And now every time I get a little burnt out on what I “have” to do for work, I shut out all the external pressures around covering comics as an industry and read some comics that no one told me too. You should try it sometime too!

Kiel Phegley

“The dominant tech culture says everyone should just give away their content and their expertise,” Lanier told me this week. “Then they are supposed to make money later through personal appearances, or selling T-shirts or whatever. That doesn’t really help the photographer or the graphic artist who is trying to make a living right now.”

–From an LA Times article by James Rainey on the bleak financial picture for creative types.

And at this his face totally changed, and he said “What are you talking about?!” and so I told him I would be leaving the show, because; and that was as far as he let me go, and he said, “STOP! You cannot! You cannot leave this show! Do you not understand what you are doing?! You are the first non-stereotypical role in television! Of intelligence, and of a woman and a woman of color?! That you are playing a role that is not about your color! That this role could be played by anyone? This is not a black role. This is not a female role! A blue eyed blond or a pointed ear green person could take this role!” And I am looking at him and looking at him and buzzing, and he said, “Nichelle, for the first time, not only our little children and people can look on and see themselves, but people who don’t look like us, people who don’t look like us, from all over the world, for the first time, the first time on television, they can see us, as we should be!

Nichelle Nichols on Martin Luther King Jr. telling her not to leave Star Trek. [via]


  1. What a terrific story from Nichelle Nichols! I had to laugh (or cry), though, at the incongruity that a story about “the inspiration for hundreds of African-Americans to join NASA” is on an astrology website.

  2. It doesn’t matter if we don’t like the main idea in “Free,” the market is demanding it. The price of media has been inflated since the beginning because people were largely paying for the physical medium – whether that was a vinyl record or CD, a book, or whatever. People essentially accepted that movies cost a lot to go to because they were paying for the experience. I think now that the medium is becoming mostly irrelevant, people are having a hard time accepting they’re supposed to pay the same price for just the content.

    People who write and draw for a living are going to either have to find a new way to make money or accept a lower level of living. No amount of whining will make it otherwise.

    I remember when we were losing our manufacturing jobs to other countries, people kept saying, “It’s a good thing because we’re becoming an idea society.” Well, ideas are worth anything if you can’t produce them into an item someone wants to buy.

  3. The market would have demanded free vinyl records if they thought they could’ve gotten away with it, too. The price of the physical medium has always been pretty low relative to the sticker price of the record/book/CD/comic itself being printed.

    Most people who write, in general, are not making their living off of just the money from writing. Most never have. The prolific could, and they often didn’t get rich. Humans in the internet age got accustomed to free content. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good deal for the people who create that content.

    I’d also argue that the content is what creates the experience, whether it’s on a computer screen or iPhone or paper or whatever. Yes, there’s people who will end up creating something for free, even with the franchise characters we all know and love. That doesn’t mean it’ll be any good whatsoever.

    But then I thought that the rampant export of factory/production jobs was a pretty short-sighted idea, too. I didn’t often get listened to when I put forth that opinion.

  4. “But then I thought that the rampant export of factory/production jobs was a pretty short-sighted idea, too. I didn’t often get listened to when I put forth that opinion.”

    Matt: Believe it or not, the current Groo miniseries takes on this exact same conundrum. :)

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