“I know there are plenty of web comic artists who are able to subsist on the income they make from their website, but they aren’t making money from their comics; they’re making money from merchandise. Not to belittle web-only comic artists, but when their income is derived from t-shirts, it makes them salesmen first, artists second.”

— Neil Swaab

Oh man, talk about opening mouth and inserting foot.  This lead to all sorts of reactions including this well thought out post by Jeph Jacques, which ultimately lead to Mr. Swaab issuing a public apology.

Oh and hey, those webcomic things have a bunch of panels at the New York Comic Con, featuring many of those webcomic gurus featured in the image above.

How to Safeguard Your Comic’s Intellectual Property

You or your company have created the ultimate spandex-clad protector, but how do you protect him or her from being ripped off? Through this seminar, you will learn how to protect the intellectual property in your work and ideas. Friday, 11:15 A.M.-1:15 P.M., Room 1A23

The Business of Webcomics! LIVE!

Watch PVP Online’s Scott Kurtz take thematic suggestions from the crowd as he, on stage, creates a brand new online property while Penny Arcade’s Robert Khoo simultaneously turns these concepts into monetizeable business models. Take notes! Friday 3:15 – 4:15 p.m., Room 1A21

Comics and New Media

What challenges do we, as publishing professionals, face with the rise of new media? How has it influenced the editorial process and the promotion end of things? How have web comics affected the industry? And, what happens when web comics transition to print? Friday, 3:30 -4:30 p.m., Room 1A22

Gabe and Tycho Spotlight

In their first East Coast appearance since 2005, meet Penny Arcade’s Gabe and Tycho as they field questions about their web comic, PAX, Penny Arcade Adventures, Child’s Play, becoming gamer dads, and life in general. Saturday, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Room 1A06

Making Comics with Penny Arcade

Created originally for grade school classrooms, watch, learn and participate as Penny Arcade’s Gabe and Tycho teach you and your kids how to make comics! Although appropriate for all ages, this is a very kid-safe panel! Sunday, 12:30 -1:30 p.m., Room 1A24

NYCC Classes: Comic Strips

How to write and draw newspaper-style comic strips. Pacing, design, and even syndication from working comic strip creators. Panelists include Chris Eliopoulos, Chris Giarusso, Danielle Corsetto, Brad Guigar, and Tom Wilson. Hosted by Matt Herring. Sunday, 1-2 p.m., Room 1A15.


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Yea, what are they supposed the use to support their families and survive when what they produce is free for all the enjoy. I know the guy retracted his statement, but his original thought is old world thinking.

  2. I’m going to say one more thing, in his apology he states “My intent in bringing up the question was that there are a lot of great artists out there whose work doesn’t translate to t-shirts or easily marketable products and who don’t have an interest in merchandising to support themselves.”
    It’s up to the artist themselves to solve this problem. If there is no market for it, find one, make one, its what DIY is all about. If the artist has no interest in monetizing their work then it’s on them if they can’t get by.

  3. Wow. T-Shirt salesmen? Really? I mean half of the time their readers are the ones that are begging for a T-shirt with the websites insignia on it, so that’s giving the fans what they want while at the same time being able to provide money for the artist to continue his work. I believe it’s what suits like Swaab call a win-win.

    I loved the way jeph was able to slam him down. Day Free Press for Life!

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