I was talking about online comics and wondering how to make money at it and I think the future is NFTs – which are non-fungible tokens. This is a method to pay for original digital art sold through crypto currencty.
You may have read recently that Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, sold his first tweet for $2.9 million (in NFTs). The actual first tweet ever was sold. I don’t know how you sell a tweet, but it was done.
It seems that things can be sold now where in the past that was inconceivable.
The downside of digital art, as opposed to pen and ink or canvas and paint has always been that there was no original art. It’s all on the computer, there is nothing tangible. But now that non-tangible art can be sold through the NFT exchange.
Digital artist, Mike Winkelmann, recently sold a piece of digital art for $69 million.
There is one concern about this selling of digital art – the rights. Who owns what? For instance if a syndicate owns or controls your cartoons, do they own the rights, or do you? A good reason for self-publishing and not being controlled by another entity.
I’m sure as time goes by, things will be more understood and perhaps I and other cartoonists can start selling the original digital pieces of our comics this way, and finally make a living at what we do! You know, maybe someone will like a specific cartoon and want to own the original digital piece. Hope so.
I’ve been touting the advantage of online comics vs printed newspaper strips and it looks like the owners of the Tarzan franchise, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., feel the same.
In a statement by President Jim Sullos, he says that after a 92-year-run as a printed strip in newspapers, the strip will now move to online only strips. His whole statement is here, in The Daily Cartoonist.
Their site edgarriceburroughs.com/comics has four free sample strips and in the future, you’ll have to subscribe for the new material. It’s only $21.99 per year for full access to all the strips.
I love this idea, it’s sort of like having a Patreon site but not.
I had written in the past of how I feel that comics are an online thing these days. At once I would have killed to be published daily in newspapers, but I can’t see myself doing that now. That’s so last century.
The trick now is learning how to make a living at it.
This cartoon from earlier in the pandemic is being rerun today as part of the Be An Arts Hero campaign, which is Monday, March 15. Cartoonists from all over the world are participating to bring awareness to the arts. Cartoons will start spreading across social media at 9 am eastern time.
The AAEC (Association of American Editorial Cartoonists) has been asked to spread the word about Be An Arts Hero, a push by the arts and cultures sector for direct government support of creatives during the time of coronavirus.
Be An #ArtsHero is joining a national effort of Arts Workers, urging the Biden/Harris administration to support the Arts and Culture sector. Together, cartoonists contributed to this political cartoon initiative.
An original cartoon (or a repurposed or existing cartoon on the subject), is to illustrate a unique point of view on the particular struggles of editorial cartoonists during this crisis.
I chose to repurpose the one shown above, which was first published towards the beginning of the pandemic.
Hashtags and tags include: #ArtsWorkersUnite, #ArtsHero #First100Days, and @JoeBiden, @KamalaHarris, @WhiteHouse, and @BeAnArtsHero. So if you look for them after today, you’ll see the cartoons all over social media and at BeAnArtsHero.com.
The arts and culture stats sheet can be seen here. You’ll see the large economic impact the arts have on our country.
Recently I was interviewed for a publication and they asked me about my influences. I mentioned Hanna-Barbera and Charles Schultz and of course Ralph Dunagin, who I only recently realized was a big influence on my work. I had written about that in June 2020, when Ralph passed away.
For all these years I had not thought about him, but when he passed away and stories and images of his work started appearing, it struck me right away that that was my work! I was looking at my own work, yet it was Ralph’s work, who I was influenced by.
I don’t want to say I copied him, because I never did and I never traced or drew his work like I did with others. I never traced Fred Flintstone, yet I drew him all the time as a kid. Same as Peanuts characters – I drew them over and over. But with Ralph’s work, especially his Dunagin’s People comic strip, I only viewed it and subconsciously studied it, but I never recreated it on paper, I never copied or drew it – I saved it only in my head I guess. And I don’t remember doing that. It was all so subtle.
