Ted Rall on the Comics Collapse

Ted’s latest column covers the ongoing plight of editorial cartoonists.

As publications shift their focus to their websites, comics should be a part of it. Comics can generate way more pageviews than articles or columns. Even if an op-ed was fantastic, who has the time to plow through an archive of long-ass essays? A reader can (and frequently will) click through a dozen comics in a short amount time if they liked the cartoon. More pageviews equals more advertising revenue and maybe even getting more people to read your paper, which is what editors want, unless they are bad at their job.

Alt-weekly Comics are History

Last week Tom Tomorrow covered the long, and oft-ignored, history of alt-weekly comics. It always bugged me that the genre that birthed Matt Groening, Tom, Ruben Bolling, and countless others gets so little attention, while at the same time a few great comedians came out the Groundlings, and the place has been crawling with agents drooling over every improv class hack for the past 30 years.

But I don’t think our genre of comics is on the way out. For decades, people turned to alt-weeklies for left-of-center (i.e. realist) news and culture commentary. Now they’re doing that on TV and online, and in even greater numbers.

The audience is out there and growing. Now if only advertisers would pony up print rates for internet eyeballs, we could sell our comics, instead of a flea market of t-shirts, posters, and branded novelty underwear to make the rent.

The Alt-Comics Purge

Tom Tomorrow‘s been tops covering and compiling reactions to this week’s alt-weekly comics shitstorm.

Jen’s assessment is probably the most optimistic of the bunch, and I agree with her. Altweeklies that are rooted in the community, something Village Voice Media hasn’t been since it merged into a national super-beast, will probably be able to ride this out. Hopefully cartoonists can to.

Recession Recipes

click for comic

Let’s hope our economic troubles stick around for a while, because I could save a lot of time if this was a recurring bit.

There’s still time to buy stuff from the store, but I’m all out of LARGE t-shirts. A new, snazzier design might come along in 2009 if there’s enough interest.

Next Week: The Forgotten College Comedy Goofballz

My Hometown

Whenever Brockton makes the national news, it’s never good. But Atrios is right, that story is anecdotal and doesn’t really illustrate the city as a whole. Most of it is just boring suburbs, filled with people who spend too much time on their lawns. But for one week, Brockton becomes a magical place where cars crash into each other for sport. I can’t wait.