I’m a really lucky guy. In the course of this work I get to talk to a lot of my personal heroes and my favorite so far has been Ruben Bolling aka the creator of Tom the Dancing Bug. Bolling is a fixture in the alt-comics scene and he has a lot to say about the rise and fall of the alt-weekly and the new laws of popularity. If you want to know how to build and keep an audience you can look no further than a guy like Bolling and he’s really nice to boot.
One interesting point that came out of the podcast: that a technological shift, namely cheap printing and Quark XPress, made it trivial to produce a newspaper of real merit. Add in the lucrative classifieds business and you had an industry clamoring for cool content – sort of like blogging. Alt weeklies died because of the Internet but Bolling is still making art, the importance of which we discuss near the end of the show. Enjoy.
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