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Tuesday September 29, 2009
Back From Vegas, I Think I Won
I went to the "Success in Comics" seminar in Las Vegas over the weekend as a featured speaker. Turns out I was the closing speaker. I worried all weekend that my job was going to be the "Voice in the Wilderness," prophesying doom for everybody who depended on syndication -- especially since the original theme of the seminar was pitched to me as "self-syndication."
As it turns out I needn't have worried. Everybody there understood that syndication was not the be-all, end-all of comics success. Everybody was looking for alternatives, and at least two-thirds of the presenters discussed those things.
A year ago I would have thought that the event would be a waste of time. After all, Kevin Kelly's "1000 True Fans" is proven out by webcartoonists using the Free Content Business Model, and we professional webtoonists have been enjoying an upward revenue trend.
But while we in webcomics often pat ourselves on the back for proving Kelly's “1000 True Fans," I think we do ourselves a disservice with our hubris. I learned an awful lot at this show. For starters, I cemented my belief that the presentation I gave in 2007, which was based on information I got in 2005 is very, very badly out-of-date. Some principles still hold true, but don't expect to hear me preaching that as the one true business model again.
I've said before that I don't want to be the guy making a living giving motivational speeches to cartoonists. I stand by that remark. I'd prefer to make a living BEING a cartoonist. This event presented an opportunity for me to share and share alike with professionals who are making their way a little differently than I am, and for whom the old FCBM just doesn't fit. I may not have gotten paid to speak, but I came home a lot richer than I left (and not Vegas-style, either.)
I'll probably do an interview with Gary over at Fleen.com with more details, so I'm not going to bother to write all this stuff twice. If you're interested, look for the link here when the interview airs there. If you're not interested, that's okay. My next post will probably be about Surrogate Meatballs.