The webcomics blog about webcomics

Eight Words

There’s been a lot of discussion about women in comics — pardon me, I meant Women in Comics — of late, this latest round perhaps kicked off by DC’s stand on same, perhaps some by the just-concluded (and highly successful) Kickstarter campaign for the Womanthology¹. Something I didn’t realize about said ‘thology is that apparently the contributors aren’t being paid; from the Kickstarter page:

All money earned goes directly to printing costs and other fees such as postage of the book to all of you fine people!
[If the funding far exceeded the goal of $25,000, which by happenstance it did, by a factor of four] … my ultimate goal would be an expanded version of what this book is about. To create an organization that supports new creators and their creator-owned comics, helps fund them to complete their works, and get them out to major publishers for their chance to shine.

So, nothing about money going to the contributors of this book for work being done now. That, I suspect, is what prompted Meredith Gran to share her thoughts on how to develop and promote the careers women in comics, which is neatly encapsulated in just eight words:

Pay them. No, seriously. Pay them with money.

Exposure has been proposed more than once as a desirable thing for creative types, but as the eminently-quotable Rich Stevens has repeatedly said, People die of exposure. A quick look over my shoulder at the enormous bookshelves full of comics and graphic novels shows about a 60/40 split between the genders overall (favoring males), but interestingly that ratio reverses if you count only original, creator-owned properties.

Because I, and others, have paid these creators in money and not exposure, they’ve had the luxury of time to develop and hone their craft (along with the gift of deadlines, forcing them to learn not just to be good, but good and fast). Read Gran’s entire essay (really, it almost counts as more of a manifesto) and see if that core argument is anything but a fundamental truth. Bonus for those of you still not convinced that women can make comics: it works for creators of all genders.

  • Here’s a happy thought about another creator that you can pay with money: Scott C[ampbell] has a new book coming out. And this time, it’s an art collection! Seeing as how I’ve only ever been lucky enough to attend one of his art shows, much of what’s contained in the forthcoming AMAZING EVERYTHING: the art of scott c is likely to be completely new. It’s set to debut at APE, 1-2 October, but you can pre-order it now. In Campbell’s words, the book will contain:
    • King of Kong
    • Zombie Fair
    • Home Slices
    • Cute Hunter
    • Building with the Bowies
    • Ninjas All Over The Place
    • Some rainbows and clouds
    • Great Great Grandshow inventors
    • Cliff Ogres
    • The Cutest Thing Ever
    • Tanks
    • Some drawings
    • Selections from my elementary school career

    I am looking forward to this like you can’t imagine.

  • Finally, some guys that just might have enough money, but what the heck, pay them some anyway: the long-rumored collaboration/second webcomic from Mike Krahulik & Jerry Holkins and Scott Kurtz has come to fruition. The Trenches hints at the possibility of filthy continuity, one (1) update that hints at a sharp comic sensibility, and an absolutely gorgeous website design. Seriously, that stitching-on-fabric motif is really pretty.

¹ I hate that name.

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