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Mailbag? I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Mailbag

Also, the indefatiguable Ryan Estrada did some gift art for Cakewrecks. Awesome.

Because a bunch of things just sort of happened all at once, many of them of the milestone variety. Viz:

  • Little Gamers turns nine years old today.
  • Today is the arithmetic mean of the day that Irregular Webcomic hit 2500 strips and the day that Misery Loves Sherman hits 500 strips (no link until tomorrow). Also, I’m about five days late on this one (but I like to do these round-numbers deals in big chunks when I can), but Tweep pretty much put itself outside of casual Archive Bingery last week when it crossed the 1000 mark.
  • Today marks two years of Bill Barnes making Unshelved his entire job, and one day since Jeph Jacques sold enough t-shirts to buy a house.
  • And if all these variations on damn that is a lot of webcomickry going on isn’t enough for you, you can slurp up two and a half hours more in this vidcast, starring Dylan Meconis, Bill Mudron, Katie Lane, and Erika Moen (who is totally awesome at both thinking up titles and spelling); it’s all about making comics and navigating the world of freelancing (that last part is especially important if you ever consider doing such work yourself).
  • Finally, there’s a thinky piece by Eric Burns-White yesterday on why paywalls on the internet (whether it’s newspapers or comics or encyclopaediae) are doomed to failure. I will register my usual and token objection to one thought that crops up in the comments (and often does in these contexts): that very few internet ventures make money purely by providing content (with the unspoken assumption being that this is why old-time comics guys look down on webcomickers as t-shirt merchants).

    My objection being, I don’t care how many newspapers paid to carry Peanuts, that’s not what got Sparky his own private hockey rink; he got richer than God by licensing his characters to appear on everything from snack cakes to insurance companies. The ratio of direct revenue from the comic to revenue from merchandise (including the dreaded t-shirts) is probably not significantly different from that seen by the average self-sufficient webcomicker when comparing direct website revenue (say, advertising) to that brought in by the sales of tangible stuff.

    It’s not a critical point, but I have a great affection for it, so let me have this one thing, okay? It doesn’t detract from the logical basis of Mr Snark-White’s argument, and doesn’t lessen the strength of his conclusions.

Hi there! Could you please provide the link to the vidcast? I think it was left off by mistake.


Actually, I found it right here:


Dangit. Misformatted link fixed. Thanks, Matt!

I’d be interested, especially with the recent publication of a book about Watterson ( to learn how much Watterson actually made from C&H without any ancillary sales of licensed swag… Then again, I’m guessing that he’s an outlier no matter what way you were to measure him.

BG: Watterson’s book sales are probably still, years later, outperforming most syndicated cartoonists’. That’s probably the bulk of his strip-related income.

Also, I think the salient point from the “comics sell merchandise” argument is that T-shirts, mugs, licensing characters to sell insurance, etc. are revenue streams available to comics, but not to, say, newspapers. That’s why “webcomics can do it why can’t everyone the internet do it too” isn’t quite a cogent argument.

The websnark link should be

[…] (Above: screenshot from the video. Link via Gary Tyrrell.) […]

Philosophical question: What’s worse, a misformed link not showing, or a correctly formed link to the wrong place. Fixed now, and our apologies.

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