News / USA

Sidestepping Newspapers, Comics Go Online

Artists earn income from online ads, merchandise sales

Randy K. Milholland quit his job to work fulltime on his Web comic strip, 'Something Positive.'
Randy K. Milholland quit his job to work fulltime on his Web comic strip, 'Something Positive.'

Multimedia

Audio
Faiza Elmasry

When Randy K. Milholland was laid off 10 years ago, he used some of his idle time to create a Web comic called, "Something Positive," featuring a lead character named Davan.

“When I started the comics off, he was who I had been a couple of years earlier," Milholland explains. "He was very sarcastic, always negative. He would rather make snarky retorts than actually act to make things better.”  

Even after he landed a new job working for an ambulance company, Milholland kept the comic strip as a hobby.

“When I was doing comics every other week, therefore I was missing updates," he recalls. "Readers were complaining about it. So I kind of issued a challenge that if they wanted to pay my salary from my day job, I would quit my day job and focus only on the comics.”

According to creator Randy K. Milholland, his Web comic strip, 'Something Positive,' averages 215,000 hits a day.
According to creator Randy K. Milholland, his Web comic strip, 'Something Positive,' averages 215,000 hits a day.

They did, so he became a full-time comic artist on the Web and his website now averages 215,000 hits a day.

According to Milholland, he’s one of a growing number of Web comic creators. There are 36,000 worldwide by some estimates. It used to be the goal of comic strip artists to land contracts with newspaper syndicates so they could sell their comics to newspapers. But now, for many, syndication is no longer the goal.

Milholland earns income from advertising and sales of t-shirts and other merchandise, all online.  

So does Danielle Corsetto, creator of "Girls with Slingshots." Corsetto, who drew her first comic strip when she was eight years old, updates "Girls with Slingshots" five times a week to satisfy fans, who number about 90,000 a day.

Danielle Corsetto, creator of 'Girls with Slingshots,' earns income from ads as well as from the sale of comic-inspired merchandise.
Danielle Corsetto, creator of 'Girls with Slingshots,' earns income from ads as well as from the sale of comic-inspired merchandise.

She says Web comic artists are profiting from the free speech the Internet offers.

“Part of the reason, I think, that we’ve become successful is that we put a lot of our personality directly into the strip. People who are reading our comics are really enjoying that. People want to know a lot about the personal lives of the people who are creating the comic strips that they love.”

College graduate Laura Weiner, who follows about 35 comic strips online, is a big fan of Web comics. “It’s somebody putting themselves on the Web for everyone to see and hoping people like it. Reading them online, it’s a little more intimate than just going to a comic store and purchasing a mass-produced comic book."  

Feedback from fans is what keeps Web artist Milholland going, as does the interaction with other artists.

Courtesy: girlswithslingshots.com

“We don’t have a guild per se. We don’t have a union because we don’t really have anyone who hires us that we need to negotiate rights with," he says." But we do have a lot of friendships. The nice thing is a lot of us don’t see it as competing against each other because since Web comics are free, people can read as many as they want.”

And they are, says artist Michael Uslan, who has taught "Comic Book Folklore" at Indiana University. He says Web comics are getting noticed all around. “I do know that many of the studios and talent agencies and comic book companies troll these websites."

With more people following them online or downloading Web comic strips onto their mobile devices, the artists say time - and technology - are on their side.

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs