Jonathan Rosenberg has announced his 13 year old webcomic Goats will be going on hiatus until he figures out what he's going to do next. To be honest I've never read this webcomic but wow, 13 years is damn impressive. I find it sad every time a webcomic has to come to an untimely end because the creators just weren't able to find a source of continuous income, especially when it's clear that the creators have put as much effort into it as Jonathan has.
And I think Jon does bring up a good point, webcomics focusing on long running storylines often are harder to keep going financially. People looking through webcomics have so much to look at and they want that instant gratification instead of having to read through hundreds of pages to understand what's going on. And merchandise based on your comic (like t-shirts, prints, etc) may not do as well against the cute zombie kitten or whatever other novelty the next webcomic has. Not to mention that it will take quite a bit of your time and focus off your comic, always trying to keep in mind "How can I sell this on a t-shirt" while you're coming up with your next few pages.
I don't have any answers to this. Obviously we can't financially support every person who wants to make webcomics/comics for a living, and some really aren't good enough that they should be supported. But it would be nice if there was a slightly easier way for creators (writers in particular) to make a living without their webcomic taking a back seat to the t-shirts, prints, and whatever other merchandise they're currently relying on to make a living.
I guess I should just be happy that I have my full time job and wish Jon and all those other webcomic artists trying to make a living at it the best of luck.
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