Red Hat Magazine has a great interview with Randall Munroe, creator of xkcd, a “webcomic of romance, saracasm, math, and language” that’s published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license. Excerpt:
A former NASA contractor, Munroe now ekes out his living from xkcd. “I’m still sort of transitioning over to doing this full time,” he says, “A lot of my time I spend packing t-shirts, which is what I make my primary income off now. I’m always responding to email, reading forum posts, and having a regular life, being social, and getting outside and seeing interesting things.”
Munroe sees Creative Commons as the logical step in doing business today. “There’s this idea that there are the real business people who want to make money, versus the kids who want free stuff,” he says, “But no one seems to realize that Creative Commons serves both of those. It isn’t just an idealism of wanting culture to be free. It makes business sense.”
The Internet, Munroe says, has changed the rules of cartoon syndication, “Bill Waterson worked for, what, 5 or 10 years on Calvin and Hobbes, before he really made it big. Now, any kid with a notebook or a Wacom tablet writes something and makes it available for free.”
And making money?
“Once you develop a big following, there are plenty of other opportunities for business. T-shirts. Merchandise. Speaking engagements.”