Toronto store the Beguiling is hosting the following tomorrow night (April 7), with manager Chris Butcher leading the discussion
Graphically Speaking: Webcomics!
Featuring Kate Beaton, Willow Dawson, Emily Horne, Brian Mclachlan, & Ryan North
Tuesday, April 7th, 2009, 6:30pm – 8:30pm @ North York Central Library
As you might be aware, The Beguiling works really hard to keep books in stock (for you!) that aren’t offered through standard distribution channels. That includes minis and zines, it includes specialty books of interest to comics fans but not necessarily carried by Diamond, and it also includes print versions of popular online comics (generally referred to as ‘webcomics’). We do this because we like to sell things and make money, but also because we feel that a big part of being a comic book store is… wait for it… Selling Comic Books. And that means regardless of the format, or where they originally appeared. We like comics, we sell comics, and we’re happy to do it.
Over the past few years, more and more comics material has started to become available online. Granted, comics on the internet go back to more-or-less the first protocols for displaying graphics online (and even earlier if you count bbs’), but it’s really been in the past few years that comics specifically intended for the web have become viable, moneymaking enterprises for the folks that do them. Penny Arcade, PVP, Deisel Sweeties, Questionable Content, Wigu/Overcompensating, Achewood, and Toronto’s own Dinosaur Comics, are just a few examples of folks who are making a go of publishing online, and deriving their income from those pursuits.
But how are they doing it? And how does that affect us, a comic book store, the ‘middleman’ who’s being ‘skipped’ in this publishing model.
That’s what we’re going to discuss!
I (Christopher Butcher) am going to be interviewing 5 Toronto-area webcomics creators about what they publish, and how, and why. “Can you make money at this? How much? More importantly, do you even want to make money? What are the differences between between print and online as a medium? Is this your career, a hobby, or both? What would you recommend for someone interested in following in your footsteps?”
(I might pause between questions to let them answer… we’ll see)
And who are the fine webcomics creators who will be participating in this event?
Kate Beaton (History Comics)
Willow Dawson (100 Mile House)
Emily Horne (A Softer World)
Brian McLachlan (The Princess Planet)
Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics)
…and to be honest, likely a dozen other webcomicsy people will be in the audience (they travel in packs!). Books (where available) will be on hand for sale at the event, and all of the creators will be available following the discussion to chat with and sign for fans and attendees.
So come one, come all, to this rather interesting look at reading and creating work online! It’s all part of Toronto Public Library’s Keep Toronto Reading event, which I have to say, is pretty forward-thinking on their parts.