Swaab has acted in an extraordinarily honorable fashion, especially as it was in response to my own rather angry and impolite goading. I can only ask that he feel free to call me on any poor arguments that I may make, and hope that I can react with as much class as he has done.
Chris Hastings of Dr McNinja pointed me to a post by Neil Swaab of Rehabilitating Mr Wiggles about the alt-weekly cartoon market drying up. Decent points to be made, but in the middle, this tired old thing again:
I know there are plenty of web comic artists who are able to subsist on the income they make from their website, but they aren’t making money from their comics; they’re making money from merchandise. Not to belittle web-only comic artists, but when their income is derived from t-shirts, it makes them salesmen first, artists second. (emphasis mine)
I am officially sick of this argument. Everybody that looks down on webcomics creators as “artists second”, get off your goddamned high horse.
If you’d care to explain to me how Sparky became richer than God off of Peanuts, have the intellectual honesty to admit that it wasn’t because he was a brilliant artist with a unique vision that resonated with so many people. It was because Snoopy was licensed to appear on everything from MetLife billboards to (gasp! horror! shame!) t-shirts.
The only thing that those t-shirt shilling webcomickers Swaab looks down on are doing different than “the artists” is cutting out the goddamned middleman and keeping the goddamned money for themselves instead of allowing somebody else to take a huge cut of it in return for convincing them that “artists” don’t sully their hands with such base concerns as filthy lucre.
This argument is bullshit. It’s dead. Get over it and while you’re at it, get over yourselves.