Digital Cartoons for Newspapers and Profit

27 Oct

I’m pretty sure every print newspaper on earth is trying to figure out this whole digital transition thing.  And so are the syndicates that provide comics for newspapers.  Creators need to profit, newspapers need to profit and so-on.

Eureka!  I thought of a solution (well, at least for comics)!

How about this:

Any subscriber that has a digital subscription to the newspaper can build their own comics page – for a small fee added in with subscription cost?

In other words, have a digital store (like GoComics) where there are professional comics to choose from.  From that, the user can add any comics they want to their digital newspaper, and it will all be included.  Maybe have a “featured” comic on the page as well so new comics can be introduced from time to time.

And for a fee – I’m talking relatively cheap.  Like, enough to make the customer think it’s really worth it.  Just like an I-Tune.  Each comic is a separate fee.  Not the comics page as a whole – but by comic.

I hate seeing all the free content offered online – and something has got to give eventually.  It’s hurting business, and newspapers are butchering themselves by offering so much free content.  I think people would actually pay for comic strips they like – and newspapers they like – as long as the quality is worth the cost.

GoComics offers free subscriptions, or for a cheap price, you can get a GoComics account without any advertisements.  I would love to see this separated into newspaper markets so content is delivered via your newspaper instead of having to create a GoComics account – or both.

I believe King Features offers a comics page to newspaper sites, but it seems to be offered free of charge to the public.  I’m sure they (King Features) charges the newspapers to use their comics option, but is it really as good of a profit as charging individual customers?

Something that I could foresee in the future?  Yes.  But, I hope it happens sooner than later. Or something similar to my idea.  (And I say it’s my idea because I haven’t heard of this before, but I could be wrong.)

I really do think something will have to give soon with newspapers and the comics that come with them.  Digital is becoming more and more popular.  I believe people also have a strong physical attachment to the print edition as well.  So, I’m hoping both mediums come out shining!  I don’t really care how my comics are delivered (print or digital) as long as creators that work on them professionally (like myself) can be compensated (that goes for you too, writers and reporters).

Something to think about.

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5 Responses to “Digital Cartoons for Newspapers and Profit”

  1. Bill M October 31, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    The whole idea of the web in my mind is to allow people to digest, pick and choose, what they want to digest at their leisure. The actual paper, the medium, is what fails to compete with the web due to it’s limitation to content overall, not it’s ability to be customized.

    • Nate Fakes October 31, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      I agree. Still, in terms of how a lot of papers are heading to tablets, it might be an easier – and profitable – way for creators and editors to publish their work.

  2. Bill M October 31, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    To be fair about your article I must give you the real truth of what I have heard, what you have heard, and I offer a simple solution.

    1. There is no money in cartooning and it’s important to keep your day job. If you are syndicated enjoy that accomplishment and if you get a trickle of money from it then that will hopefully cover the costly gas price, and food cost. I know it’s been my dream as a kid but if you don’t draw and write humor like Gary Larson forget about it lol.

    2. The powers that be will eventually figure out the ever changing business model and that will either benefit them more than the cartoonist or maybe there is a way to not to screw the cartoonist, but that’s left to be seen. I think gocomics.com has a great solution to the majority of suckers who buy into the syndication scheme, me included, by charging a subscription fee just to post content, which in turn drives traffic and allows them to make money off of advertising. They should allow creators to post content for free but they don’t because it would be a huge loss of revenue for them. So that’s one example of how the only way they can survive online is to cheapen the cartooning art and simply whore it out for gain.

    • Nate Fakes November 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

      Call me optimistic, but I am. (And on a side note: I actually do everything TO AVOID drawing or coming up with Gary Larson-ish material so I can be original.) I think it’s a waiting game though, so yes, I have other streams of income. However, everyone once thought movie theaters were dead, radio was dead and passenger trains were dead, yet some thrive and some survive. It will be interesting, but I doubt the end of quality, syndicated comics will be anytime soon.

      By the way, Bill, what cartoon do you draw? I’d love to check it out!

      • Bill M November 2, 2011 at 10:27 am #

        Oh I have a pnale on Sherpa called Rechid.

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