The arts of the web cartoonist

Bloghorn is interested in the arts of the new breed of web cartoonist who work for an intriguing mixture of love and money. Below, we are very pleased to interview cartoonist Matt Jones about his work and why and how he publishes it.

Hi Matt – What do you make?
Godfrey, AKA God Jones, is a short, long-haired (albeit balding), goatee supporting, well-luncheoned, shoeless character who is either God, or a very misunderstood little fellow who believes he is.

From Godfrey God Jones © Matt Jones
© Matt Jones

How do you publish God Jones?
After my thinking and drawing, I publish the cartoon to my Tumblr blog. As I feel my state of mind helps sell the cartoon, I add a smattering of text. Tumblr then automatically  fires off an update to my Twitter and Facebook social networks. In my experience Facebook generates more fans for visual media than Twitter, and Godfrey now has over 1,800 Facebook fans.

Whilst I am currently all electronic, I see the offline hard-copy version of Godfrey as the next frontier and I am currently exploring the sale of merchandise. After some painful false starts, I have found CafePress to be my merchandise vendor of choice. I doubt however that this will be the true money-spinner. The base product is simply too expensive. I can only consider this as a stop-gap until Godfrey has enough of a demand for merchandise that I can print product off in large quantities.

I have also used Lulu in the past for self-publishing because it is a really easy way to publish in print. They now also include links through to Amazon which I have yet to take advantage of.

Why is there so much variety in your activity?
Tumblr is a fantastic host. It is so quick and easy to post new material. There is no separate hosting for images and the site seems to always work. I don’t need to do very much to keep it looking fresh. What’s more, the Tumblr community have also been a source of new fans to Godfrey’s Facebook page.

There is a lot of “shop-frontage” out there within the ether. It really is up to the individual to choose the best way to make use of it. Whilst all these solutions tend to be “free”, to get the footfall you will need to spend some money – if not a lot of time. Facebook adverts have worked wonderfully well for me because I can target people with a very specific interest.

Why do you publish like this?
I love to draw. I love to make people happy. I love the technology that allows me to draw and make people happy. Why wouldn’t I want to share my work with as many people as I can? Right now it costs me money to satisfy my passions. I do however hope that one day, enough people will see that passion and want to nurture it.

When that time comes I’ll be ready to make the leap. Until then, it’ll carry on costing money and I’ll pay the bills through my other interests. As long as the number of fans continues to grow – it is all worth it.

Bloghorn thanks Matt for answering our questions about his web cartoon Godfrey – God Jones.

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