May 16 2009
0/5 from ratings
The interesting thing about my recent SMBC parody is that many people took it as a statement about webcomics in general. As d2002's submittion at digg blatantly points out, many feel that funny webcomics usually have poor illustrations and webcomics with great artwork are usually not very funny.
The real reason "why most webcomics suck" is that they're not profitable until you reach an absurd amount of traffic. It's a classic catch-22. You can't afford to spend any time writing and drawing until you can quit your job. But you can't afford quit your job until you have time to create a quality webcomic and business model.
The result? Stick figure comics. It's the only way. Stick figures are the most effecient way to convey information about the human form. I make at least one comic per day, but I only have about 30 minutes to write and draw it. I simply couldn't do it without drawing stick figures. I have no proofreader (except you of course) - each day I just write it, draw it, and upload it.
The solution? The solution is painfully simple. Webcomic artists give you content for free. It's not like a newspaper, where you pay for the newspaper. Not only are webcomics free, we actually have to pay for the bandwidth you're using. It costs us money to send you the comics. The words you are reading right now cost us money to send to you. If everyone donated an amount as small as one dollar per month (much less than a newspaper subscription) to their favorite webcomics, the entire problem would be solved.
The reality? This is not a nation of working solutions. We let George W. Bush hold office for eight years. We run Microsoft Windows on our computers. We don't support free content that we like. In my experience, for every 1 million readers, about 2 readers will donate (0.000002%). It's evidence that the donation model made famous by artists like Radiohead does not really work. It only works for brands that are already popular worldwide. No one is going to donate unless it makes a newspaper, unless they get something in return (which is not really donating at all).
I don't really want to sell shirts and mugs, but I'll have to if I ever want to make a living from comics. People only want to pay for something tangible. We're so accustomed to everyone trying to take our money that we want to see a physical item with our eyes so that we can do a cost/gains evaluation in our minds to decide if it's worth it. The idea of paying for free non-tangible services is completely foreign to us. And laughter is not tangible at all. It may improve your mood, reveal truth, make you healthier, and help you live a longer more enjoyable life but you can't wear it on your back or put coffee in it. Why would you pay for something if you don't have to?
So please don't take my comics very seriously. This isn't a serious comic strip effort. It's purely for fun and practice. If you want to compare my work here to professional webcomics, that's fine, but know the absurdity behind it. Someday, when I can afford it, I'll start a serious comic strip effort at 909sickle.com. Until then, I hope you enjoy the clob at 909sickle.com/s.