Home Culture Cartoonists Kate Beaton announces she's taking some time off from her webcomics

Kate Beaton announces she's taking some time off from her webcomics


Given that she was the Person of the Year for 2011, and enjoyed a bestseller with her Hark! A Vagrant collection, it’s no surprise that Kate Beaton has been getting lots of offers lately, ranging from children’s books to television work.

Thus it will also come as no surprise that she’s going to be spending less time on her webcomics to work on some of these opportunities:

This is a funny job. Webcomics are often cited as the future of comics and the internet and I don’t know what else, but the fact that no one has retired from them yet means that I, at least, rest a little uneasy in these shoes sometimes if only for the lack of having a dependable compass by which to steer the ship. I just want to make the best decisions I can, so that I will be around longer, making drawings and comics and writing and other things that I hope people will enjoy. I’m not sure what will work out with these opportunities that have come my way, and I guess I can’t really say much about them, but I think I’d be a fool if I didn’t give them a try. So I am going to! Whatever I can let you know, I will.

You would be a fool, indeed, Kate Beaton. While Rich Burlew’s $350,000 and counting Kickstarter campaign for Order of the Stick suggests that the crowdfunding option for the post popular webcomickers is a viable one, the retirement element makes a very good point. Stuff that Keogh account (or whatever they call it in Canada) while you can!

In the meantime, Beaton’s tumblr will be posting sketches, hilarious research materials, and more. Bookmark!

  1. The retirement angle is an odd one since no one’s been doing it long enough to retire yet. I’m reasonably certain the Penny Arcade, XKCD, and Order of the Stick guys are going to have a comfortable retirement.

    But best of luck to Beaton in her future projects. I’m sure she’s going to amaze us with her work for years to come.

  2. yeah, what Chris said: Generally you need to work 35-40 years to retire.
    Also, I know of very little artists who have retired.
    Even the most succesful ones, multimillionaires, multibillionaires (Charles Shultz, Morris, Albert Uderzo, Stan Lee, Jean Van Hamme,… ) made comics way past their eligible retirement

  3. Hey!

    Ah, you guys I was just trying to say that when I picture my life in 5, 10 or 20 years it’s hard to guess what it may be like, since webcomics are so new. I just don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. It’s not an angle, it’s just trying to make the best decisions I can. Comparing most webcomics to Penny Arcade is.. most webcomics are not going to be Penny Arcade.

  4. I think it’s great to be in a situation to be able to try new things. Webcomics are great, comics are great, but there are other mediums to conquer! I can’t wait to see what comes next…

  5. Hey Kate!

    Do whatever you want to do and I’m sure you’ll be good at it.

    I just think it’s a shame young, attractive people like us have to sound so mature to think about retirement :)

  6. Kate Beaton gets opportunities and she’s a fool if she didn’t at least try. Other comic creators are given a unique opportunity to tell the best stories they can with properties virtually untouched and make cash in the process and suddenly we can’t believe their desire for inclusion. Harvey Dent indeed.

  7. Kate, your people will follow you to whatever venture you try next. Mark my words. …maaaaaark theeeeeeeeem.

    Mazel tov on all your successes! May there be many many more.

  8. I think it’s a smart move! Explore all offers and side jobs while they are there, because this business is up and down. The doors may not open again. Readers online feel really entitled to webcomics, which while it’s cool they love your comics, if they REALLY love yoUr work they’ll be happy you’re doing what you love, no matter what that is! Or they will be excited for you. Anyone else criticizing the decision can suck eggs!

  9. Kate, your H!AV website stand as a lasting monument to all the inspiration you have given everyone over the years with your comedic and artistic talent! Anytime someone challenges me to name a successful woman in comics, you are always at the top of that list – I will continue to derive joy from sending everyone I know links to my favorite Hark strips. Your work is some of the funniest I have ever come across.
    I absolutely know how rough things can be, so I wish you luck with your career, I know it’ll be great! Good luck, and don’t be a stranger. :)

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