A Plea for Remembering Comics

Tara Tallan (Galaxion) ponders the economics of webcomics and what creators risk with depending on merchandise money:

I’m starting to get that same kind of icky feeling about all this as I did when I first started going to comic conventions again in 2006, after six years of not being in comics at all. I remember looking around at the tables in the small press alley and seeing all the hats and prints and t-shirts and toys and thinking to myself, where are all the comics? …

I can see the slippery slope ahead, where webcomickers will be tempted to retool their comics to ones that will look good on a white cotton tee. How many gag-a-day creators are discarding good visual jokes in favour of one-liners that make good t-shirt copy?

More thoughtful comments in the link. It’s a tough question, especially once you factor in the cost of color (which many webcomics use, since it’s free to them, until they go to print). Ironically, Galaxion put out one of the rare comic t-shirts I own, a nicely understated starfield on black. But mostly, I don’t buy mugs, shirts, stickers, whatever. Print collections are good, if the creator can survive long enough to get there.

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