Moneyon August 31, 2012 at 9:09 am
Here’s a topic I really don’t like talking about, Money. It became extremely clear to me that if I want comics to be my living, I’m going to have to get used to the idea that selling yourself and your comic is necessary. Up until recently, the only income ARG was making was from advertising and from some commission work. Outside of that I’ve been helping my parents out for a very modest wage which has allowed me to stay afloat with my bills and debt but not really make any headway.
Working a convention is a great opportunity to meet readers and make new ones. It’s also a great place for creatives to finally make some money from their hard work. If you factored in all the work and all the expenses I put into this comic, I’d be making more as a slave labourer. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy doing it. I do. IMMENSELY. Having an opportunity to make money from that hard work is exciting and scary.
I noticed during conversations at FanExpo and over email and twitter that there seems to be a bit of a misconception that ARG is a super successful webcomic. People think I make my living off the comic, which is not the case. One reader even commented on how nice it must be to have all this “crazy comic money”. Where ever that money is, it’s not with me. But I appreciate the vote of confidence. The comic does make a small revenue, which goes to paying for it’s own upkeep, some light advertising and it also covers my groceries. Sometimes.
Even having a successful Indiegogo campaign can be deceiving. With the exception of $2 (I bought a coffee), every dollar of that campaign has gone back into the comic. The books cost thousands to print. Another 3rd of it went to shipping alone and then there’s printing up all the extras. Import fees, processing fees on paypal and credit cards, Indiegogo’s cut and that doesn’t even include my time and labour. After all that, I actually had to pay out of pocket for some things. I’m not complaining though. I knew full well what I was getting into. It comes with the territory.
ARG is a success in the fact that it’s the most creatively fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. It’s been a tremendous learning experience and it’s allowed me to get to know an extraordinary group of people (read:YOU, The Reader). But a financial success it is not. Yet.
Again, I’m not complaining. Not at all. Making a living from comics takes time, dedication and hard work. Three things I’m putting my all into. Not everyone can be a success right out of the gate. I started this thing knowing full well there would be ups and downs and that it would take time and my hard work. The goal is indeed to eventually make this my living. To make this a business I can support a family with and be proud of.
I wrote this post not to beg for donations or to make a desperate plea for you to buy my book. If you want it, it’s there in the store. I wrote this to be transparent. To let you guys know what’s going on behind the curtains when I start complaining about shipping costs and import fees. If you feel the need to support ARG monetarily, those are some great ways. But I won’t beg you guys for them.
If you want to help,the best thing anybody can do is to spread word about the comic. Let your friends know about ARG. Share your favourite ARG comic. Let Nana be titillated with all the flippant weiners. Word of mouth is worth it’s weight in gold. I’d rather have great new readers.
I want to end this post with saying thank you to everybody, not just those that have supported ARG monetarily. You guys make this comic a joy to make and the greatest job anybody can have.
I gonna fucking tell everyone to read your comic!
I have told everyone I know on other forums to read it.
Your enjoyment of making these comics is really evident from the quality of your strips (and weiners). I often find gems which I can not resist sharing with the other sick fuckers I call my friends and acquaintances.
Keep up the brilliant work!
I really like the idea of T-Shirts, honestly… monetization *and* marketing, and none of it forced. I’d be more than happy to walk around with a Lynnbarian or “No, I’m going to juggle them as I fly home” shirt, all day long.
Also, I didn’t know we could commission art… may have to keep that in mind. For reference, how much do you know about 3D textures?
Talk to Mr. Howard Taylor over at schlockmercenary.com, he has been running his web comic since june of 00-01 I think, and now lives completely off of it’s revenue. It took his six years to get to that point with daily updates and only one day of being late because the servers he was using for the site literally exploded. While he might not have tips for speeding the process up, he can at potentially at least give some advice in general.
You, Scott and Denis are all in pretty much the same boat. I feel for you guys sincerely, what with the crazy hours, scheduling, expenses and the like that you dedicate to, eventually, a handful of folks on the other side of a computer screen/continent/planet.
I wish you all the best in your endeavour.
We, your creative brothers and sisters, are with you and bear the same burden. That is to say…you have our swords.
You can count on my steel!
Cool Sauce. Well put.
What happened to your job as an animator? Maybe I should pay more attention.
I just read through your archives. Found you through Hate Farm’s ads. Your comic is excellent. Also you and Hate Farm complement each other very well BTW.
I don’t understand why more web comic authors don’t use LULU books as a book printing service. You can take all your comics, put it into a book format via PDF file, upload it to their site, decide what kind of book, the size, soft or hardcover and then set a price.
They even have an on demand printing service, where, as people order the books, they print them and charge them. They take a modest fee and then you get whatever is rest. They allow you to modify the price of the books, so you get more money in return. They even have an option to sell digital versions of your books.
I actually use their services to print out of print books, ha ha. Don’t tell anyone.
Wait… There was a book for sale?! And no one told me?! I am going to go put so money in my paypal right now so I can go buy your book as well as your awesome poster. I can’t believe I did not notice a store on the main page until now.
Totally saw that coming…?
Honestly, i’d be doing the same thing.