a Portfolio

... so writes Joanne Kaufman in today's Wall Street Journal (quoting Janet Grimley, assistant managing editor at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer). This is a thoughtful piece with a lot of quotes from editors, syndicate people and cartoonists young and old.

And the article goes on to cover the fact that it's so difficult for a new cartoonist to break through all the old "legacy strips."

"For their part, long-established cartoonists suggest a little perspective is in order. 'My father always points out in defense of his strip that when he started it he was competing for space with 'Little Orphan Annie,' 'Dick Tracy' and 'Pogo,' ' said Brian Walker, a cartoonist and comics historian who was referring to 'Beetle Bailey' creator Mort Walker. Other cartoonists see it purely as a marketplace issue. 'My feeling is if you can do what I'm doing and it knocks me out of the paper, do it. Do it,' challenged Lynn Johnston. 'I'll applaud you. But as long as the editors and readers want my strip, I'll keep working.'"
The only thing that doesn't get mentioned is a Web-based business model for making money out of comic strips -- something I think is pretty important, especially if Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos can get people to buy Kindle. My friend Mark Anderson has more on Kindle here.

The article is accompanied by a too-small-reproduced illustration by Martin Kozlowski that I really liked. I wish it was reproduced larger! Heck, why are there space considerations on the Internets, WSJ?

1 comment:

Mark Fearing said...

Great blog. Good info, a chance to see your beautiful work and lots of useful info. Great. Another site for me to read into the wee-hours and then wonder why I don't feel awake the next morning at 6 AM.
- Mark