politics and HO

Postby Tom Mazanec on Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:43 am

So sometime in the near future you will be able to
1) Scan all the journal pages on the CDs
2) Recognize all the letters A-Z
3) Replace them in the image with the Lovecraft's Diary equivalent character
4) Print out the result
5) Three hole punch the pages and put them in a ring binder
6) Ship the result to Ralph to be printed in book format
Correct?
Or perhaps you would email Ralph the images as jpegs or gifs, I don't know how it is done.
Last edited by Tom Mazanec on Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rbos on Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:44 am

Here's an example.

[pre]
We think _ _n iS i_t beginni_ with _is stoc_. it h%
b_n Showing a Steady _e U_ m lnC_aSing vo lume. it a__n
to _ that t_ st_k is in an a%umU l ati% __ _d m i 0ht _
re_ for a big _o_ to new highs. We SaY this is a BIG _ATCH ;,__
for
[/pre]
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Postby Rbos on Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:47 am

Tom Mazanec wrote:So sometime in the near future you will be able to
1) Scan all the journal pages on the CDs
2) Recognize all the letters A-Z
3) Replace them in the image with the Lovecraft's Diary equivalent character
4) Print out the result
5) Three hole punch the pages and put them in a ring binder
6) Ship the result to Ralph to be printed in book format
Correct?


actually you could do that now, probably. Grab a scanner and Omnipage or some equivalent.

though, if Ralph is willing to print them in book format already, he could probably just as easy save you steps 1-6a and replace them with 'select all, change font'.
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Postby Tom Mazanec on Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:49 am

Scripts are Chinese to me. What I was going for in another thread was some way of translating Ennias Longscript's Journal into the Racconan alphabet (Lovecraft's Diary) as a novelty book from Ralph that I would pay 20 bucks for. Remember, the Journal is a series of page images, it is not a text file, but a pictures of a handprinted book.
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Postby Rbos on Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:52 am

Tom Mazanec wrote:Scripts are Chinese to me. What I was going for in another thread was some way of translating Ennias Longscript's Journal into the Racconan alphabet (Lovecraft's Diary) as a novelty book from Ralph that I would pay 20 bucks for.


No scripts necessary, just patience. Turn book over, scan page, let Omnipage process it, correct any mistakes, go to the next page. It's really easy, I work a computer lab helpdesk part time and little-old-ladies do it all the time.

Unless Ralph doesn't have the original text, though, for him it would literally be select all, change font. If he's already willing to do the book binding, the additional step would be trivial.
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Postby Rbos on Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:04 pm

I should point out that binding a comic is very not a cheap process and I doubt he'd be willing to do a one-off.
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Postby Skull on Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:35 pm

Deckard Canine wrote:Would you name some, please? I had thought that the most profitable webcomics merely helped to make ends meet. The most popular ones I know of are like that.


Easy. Schlock Mercenary: Read the "About the author" section, where it describes how Howard quit his (allegedly six-figure income) job at Novell, in order to do the strip full time. Goats by Jon Rosenberg; Again, check the "about" page, where he says he lives in New York City and makes his living doing the comic strip.

There's no similar page for Penny Arcade, but they employ as many as five people, collected something like half a million bucks in Child's Play donations last holiday season, and now have their own Expo (PAX, the Penny Arcade Expo) coming into it's third or fourth year, which had something like 100,000 atendees last year. The rumor going around is that the two of them earn something like $2 million a year.

Scott Kurtz has been living off PvPOnline for four or five years now, including now writing for Image comics, Pete Abrams of Sluggy Freelance has been rumored to be making over $100K a year off his strip (as does Goats, supposedly) and Rich Burlew of Order of the Stick is rumored to have sold over $80,000 in books in the last two years.

Moving down the ladder into more hearsay material, supposedly Jay Naylor makes his living with his two comics (Better Days and New Worlds, although those are just draws for his for-pay furry porn works) Michael Poe of Errant Story makes his living off the strip and related artwork, as does Al from Poisoned Minds.

Two years ago, Randy from Something Positive challenged readers who were, at the time, complaining of late updates, to donate to him a years' salary, after which he'd start doing the comic full time. In two weeks he'd amassed over $18,000, and within a month had his goal of $22.5K. He's been doing the strip as a day job, and making more at it, ever since.

