OK, so there’s been a ton written already about this Kurtz vs. the syndicates thingy, and I’ve hesitated to weigh in on it, but I ran across an article about it and couldn’t resist any longer.
According to reporter John C. Kuehner, Kurtz notes that “because syndicates own the strips, they continue to run outdated comics such as ‘Peanuts,’ ‘Nancy’ and ‘Blondie’ after their old-guard creators die.”
(Please note – This is not an actual quote from Kurtz, but one from Kuehner instead.)
True, syndicates did once, and do still to some extent, own some strips outright, but most if not all recent comic strips are owned by the cartoonist with revenue being shared between the syndicate and the artist.
I’m going to assume that Kurtz was misquoted here as he seems to be a fairly intelligent and well-spoken guy.
Here’s another thing: PVP is certainly a popular comic (I’ll be reviewing it soon) and it’s well executed, but I’m not sure Kurtz’s anti-syndication revolution will come swiftly if it ever comes at all.
An ad featuring a PVP character on Kurtz’s site for speakeasy.net boasts 80,000 visitors a day to his site. Sounds like a lot right? And let’s assume that recent newspapers printing PVP has upped his stats significantly to, oh, I dunno, 100,000 visitors or so.
The population of people over the age of 14 in the US is estimated to be about 234 million. So that’s roughly .00004 percent of the population that visits PVP online. Or to put it a little more plainly, except for the entire population of Peoria, Illinois, no one else on the planet visits PVP online.
I’m sure to be hearing from Kurtz, Kurtz’s friends, and fans of PVP about how I suck, how my cartoons suck, and what a dumbass I am etc…
Here’s my point:
PVP is a good strip and it’s worth more that Kurtz thinks. Why he’s choosing to miss out on additional income by simply giving his work away is beyond me.
Kurtz is successful and the strip is wildly popular with its fans, but ultimately he’s selling himself and the art form short.