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Submitted on
February 1, 2011
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So Youre A Cartoonist -Sellout by TomPreston So Youre A Cartoonist -Sellout by TomPreston
This is a series I call “So You’re a Cartoonist?” which deals with all of the typical questions or remarks I receive whenever I tell people that I draw cartoons for a living.

This is a true story. My comic series Formera (originally called FlashBack) was available for free online. When my publisher picked me up, I was under contract to not give away my comic for free like that, so I was forced to pull them from the internet. As a result I was called a “sellout” for having my series picked up.

I’ve never understood the mentality that an artist shouldn’t be allowed to make money doing what they love. All professions make money, doctors, lawyers, animators, actors, pilots, musicians, etc... why is it wrong for an “artist” to make money?

I believe that the term “sellout” has become corrupted over time. A better example would be if I started making comics for a company I didn’t morally agree with, but because of how much money they were paying me, I did it anyway. THAT would constitute selling out. But making my OWN comics and selling my OWN work... that’s not selling out. That’s just trying to make a living.
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This is so true on what you say. Most artist I have seen so far get the term 'starving artist' to be picked up by a company to sell your work and to make a living is a big deal. How can one not expect to take the offer? It's a pity that other's who are not selling at the current moment to say to other's a 'sellout' to make a living. I'm not saying that to insult anyone but to make a point to haters out there.

In your last panel it definitly expresses how an artist would feel if someone called them a sellout. But in a cute way surprisingly. Good Job on getting Picked up by a Company.
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Master-Chief13 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014
GabrielNovakStudios Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
8Darkness-Seeker8 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012
I'd totally agree with you... but I'm to cheap to buy comics....
Tie-Dyed-Trickster Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2012
I'll admit to a certain amount of disappointment that I can't take a peek at Formera online before I decide if I want to get a copy or not, but, frankly, reading your other works (like, say, this one) gives me a good taste for your writing style. And I think it's brilliant every time I see a webcomic that's also available in paper format, because there's so many out there I'd love to get a copy of and can't, because they aren't for sale. And 'selling out' has definitely become a mis-used term, and doesn't apply to you in the slightest. (unless you've secretly sold your soul to the big, evil corporations we always hear about (though never in specific terms, oddly enough), which I don't think you have. Unless you're trying to lull us into a false sense of security with seeingly honest, free-spirited, cleanly fun comics, in which case you should probably get prompts anyway for coming up with such a dastardly ploy).
Brixmon Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
Being a published cartoonist = sellout?
Singing-Wolf-12 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
People are just stupid. Don't listen to them if they're being mean, or use that as fuel to prove them wrong! That's what I do with my dream to become a singer! :D
FoggyPebble Featured By Owner May 24, 2012
When my publisher picked me up, I was under contract to not give away my comic for free like that, so I was forced to pull them from the internet. As a result I was called a “sellout” for having my series picked up.

Oooh, that'd have pissed me off. I'd be like "Damn! I wish I'd saved every page to my computer when I had the chance but I've been sick! I'm gonna miss seeing the pictures in their original digital form." Whoa. Now I kinda wanna save a bunch of comics I know onto my harddrive just in case. Just being honest.
DrCaptPepperGirl Featured By Owner May 1, 2012   Filmographer
It's sad how some people don't think about the financial stuff that the artists go through. It kind of annoys me when people automatically assume that artist is being a "sell-out" when in actuality they are not because they are trying to make a living by doing what the enjoy doing the most...creating art. :)

The way I see it is that it takes money to publish comic books and the artist has to pay for it. Maybe that's part of the reason why artists charge their comic books or any other type of work because it cost them money to pay the people to publish their their work. :reading:

Plus, the money that the fans pay for the comic books would help up out on paying for any financial needs such as finishing up the rest of the payments for the publishers who made the comic books, to buy more art supplies, or buy better tools to enhance the artwork. Besides paying for art stuff, there are other financial needs as well; such as paying the bills, groceries, clothing, etc.

Artists need to make a living, too. :heart:
Rethiamat Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012
It seems a bit rough to me that you would have your comics available for free and then suddenly take those same comic strips away and start charging money for them.
If you started or had already developed a DIFFERENT series of comics that no one had seen and convinced a publisher to publish them, that's a different story.

I think the term is something along the lines of "Indian Giver" -- someone who allows others to take and enjoy a gift, and then try to take it back again. Long-standing obvious racist undertones aside, there is a pretty hefty amount of controversy surrounding this kind of thing...
Rethiamat Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012
Having said that, grats on getting your comics published!
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