relax, we understand j00

Do you like music, movies and books, but you simply don't like to pay for them? Relax, we understand j00.

I've been advocating countless times that art should be free, but one of the most reactions I get is something like "oh, but artists should get money for their work". I try, in vain, to explain that giving the art for free doesn't mean that you'll get to money for it. Graphs and numbers show rising numbers on the money made by concerts and tours, but those cases are allways refuted with something like "what about the bands that don't act live?"... I also wrote about getting money from publicity, and was quite happy to see someone going in the right direction for it: two weeks ago I wrote about ReverbNation [1] giving 50% profit share for musicians registred there, which made musical projects as my own [2] start making profit while giving songs for free. But sometimes people just don't get it... They're too used to think of the industry that chokes art as if that industry was the only way to access to art.

So, today I'm going to talk about another example, and this time it's not music. Some of you just want to have access to everything, for free. Some of you prefer to buy the art, either because you prefer the physical item, or because you care about the artist and want to feed him, or both. Relax, we understand j00. As a matter of fact, understanding you is being able to satisfy both "markets": those who like to have free stuff and those you prefer the "classic way". MegaTokyo [3] is a webmanga and a manga. Well, it started as a webmanga, in 2000, started and continued free, and started gathering a legion of fans. (Almost) every monday, wednesday and friday you get one more page of story, and in the meantime you allways have a forum where fans discuss the story and try to predict where it is heading. Being free, in fact, was the factor that made it get its legion of fans, and, with it, and opportunity came for him to release those same strips (so, same story, just in paper) as books. From then until now already five numbers are out, and you can be sure than whenever there is enough strips to release a new one - oh - it will surely be released. See - despite all of the work being online, legal, for free, and despite that fact being announced everywhere in the books, MegaTokyo is the best selling original English-language manga, and the #3 graphical novel seller in USA. So, what to say about it? Is it being free hurting the sales, or - as a matter of fact - making it sell more? One thing is for sure: there are several books that have continuation, but if the next issue takes too long to be released, less people will buy it when it does. At least these cases are minimized by MegaTokyo, where you can allways keep reading, strip by strip, as the work is being done, three times a week...

I, for one, used to be a real fan of MegaTokyo, since 2001. I used to visit the website everyday, I would stay awake until way too late just to read a new strip, I was heavy involved in the forums and community around MT. Time passed and I started to have less time to check MegaTokyo, until the time I stopped being a regular reader. No problem - of course - I'm now a proud owner of the books, having a better way to read MegaTokyo. Oh, you prefer to save your money? No problem... relax, we understand j00.

[1] - http://tinyurl.com/2fvw2c
[2] - http://www.reverbnation.com/merankorii
[3] - http://www.megatokyo.com