Sad Trombone for Doonesbury


A world of yes to all of this
The saddest trombone is the fact that Baby Boomers still consider a Hawaiian shirt some sort of political/lifestyle statement. NEVER GET OLD, MAN!
Huh. And not a single Tim Buckley miscarriage spoof among them.
Yes, contemporary newspaper comics, including Doonesbury, suck. However, all those examples of webcomics are ugly and stupid.
The funniest thing to me is that I only read Doonesbury online these days and in fact finding it online has made me a much more regular reader.
It might be porn, but I make a living with webcomics.
Dresden Codak is the greatest webcomic that never updates. As for the claim about 4 people, Penny Arcade alone is at least 10 people, Schlock Mercenary supports a family of 4, Jennie Breeden is doing well for herself, as are Danielle Corsetto, Randy Milholland, and of course the whole Blind Ferret crew.
I could go on, but I hope the point is made?
The daguerreotype is the only way to take pictures. Using digital tools for photography will destroy the medium!
@8, I know a few modern daguerreotypists who would agree with you.

The newspaper comic will always be relevant as long as "Luann" and "Marvin" continue to run. Now that's artistry!
Without newspaper comics, what would the Comics Curmudgeon write about? And where would I get my daily Peanuts rerun?
@8 it's coming back!
Thirty some years ago when I moved to Seattle and it was a two-newspaper town, I didn't know anything about either paper so I chose to subscribe to the Times because it had Doonesbury. I've followed Doonesbury since Joanie Caucus worked in a childcare facility.
Those of us who were Doonesbury nuts from way back could hear the irony in Mike's voice.
@7 Shoosh! You're shaking Paul's rightness!

Also include Jeph Jacques on your list. ;) if you're going to do a limited list, it shouldn't be mostly one hosting group. Something Positive and Girls with Slingshots are hosted on blind ferret servers. The business ties go deep there. ;)
Those who wonder whether or not Trudeau had his tongue in his cheek probably don't realize how long his strip has been online.

Leaving aside the hilarious suggestion that the world would be a better place if we burned all the Calvin and Hobbes and got biweekly Achewood strips going again, there's a pretty serious point to be made about earning a living through comics, namely:

Newspaper strips have syndicates, and web comics do not.

Due to this form of labor organizations, lucrative pap like Blondie could support sublime stuff like Krazy Kat that had no popular appeal to speak of.

And because there is little to no interest in pooling* labor and revenues in the world of webcomics, pap like Penny Arcade doesn't support lovely things like Hark, A Vagrant, which has the relative market penetration of a small, injured bird.


* either on a for-profit basis, as with the newspaper syndicates, or via organized labor. And yes, I've heard of Topatoco, and no, I don't think fixed percentages on licensed T-shirt sales come anywhere near what the newspaper syndicates provided.
@Robotslave, I don't follow Penny Arcade anymore, but they aren't the only game in the webcomics business. Blind Ferret, as mentioned above, has grouped together a few artists that put out daily comics, physical books, prints, and other merchandise. They are also working on moving into animation, putting together an animated series based on Least I Could Do and raising the funds to do a movie of Looking For Group.

On top of all of their online work, the people behind Blind Ferret decided that their hometown didn't have a good enough comics shop, so they bought brick and mortar buildings and put up physical comics shops in their town. Using the money they earned as web comics artists.

They're proving that it is a business model that can and does work. It just takes finding the right niche, marketing skill, and providing consistent quality product.
Doonesbury's response, reposted from the comments section:

"Sometimes things really are what they seem. I checked with the home office, and the strip is nothing more than a simple gag about the state of newspapers. It was intended for the readers of the 1,100 daily and Sunday print editions that publish the strip. While understandably sentimental about his roots in print media, GBT was an enthusiastic, early adapter to digital platforms, creating three different CD-ROMS (1995), a web-based motion-capture video project (Duke2000), a milblog (2006), e-book editions of his anthologies, and of course, this website, launched in 1995, long before most webcomics were created. He first wrote about the social impact of computers, a favorite topic, in 1972."

But really, is anyone surprised these 20 and 30 something comics creators are standing on the shoulders of a giant like Trudeau and pissing all over him? Penny Arcade is an unmitigated, unfunny, misogynist and racist piece of shit. XKCD is unrepentent STEMmy douchbaggery. The less said about that steaming cynical marketing turd The Oatmeal, the better.

The only webcomics I know of worth a damn are 'Hark! A Vagrant' and she updates roughly every leap year, and 'Subnormality,' which is updated a little more regularly but requires an HD resolution 30" monitor to view properly.
Go to Emerald City Comicon and check out the Topataco booth and a lot of the booths surrounding it. You will find 10's of webcomic artists with devout followings all selling their books at a much faster pace than almost any other independent print artist in the artist's alley. Dinosaur Comics, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, Questionable Content, Not Invented Here, Unshelved, Sam and Fuzzy, etc...

Like it or not, this is the future of comics.

OK, we get it, you like Blind Ferret products and would like to help promote them.

That's fine.

But it's not a particularly persuasive counterargument.