Robot 6

A real-time graph of webcomics income

Dorothy Gambrell, creator of the webcomic Cat and Girl, tracks her income via some nicely designed bar graphs that make interesting reading for anyone curious about the webcomics model. The graphs show not only how much she makes but what she makes it on as well as big expenditures (trip to MoCCA, printing books). In one way, Gambrell is living the stereotype: Her biggest source of income in most months is T-shirt sales, although she sold a lot of books in August. Freelance work also gives her a boost. The bottom line: So far this year, she has taken in $10,087.56 from her comic, a respectable second income but not enough to live on. And that isn’t her net—she has yet to deduct taxes, PayPal fees, and other expenses. One encouraging sign is that the overall trend is up; she had a dip in July, but August was her best month yet. Sean Kleefeld analyzed the numbers a bit and figures she’ll end the year with a gross income of about $20,000.

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4 Comments

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Thanks to Dorothy for being willing to share these details. I think it’s important for web comics creators to understand what they’re getting into. Webcomics are not a way to get rich quick. In fact I think that her income model is typical for freelance artists in other genres as well. It’s better to manage expectations and think hard before quitting the day job.

While I dig the info I’m not sure it gives us anything without context. Such as – how old is the comic, how many hits did it have for each of those months and so on. Without that data what are we really seeing here?

I don’t know if that directly corrolates Adam. I know that Scott Kurtz has often complained how his comic has a higher readership than the other ones from Halfpixel, yet Kris Straub, Dave Kellett, and Brad Guigar tend to get more income from their comics than he does. In other words, it is possible to have a lower readership and turn a profit.

But, if you’re interested, I pulled up Cat & Girl on compete.com, and she averages around 30K readers a month. And Wikipedia can tell you how old it is: a whopping 11 years old (started in summer of 1999).

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