Sergio Aragones is wrong, God bless him

Posted by on August 28th, 2010 at 10:48 PM

If you give everything away for free you have ruined everything.

Tell it to Chris Onstad, John Allison, Gabe and Tycho, Scott Kurtz, Kate Beaton, Phil and Kaja Foglio, Howard Tayler, Ryan North, Ryan Sohmer, Lar Desouza, Jeph Jacques, Dave Kellett, Randall Munroe, Chris Hastings, Meredith Gran, David Malki, Jennie Breeden, David Willis, Jeffrey Rowland, Spike Trotman… the list goes on

I’d go so far as to say that, right now, giving it away and selling merchandise at the back end is the de facto method for self-supporting, self-published cartoonists in any medium — and by “de facto” I mean the most common method for successful income generation. I’m reliably sure that there are more successful self-publishers on the Web than in the Direct Market, by a multiple of at least four.

(And before anyone brings up piracy and scanlations: These people have very carefully built business models around narrow commercial paths. It doesn’t justify taking bread out of peoples’ mouths without consent, by any means.)

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