In a story that proves that owning your good ideas gives the biggest payout, R Stevens has announced he’s ending print syndication of DIESEL SWEETIES:
As of mid-August, DS is ending its run in newspapers and going back to being web-only! Why? Because I’m an optimist, I opted out.
At Fleen he tells Gary Tyrell
more of the reasons behind his decision:
Fleen: What was the prime factor in deciding to quit?
Stevens: Not to sound like a jerk, but time and money. I was (currently still am) spending 12+ hours a day 5.5 days a week keeping my business afloat and doing 12 comics a week. My website and merch were a little over 90% of my gross income last year. When the workload starting making me sicker and fatter, it was pretty much a no-brainer which job had to go.
(And before there is any argument from the Peanuts-worshipping gallery, this was my experience. It is not true for all newspaper strips or print cartoonists, but I lived it and have the debt and carpal tunnel to prove it.)
Later in the interview, Stevens seems to say it wasn’t a question of not liking United Media, but just the hidebound nature of the print business these days
It’s natural in these things for us geeks to spring on the “Evil Syndicate“, but I don’t blame ‘em for anything. They can’t force editors to dump 80-year-old comics and they can’t legally kill all the rabid Snuffy Smith fans who would set the world ablaze if he ever left print.
I’m not saying they aren’t working on ways to kill these people, but I don’t think radioactive nanodagger ink is ready for prime time yet.
So there you have it. Game, set and match. WEB up. PRINT down. Creator ownership, UP. Selling it all, DOWN.
If one of you Beat readers can make me a little red arrow thingie, we’ll make this official.