Heather Brandon is a blogger whose work has set new standards here locally. If I had the budget at the 'paper I would hire her in a second.
I was honored to be interviewed by her for a blog she wrote on the relationship of bloggers in news organizations and anyone who is interested in "new media" should give it a read. Go here for it.
A handful of people who read this blog are aware I worked for Kevin Eastman's experiment in creator's rights publishing, Tundra, back in the late '80 and early '90s. I did marketing and p.r. for the company and was given specific comic artist/writers with whom to work. My "clients" – as a I was a freelancer – included Rick Veitch on "Brat Pack," Steve Bissette's "Taboo" – on which I pissed off some of the full-timers by coming up with a promotional item that actually made money for Steve; that sealed my fate, there – and Bernie Mireault's "The Jam" among others. I did some work for Mark Martin as well if I remember correctly.
I was at the epicenter of the creator's rights movement in comics. Although I have many, many reservations about what was done at Tundra I will always give Kevin credit for attempting to create a new economic model. Where he failed was in having the wrong people in key positions, not willing to say no as often as he should have and not thinking out his model as thoroughly as he should.
To me much of what is now going on in the new Web media involves the same arguments that have plagued mediums such as comics and is at the center of the screen writers strike: who owns the work you create? How should all of the parties involved benefit from the work?
I believe that every for-profit business must pay for work on which it profits. And that business only buys the rights which the creator wants to sell.
When I co-published "Animato" and then soloed on "Animation Planet" I made sure contributors were paid every time we could afford it. I hated being in a "fanzine" position of asking for favors. Naturally the contributors maintained all the rights to their work.
With the Web, the question is how to we get people to pay for content when the lure of the Web is "free" content? If I hear another person tell me the Web is the "answer" for diminishing newspaper advertising profits I'm going to suck the gas pipe. The bottom line is no one seems to have the handle of how the Web can replicate the still very healthy model of magazines.
What's your take?
© 2008 by Gordon Michael Dobbs