Artz Pushb4ck

Doonesbury Webcomics Snark

A little artz pushback for Gary’s dissing of webcomics artists. Apologies, G.B.T. Click fo’ bigga’.

I was going to post the Printer review of the Canon Pixma MG6220, but this came along. Gary Trudeau is one of my art heros, and I’ve enjoyed Doonesbury for years, right after my first comic love Peanuts. Gary also has the virtue of still being alive and drawing. And I certainly do appreciate the plight of print media. As a Designer, I see it all the time, as my work more and more tilts to the web and small businesses cut back on print projects.

Gary posted this strip on Febuary 2. I know he was being funny. And it is. A little. But my life is far from empty. In this offhand manner, he’s casually dissed a deep and insanely talented pool of webcominc artists creating an amazing amount of work. Some of them are a little miffed off about it. Even some serious criticism went Gary’s way.

“Many webcartoonists took on the question of what happens to comics if newspapers go away by posting the Doonesbury strip with inserted images from their own web comics. Most were well done, but Scott Kurtz depicted one of his characters farting in the blank space of the strip. Adam Manley created a collection of those strips along with his opinion…”

And fans weighed in on Doonesbury’s Slate site. Many readers pointing out that they read the strip online, as many papers have dropped DB, or comics entirely to save money. And strictly speaking, online, Gary enjoys a worldwide audience. One reader comments:

“I completely disagree with today’s strip. I’ve been a reader for about four years now and I have never once read Doonesbury in a newspaper. I have always read it online, and most of my friends (most around my age of 25) have only read it online as well…”

I have to say, that MY life is far from empty, I follow at least two dozen webcomics, my sons even more. Even my wife has a few faves. Many of the creators are proper full on professionals. In the fact they make an actual living creating comics online, all the more remarkable is that the majority of them are free to read. They are every bit as creative and interesting and funny as their print counterparts. In some cases, better, as the elite small crowd that gets picked up by the media syndicates, are often shallow and chosen for their general, inoffensive appeal to the most general of audiences.

Web comics are free to pursue their vision and find their own voice and audience. The freedom of the web allows developing young talents to get their work out there, seen, and to absorb all the constructive (mostly) criticism that the internet can heap on them… and grow. In the course of a webcomics tenure, you can often see explosive growth in the skill of the artists and writers.

So I felt, as did a lot of other creative sorts, a little pushback was fair play. I also got to draw stuff. Bonus.