Scott Kurtz on Marketplace (Audio!)

There’s an interview with PVP’s Scott Kurtz on NPR in which he discusses with Dennis Nishi his plan of giving the comic away to any publication that will take it.

Scott defends this by explaining that the strip is simply a means to sell advertising on his site, books, and other “hard goods.” The publications that print PVP are required to also show the URL for the strip.

“The art is the art, and business is business. And don’t let the art aspect of it convince you that you should feel guilty about making as much of a living as you can. You gotta support yourself.”

Why exactly would I feel guilty about selling my cartoons? Without tooting my own horn, I’d say I do a fair amount of business with my humor, and I’ve never lost any sleep over it. Who exactly is out there hunched over a pile of cartoons wringing their hands berating themselves over the possibility of profit?

Here’s the thing… If you have to give your art away (and, frankly, you’re having trouble doing that, according to the report) maybe you need to take another look at what you’re doing.

If I were Kurtz, I’d be worried that the banners that paid the bills came from only one real advertiser as far as I can tell. (Sure, there are some Google ads at the bottom of the page, but, honestly, does anyone even look at those, much less click them?)

I’m not saying Scott doesn’t do great work (I often find PVP funny, and the art is wonderful), but expanding out of a rabidly faithful online niche audience into larger print venues may prove more troublesome that anticipated.

Anyway, check out the interview and let me know whatcha think. I’m sure this isn’t the last any of us will hear about this.

(6:09 PM – OK, checking out PVP later this evening I did notice another ad for Kade’s coffee. I just want to be fair and as accurate as possible.)

“Star Wars – Clone Wars, Vol. 1” – Review

Clone Wars

I’m a big nerd.

I don’t want to be excited about Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, I really don’t. Lucas’ last two movies have dulled what was a bright spot of my childhood.

So why am I watching the old movies (yes, even Episodes I & II), reading Labyrinth of Evil and playing Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy?

Somehow excitement about Star Wars stuff is just hard-wired into me, no matter how much Jar Jar you throw in.

Thankfully, Genndy Tartakovsky and crew have given me a new hope (pun intended) with the beautifully conceived Clone Wars, Vol. 1.

Airing originally on Cartoon Network and bridging Episodes II & III, Tartakovsky’s animated shorts have the goods. Twenty episodes follow Anakin, Obi-Wan and a host of other Jedi as they wage the long awaited Clone Wars.

There’s plenty to keep Star Wars aficionados happy. Memorable quotes include a few “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” and a nice homage to Vader with Anakin commenting “I have you now” with an enemy in his ship’s sites. I’d have loved to have seen a nice stormtrooper head bumping, but what are you gonna do.

The episodes that impressed me most included the Kit Fisto underwater battle (this makes Aquaman look like a punk), the Mace Windu sequence (although I could have done without the doe-eyed anime child onlooker), and the hissing lightsaber duel in the rain between Anakin and Asajj Ventress.

George, buddy, take a cue from Clone Wars! Less political wrangling about separatists and more cool stuff like this that made Star Wars great in the first place.

(BTW, check out the latest episodes on Cartoon Network and at You get to see C3PO showing off his new plating. Work it, Threepio! Work it!)

Check it out!

P.S. This is sort of out of left field, but it’s so funny I couldn’t help but include it.

This is an actual product available at Behold! The Darth Vader sprinkler!

Darth Vader Sprinkler

And I love the copy that goes with it:

Let the Dark Side defend your lawn from the ravages of summer heat or cool you off on a hot day with this Darth Vader sprinkler! Standing 10″ tall, this great new Vader sprinkler spins around with water spraying action, wielding his lightsaber in a furious battle to save your lawn! Let Darth Vader be the center of your backyard universe today with this very cool garden accessory.

If this weren’t $18.99, it’d be priceless!