I read Scott Kurtz' web comic PvP almost every day. It's a little four-panel strip about people working at a magazine that reviews computer games, so I haven't plugged it because though the strip is funny and Kurtz is a very capable cartoonist, the humor is frequently so deeply geeky that I figure that my readers who would enjoy it already know about it.
But he said something very interesting in his “rants” space recently.
This last year, I was contacted by Universal Press Syndicates about PvP.
Under no circumstances would I relinquish my copyright, book deals, merchandise deals, rights to market my strips, etc. If they wanted PvP, we would agree to a newspaper distribution deal and that was it. After six weeks the syndicates returned with their answer: They wanted PvP ... all of it. If they could not have the rights to the feature, they weren't interested. So we parted ways.
But I've already become attached to the idea of seeing PvP in the papers, and that's why I've decided to start a new program. In the coming months, I'll be putting into effect, a program in which papers can receive PVP for free. That's right, free.
Why is he doing this? He's done some deep thinking about the economics of newspaper comics, and the explanation is fascinating. Considering what I said about Garfield a while back, I think his plan makes a lot of sense.