(The emphasis of certain sections is mine)
- Pitchfork: Sixty-five percent of the sales for The King Is Dead were digital downloads, and a number of those were a result of Amazon's $3.99 album pricing. Not everyone's a fan of that particular practice. What's your take?
CM: It's their prerogative. It's like Costco-- they're just trying to get people onto the site. We don't take a hit. That said, there's bigger things at play. It's the devaluing of music. But music has been already devalued by the consumer. There's an expectation that it should be free so the race to the bottom has already been won. It's just a question of how we continue to protect copyrights and support the people who are making music. We are wiping out a potential generation of new voices because it's not as easy to get into it and support yourself. I have no idea what the solution to that is.
Pitchfork: Well, with new technologies, it seems like there are more avenues for people who want to make their voices heard popping up every day.
CM: Yeah, but when everybody is playing at the same level, there's so much more noise. And there's less incentive for the people who should be rising above that noise to take time and invest in what they're doing. It just becomes about hustling and grabbing attention.
Webcomics is the sphere where you give it all away. All your hard work, all of it. It works to an extent, but only to an extent. Giving away your backbreaking labour then selling someone a tshirt based on a Star Wars joke you knocked out in fifteen minutes is mental. I don't expect this to change, I don't think there are answers, but there are days that I want to shed tough, manly tears as I package up orders or desperately try to design merchandise when I could be doing a fifth, a sixth comic for the week.