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.