I find it so interesting. I subconsciously studied his line work. He was an “unassuming influence,” as I called my last blog story on him. I draw clothing in his style and I don’t connect the lines when I draw, just like him. I also draw feet like he does. I literally see his work in my work. Only I never knew it until recently. So that is really a case of subconsciousness. All these years it was right in front of my eyes, but I never knew it.
My cousin had me in tears the other day. Why? Because she booked us tickets for the Immerse Van Gogh experience in New York for July! I was going to get some tickets for Miami when it’s here in April, but this is better. I had written about it in November, when they were planning the event for Indianapolis. I really had considered going there to see it.
I was in tears because I can’t believe that things are starting to get back to normal. When she texted me that she got the tickets and told me the date and time, I was filled with happiness, something I really hadn’t felt in a long time, the pandemic was starting to weight on me. But it’s real. It’s happening. I’m going to immerse myself into my favorite artist with some of my favorite people.
I’ve missed them so much. My cousins are like brothers and sisters to me. I spend so much time with them during the year, but the last time I saw them in person was November 2019. We talk and chat all the time, but of course it’s not the same.
What was even better is that I didn’t realize that there were more than two of us on the text when she said she got the tix, so when others chimed in and said they were excited, too. I really lost it.
Today’s comic is an old one. I originally did it in the late 1990s, and I liked the sound, the alliteration better. The one on the right is the old one – AOL/A&P, two things from the past. I know AOL is still around, but it’s not as common as it was in the ’90s. Just thinking about it and I hear that old fashioned dial tone sound it used to make when booting up. Remember that?
Another thing – many parts of the country say they are standing on line, rather than in line, which I guess is important for the gag, but I know you get it either way, right?
The title of this post is a play on the great website called, “A Case for Pencils,” where Jane Mattimoe interviews New Yorker cartoonists.
I’ve tried to be a New Yorker cartoonist, but they don’t even look at the submitted work. I have many things in the queue; many since April, just sitting there, awaiting attention. They get too many submissions, I guess.
I love reading how cartoonists create their work and it seems that most, if not all of the New Yorker cartoonists still use pen and ink, – or pencils, as the title says. Me, I am all digital.
If I was interviewed for this, I would have to say, “I get an idea, jot it down on a pad. Go back to it and try to decipher what I wrote down. Then draw up the comic on my Surface Pro, and ta da – it’s done. The sad part is that there is no original art.
Years ago, I would eat all that stuff up. I would get the pen nibs suggested by cartoonists I liked and I would buy the proper weight bristol board they suggested. I spent so much time at the art supply stores. I even had a discount card that gave me discounts for shopping there often. Now I can’t remember the last time I stopped into one of these stores.
I remember when I was in college, since I majored in art, I was constantly buying new and exciting things I never heard of – tools that were new to me. My store of choice was Rex Art Supply in Coral Gables, which is no longer there. They have been gone long before the digital age.
I remember before fonts and computers and stuff I would get fonts on sheets that I would rub off on paper. It was for a word or two or three, not for paragraphs or anything like that. I mostly used it make or clean up logos and things like that. There was a time I could look at any font and tell you the name, now I barely notice if I’m using Times Roman or Arial.
I have a box somewhere at my parents house, I think in my old closet, where I have so much of this stuff left over – font sheets, rulers, erasers, pencils, etc. I need to find that box. Open it. And take in the smell – the smell of yesteryear.
Yesterday’s comic was a hit – a play on the Progressive Insurance commercial. Most people got it, many from out of the country didn’t. It got so many comments, people really enjoyed it and apparently love the commercial.
Progressive Insurance saw it and they re-posted it on their Instagram account.
I almost didn’t use it. I didn’t like the way the skunks came out. I kept playing with it and didn’t want them to look like Disney or Hanna-Barbera characters. But I liked the gag enough to just go with what I came up with.
Here is the commercial for those who have never seen it. Here in the U.S. It’s on tv every other minute it seems, but we never get tired of it!
I noticed this weekend that American’s Test Kitchen started the new season and it’s from everyone’s own kitchen. In other words, they are working from home. It works, but I miss the interaction between the people.