Robot 6

Dylan Meconis on how she funded Family Man

Cartoonists don’t usually pop up on money blogs, but at American Express’s Currency site, Douglas Wolk talks to Dylan Meconis about how she financed the print edition of her webcomic Family Man. Basically, she says, “I asked the internet very nicely,” and her fans ponied up $11,000 to cover costs. Meconis explains why she didn’t use Kickstarter, and delves into nuts-and-bolts issues like health insurance, her next big purchase, and her other work:

What’s the biggest misconception people have about cartoonists’ finances? I’m sure some people think that we’re all just rolling in that sweet Internet money. But there’s a lot of background work that you don’t get to see as a fan, because it’s just freelance engagements: a lot of commercial illustration, a lot of educational comics and corporate comics, to explain a new business process or do a training manual or something. A lot of companies want that cool graphic-novel feel—to keep people awake during a PowerPoint.

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She mentions not wanting to lose the money raised on Kickstarter if she’s $5 short, which is a very valid concern. I saw that happen with a web-series trying to raise money for a second season.

IndieGoGo.com is a Kickstarter alternative that lets you keep whatever money you raise (unless they’ve changed their policy since last I looked). I have not used them myself yet, but I’ve spoke with 1 or 2 people there and they were very helpful and encouraging. I’d love to hear if anyone has had an experience with them.

And Family Man is a fantastic comic. It’s very brave of her to not do a gag-a-day comedy strip but instead a thoroughly researched period drama.

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