In cartoon parlance, an inbetweener is the lowly cartoonist charged with the tedious job of filling in the various drawings between two key images drawn by the animator in a hand-drawn animated film. And it's that in-between time in contest land again -- the entry deadline is passed and the new winner's announced Friday.
Over the last few weeks, a number of commentators here have expressed how much they enjoy web comics. Cartoonists also enjoy the freedom of the web, as well as the exposure it provides their work. But not many enjoy pay for their web-based efforts. I don't claim to be an expert, but most web-based-only comic publishing, that I'm aware of, is compensated mostly by adoration and accolades, not dollars.
I'm one of the lucky ones, a cartoonist with a paying gig. But more and more of my colleagues in this tightening media market are being forced to find other outlets for their work, and many are now relying on web-based publishing.
I only bring the subject up because it seems to be on the minds of cartoonists Garry Trudeau ("Doonesbury") and Stephan Pastis ("Pearls Before Swine") this week as well (Click the images to enlarge):
As Zonker says, content doesn't really want to be free. It's just that many outlets don't want to pay someone to produce it and consumers don't want to pay to read it.
Or do they? Would you still read online comics for a price? Some online syndicate distributors do charge for a subscription to their toons. Is this a practical model when other outlets offer the same toons for free? Are there other online-comic business models out there that seem to be a success? I'm guessing that lots of folks out there have more experience in the land of online comics than I do -- what works for you?