Nothing Is Dead

7 Apr

I continually read via Facebook, blogs, etc. online about cartoonist (mostly amateurs) complaining about how print is dead, comics aren’t ever going anywhere and that there’s such a gloomy future for any potential cartoonist, that one pursuing the career might as well throw in the pen.

Really?  DO IT!  That leaves less competition for me!

Anyhow…

What you don’t hear much about are the ones THAT ARE making it.  Proving – once again – that there is a market for cartoonist.

I’m very optimistic about the future of cartooning.  Yes, there are going to be a lot of changes.  It’s natural for that to happen.  But, change doesn’t have to be all that bad.

Case in point:  I keep hearing about the dying newspapers as well, yet, a few of them are thriving.  I believe there is going to definitely be some necessary changes with newspapers.  (I can almost seeing it becoming a nice balance of a collaboration between print and digital.)  But, in order for journalism to survive, changes WILL occur.  Along with journalism is cartooning (if you’re gong for the syndicated market, like me).  Are the people behind journalism going to let that happen?  Pretty doubtful.  And as long as they’re around, so are comics.

I honestly think comics will make a full-circle and becoming stronger than ever in the near future because of all the NEW markets for cartoons!

Think about it – yes, the print format might not ever be as strong as it once was, but beyond that, there is other arenas.  And more arenas are being churned up regularly – along with the old ones still existing.

The people complaining about the pay and everything when it comes to being a cartoonist are right – it stinks.  But, that too, can change.  And it’s not all that bad for everybody.  And the pay is something that I can also see changing into more of what it’s worth (if amateurs would STOP working for free).

I think it’s an exciting time for syndicated cartooning.  I think the competition is higher than ever – which is good!  It means only the strong survive, and the people who work very hard will (hopefully) make it through the gates.  There aren’t as many features being picked up, but that gives a great opportunity for a GREAT feature to be picked up.  A lot of material that doesn’t make it doesn’t make it for a reason.

I think it’s a great time for other mediums of cartooning as well (web, novels, etc.).  It’s going to take some adjusting, but I truly believe things will sort themselves out nicely for a profitable living for those who really have passion and determination for the art.

I don’t know.  It could just be me…the optimistic.

Really though, all of this gloom-and-doom mentality really annoys me.  If it were this gloomy-and-doomy, I think things would have shut down completely by now.  Think of all the things that are supposed to be dead at this point in time.  Radio is a good example.  Everyone suspected the death of radio years ago, yet it’s comeback to digital formats, paid subscriptions and is actually doing quite well.  (Well, so I hear.)

I just read an article in The Village Voice about cartoonist.  The whole article is an interesting read, yet, they also don’t mention the success stories happening as we speak.

I don’t want to make millions and become rich off of my work.  I’m aiming to make a modest living off of what I enjoy doing – if anything.  And there are people doing exactly what I want to be doing right now – and getting paid and making a living.  So, that tells me it can be done.  Makes sense to me…just do what the other guys are doing and one can get paid, right?  Follow their same pattern.

It’s just change is taking place, and nobody accepts change.  Everyone assumes the worse.

Think of steam train engineers.  Obviously, the steam trains disappeared because of diesels, but there was (and still is) a market for trains.  People even thought trains would disappear.  However, do you realize, last year trains brought in more profits as mode of transportation than cars, planes, boats or trucks?    (I don’t have the source for this (I know I’ll hear about that) but I read it over at Trains Magazine awhile back.)

What I’m getting at is engineers are still out there driving trains.  Do we need a fireman anymore (the guy that shoveled the coal into the locomotive).  No.  His job, well, yes – disappeared.  But, I’m sure he could have taken the path to pursue a train related career beyond that.  And there’s a huge market for trains and engineers.

I hope it’s a great future, and I stand by my motto that it will be.  My goal is to help revamp this mentality of everything being bleak for comics and show people that it doesn’t have to be.  I would love to just burst into the cartooning world and set a fine example.

We’ll see, huh?

I know this post probably sounds like me trying to convince myself, but really, I’m not.  I look at things as I see them and I can never convince myself of much of anything (if I tried to convince myself to enjoy black beans, I don’t think I could).

So – what’s your take?

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5 Responses to “Nothing Is Dead”

  1. Nate Fakes April 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    BTW – after writing this, I discovered a response about the Village Voice article. THIS is a big reason why the industry is hurting! http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/romenesko/127034/village-voice-blasted-for-not-paying-comics-issue-contributors/

  2. Bearman April 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    I don’t know. I think more and more as newspapers make the transition to the web there will be less paid syndication. More and more I think they will allow you to post your stuff on their site, in exchange for exposure which they will claim you can make up in print and book sales.

    • Bearman April 11, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

      Well I guess the only thing dead is your responding to my insightful post..haha

      • Nate Fakes April 12, 2011 at 11:17 am #

        Sorry….I meant to reply!

        Yea, I still think there’s going to be a market for material regardless. Otherwise, journalism is dead, too. And I don’t see that happening (unless they work for Fox News). Pay will have to stay competitive, but there will have to be a fine-tuned way of creating product consumers will still pay for.

  3. Kit Lively April 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Yeah, I agree Nate. All aspects of publication are simply in a period of transition right now, and that’s always a bit scary. But we just have to grin and bear it for awhile, and I think we’ll be okay on the other side (the other side being the resolution of this publishing situation, not the other side as in death).

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