Howdy Tweeps! We had a great discussion on tonight’s #webcomicschat , thanks to everyone for their great comments. First let me thank Mr. Scott Kurtz for inspiring the discussion. He recently posted an article by Slate where they interviewed Gary Trudeau and discussed his career and the state of the cartooning biz. Click here to read Scott’s blog post and Click here to read the Slate Article. Scott’s blog post was surprisingly positive considering the fact that Trudeau’s remarks were pretty negative about the future of comics. To that point it seems that one man’s loss may be another man’s gain.
To put it simply, when it comes to comic strips Trudeau represents the way things were and Kurtz represents the way things are. My question is who represents where they’re going? Are Webcomics the future or are they a stepping stone to something else? Trudeau was fairly definitive that in his opinion, “There’s not much future in being a strip artist now.” Kurtz on the other hand has proven that NOT to be the case and that comics are still a powerful medium that can have a vibrant life online. Kurtz is also correct in pointing out that one of the reasons cartoonists like Trudeau see a bleak future is because their entire business model is fading away. It will be hardest for syndicated cartoonists to make the transition from print to digital because they have the most to lose.
I don’t pretend to have the secret to cartooning success. I do believe however that success is in the eye of the beholder. Success in cartooning will depend on what you want it to be. If you’re looking to become wealthy like the old time syndicated cartoonists I think you’re naive or at best misguided. If you’re looking instead for a place to build an audience, hon your craft and entertain the public with the prospect of a modest income, I think Webcomics (for now) are right for you.