Gary Larson vs Scott Adams: How Comic Strip Creators Interact With Fans

Lets compare 2 of my favourite comic strips and how their creators interact with their fans on the internet.

Gary Larson created The Far Side comic strip and 2 TV specials and Scott Adams created the Dilbert comic strip and TV series – Both are much loved by their fans.

Gary Larson threatens his fans with cease and desist letters if they show even 1 of his comics on their website, even if their article is about how much they love Far Side and how other people should check it out.

Last time I checked, threatening your biggest fans with legal action wasn’t the best way to win their hearts or get new fans.

On the other hand Scott Adams encourages people to show his latest comic strips on their website by providing easy to use Dilbert Widgets which can be embedded in any website and mashups that allow anyone to change the text in speech bubbles.

Clearly Adams has a better understanding of how the internet works and knows that allowing people to show his comics on more websites can only create more interest in Dilbert comics and lead to more fans and more revenue from book and merchandise sales.

Adams said: “We’re accepting the realities of IP on the Internet, and trying to get ahead of the curve. People already alter Dilbert strips and distribute them. If we make it easy and legal to do so, and drive more traffic to in the process, everyone wins. Plus it’s a lot of fun to see what people come up with in the mashups.”

What do you think of their different approaches?

5 Replies to “Gary Larson vs Scott Adams: How Comic Strip Creators Interact With Fans”

  1. Wow. I get the new dilbert site now.

    I think it’s a very smart move of Scott Adams’. I can’t quite work out how it’s going to look, but it seems bleeding obvious to me that the future of publishing/music/film will be radically different to the traditional models. Going with the flow and taking advantage of the opportunities seems a good idea. If you oppose progress, you often end up squished 😉

  2. As much as I love Far Side, it is sad to hear something like that. Very good move on Adams part though. To be successful now, you need to embrace the internet, something a lot of the older generation does not want to do. It will eventually phase there though. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I like Scott Adams’ approach. It’s much more realistic and definitely progressive. Isn’t that what art is all about???

  4. Jason – art doesn’t have to be progressive at all. What makes you think that?

  5. Love what’s happening to information on the web today — open access, freedom of use and to greater benefit. The ones who lose out are the ones who try and protect their content.

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