Kris Straub started out with Checkerboard Nightmare and now does Starslip Crisis as a day job. In fact, almost all the Blank Label comics are the authors' "day jobs", with the exception of Greg Dean, who is in school to become a chef (but the strip still helps make ends meet.) Dave Kellet just pulled Sheldon OFF a newspaper syndicate (!) so that he could make more money self-publishing.

The list goes on. Ozy & Millie, Dominic Deegan, Questionable Content, Ctrl+Alt+Del, Sinfest, Sam & Fuzzy, MegaTokyo, Girl Genius, (although that one started out a print graphic novel first,) Least I Could Do, the author of Filthy Lies is actively trying to gain readers so he can make it his day job...

It's actually fairly easy, if you have both the talent and the motivation. Mr. Hayes clearly has the talent, but from his "attack the messenger, ignore the message" reply, he also clearly lacks the motivation. Kind of a pity, I guess...

~fin.
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Postby Skull on Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:46 pm

rbos wrote:I should point out that binding a comic is very not a cheap process and I doubt he'd be willing to do a one-off.


Howard Tayler did a "preorder" for his books. He prepressed them (had the printready file at the printers, and had looked at a preproduction proof copy) and then opened up a store where you could "pre buy" the books, knowing that you were paying now, for a book to be delivered at a certain later date.

The presold copies financed the press run, meaning Mr. Tayler didn't have to save up or pay for anything out-of-pocket.

Of course, Mr. Tayler also has many hundreds of thousands of readers, and is a pleasant, likable fellow, so he had little trouble convincing several thousand people to pay him upwards of $20 each for a book they wouldn't receive for almost two months.

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Postby BrockthePaine on Wed Dec 06, 2006 2:56 pm

Skull wrote:Easy. Schlock Mercenary: Read the "About the author" section, where it describes how Howard quit his (allegedly six-figure income) job at Novell, in order to do the strip full time.

I recall that Howard made mention in his blog last Christmastime that he had considered going back to work to keep up the bills. A few donations made him reconsider. Of course, I recall he has a wife and five or six kids, so "keeping up with the bills" would mean a wildly different figure. The other comics you named I've never heard of, so I can't speak to their finances. *shrugs* I'm not arguing with you; it's just that I don't see many comic artists becoming rich and famous.
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Postby The JAM on Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:17 pm

Ralph, you know, it's nice to hear from you, but....are you reading the other posts as well?
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Postby Skull on Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:00 pm

BrockthePaine wrote:I recall that Howard made mention in his blog last Christmastime that he had considered going back to work to keep up the bills. A few donations made him reconsider. Of course, I recall he has a wife and five or six kids, so "keeping up with the bills" would mean a wildly different figure. The other comics you named I've never heard of, so I can't speak to their finances. *shrugs* I'm not arguing with you; it's just that I don't see many comic artists becoming rich and famous.


Quite true. The Belfry lists thousands of webcomics, both current and well, not so current. Only a fraction of those move on to become "profitable".

However, a large portion of those that aren't "profitable" were never meant to be, and the author is not trying to make them so. They're being done simply for the love of the medium, for want of a better phrase.

For example, the author of Gone with the Blastwave has said specifically he's not interested in making the comic into a job. He'll be putting out a book, eventually, but he knows that if he did the strip more often than he does, he'd get sick of it. Which is where Bill Amend of Foxtrot is (though he's a newspaper comic, not necessarily a "web" comic)... He's getting burnt out with the strip and dialing back to Sundays-only.

Eric Schwartz of Sabrina Online sells the occasional inexpensive book of his strip, but despite having been doing the strip for over a decade now, still prefers not to turn it into a job.

Mark Stanley of FreeFall has expressed disinterest in "making a buck" off his strip. He's said that, maybe, there'll eventually be a print book, when the story is done. But he'd said he's not interested in selling ads, using AdSense, marketing shirts or cups, or whatever.

On the other hand, Least I Could Do started out in early 2003 with the intention to become profitable. I don't know the details, but Mr. Sohmer and his now-various artists grew to the point where Crtl+Alt+Del hired their Blind Ferret animation studio last year to produce an animated CAD, and now PvP recently announced similar animated-content plans through them.

Howard knew that he was in for some lean times, and they planned for it as best they could. He was not so smug as to think the world would beat a path to his door and hand him success on a silver platter.

~fin.
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