Jamie McKelvie\’s Workblog


There was a bit of a flap over at Lying in the Gutters recently over someone commenting here that they “acquired” my comic online and liked it.

Obviously I would much, much rather people bought the actual comics I produce than torrent them. Not only does it mean I earn money for the long hours I put into the work (and as it’s my fulltime job, it’s the only money I earn), it also shows my publisher AND retailers that there is an audience for my comics, improving my chances of continuing in this career. Not only that but my publisher benefits from a better-selling book, and as they’ve been very good to me that’s something I am keen to encourage.
But I’m not naive enough to think that this is going to stop people torrenting my stuff. So, with that in mind, if you *have* downloaded my comics and liked them, and you want to support the artist behind them so that he can continue to make comics, feel free to use the Paypal button below to send a few dollars or pounds my way.

(Under “Item”, put “torrent” or “donation” or whatever else you want. Paypal requires you fill in the field to say what the money you’re transferring is for.)


20 Comments so far
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Maybe I’m being naive, but you don’t mean to say that you earn something like a percentage from copies sold, do you? I thought that artists and writers were paid per page up front. Or do you have some sort of other arrangement with Image?

I haven’t downloaded your book, honest, so I’m just asking…

Comment by jbacardi

Nope. The Image deal is entirely back-end. I get paid after the book comes out, purely based on how many it has sold. Page rates up front are usually restricted to bigger publishers like Marvel or DC.

EDIT: I should also point out that the reason Marvel and DC pay page rates is because they own the rights to the work that is produced. At Image, I own 100% of the rights on my creation (which, to me, is one of the best adverts for working at Image there is!).

Comment by mckelvie

Ah. Thanks for clearing that up. Good luck with this!

Comment by jbacardi

I don’t even have an idea if I have ever torrented your books. I’m sorry – I’m just not that familiar with your name. I am however sending you some $$ through PayPal just in case I have AND as a way of saying, and showing, that there are people out there willing to pay for downloadable content. In fact, I would gladly pay DC, Marvel, or Image (or whoever else) for downloadable content – but not cover price. As an avid torrenteer the only thing I buy is trades and if I werent’ downloading, I wouldn’t be reading it or buying it anyway (actually, my purchase of trades has pretty much doubled since I discovered torrents). So there is my rationalization… 😉

Either way, here’s to ya.

Comment by katerek

It’s an area that I think needs to be addressed, I think. Personally, I would love a “Comics iTunes” kind of deal to exist. Some retailers have a fear that this would lead to a drop in their sales. I can certainly see that argument, although I don’t necessarily see it as comparative to music sales, purely because the experience of listening to music doesn’t alter whether you have the digital or hard copy tracks. Reading comics on the screen is a different (and less enjoyable, for me) experience to reading the real thing, so you may well be right that it could lead to an increase in trade sales. This is all subjective opinion, of course, and store owners obviously have much more experience than me in this.

I confess I’ve got no idea how much work would be involved in putting together a legal version, and what legal problems it might run into.

Comment by mckelvie

jbacardi — Jamie is basically self-publishing with someone else’s money. Image is an indie publisher who publishes creator-owned works. Image takes care of the cost up front and deals with the printer etc, and the creator gets the profits after that. Marvel and DC are pretty much work-for-hire, as the properties are owned by each respective corporation and they pay artists and writers to work on their properties.

Hope that helps!

Comment by drew gill

[…] had “acquired” his comic online and liked it, Suburban Glamour creator Jamie McKelvie kindly points downloaders to his website’s PayPal button: Suburban Glamour #2Obviously I would much, much rather people bought the actual comics I produce […]

Pingback by Blog@Newsarama » Downloaders, meet McKelvie’s PayPal account

Bought number one and it exceeded my expectations. Its going in my top three of underground titles I love. I’m sad to see its only going to be four issues though. Sent ya some $ to help out [I know how hard making cash on art can be] even though I didn’t torrent. Good luck and come out with sequel! Be the next Dead@17…

Comment by Matti

Don’t worry, Matti, I have plans for several SG series. 🙂

Comment by mckelvie

Okay, so I figured “what the hey, I sent the guy some money…lets find this Suburban Glamour”.

Well I have to say that I really enjoyed and look forward to reading the next issue.

Well done sir.

Comment by katerek

[…] Try asking for donations. It’d be interesting to see how this works out. […]

Pingback by Mental Kipple » What To Do When Someone Torrents You

Yeah, there might be a few people out there willing to give a little to see the next project come about. Definately. Can’t wait for another project and issue 2 hasn’t even hit the stands lol

Comment by Matti

I torrented your love.

Comment by Sal!

Aww you know I give my love for free.

Comment by mckelvie

I think its nigh time that publishers, Indy publishers in particular (since there’s no corporate red tape to deal with) should be selling their books online as well.
I see tons of preview images online,from every publisher, why not package those jpegs up into a zip or .cbr and sell them for a dollar online?

Comment by bob

See this is neat … a creator who not only isn’t running scared and threatening legal action but being proactive in trying to make it generate income.


Comment by crank!

[…] Torrenting […]

Pingback by Torrents and Letters « Jamie McKelvie’s Workblog

How can I order your books?
– I would really love to buy ’em,
they look great. To be honest, the look on the books I see kinda desides if I wanna read ’em or not. Haha, even though I’ve read a really boring one with a great cover .. Anyway! How can I order them, and can they be send to Denmark?
xoxo Laura

Comment by Laura

This is a welcome opportunity to support you directly. As I said on Whitechapel, it’s disheartening to discover that even when I buy your comics, I’m not necessarily giving you money. Hope my little bit helps 🙂

Comment by darkpinky

Excellent idea.

I have just donated through PayPal. For me, I would never buy any comics if it was not for torrents. Unlike movies and music, there is no “checking out” method for comics (unless you try to read the whole thing in a comic store). For movies, you can rent them to see if you want to buy the DVD. For music, you can listen to the radio.

I live in Australia and comics are charged at double the cover price. It also takes a lot of time to go into the comic store in Sydney. The time and expense means I am less likely to take a risk. If I can read it and check it out from a torrent I am much more likely to buy it. I am sure I am not the only downloader who thinks this way.

Thanks again.

Comment by Jon

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