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Sergio Aragones v Mark Waid on free content
Via Tom Richmond’s blog is a story on Comics Beat detailing a heated exchange between famed MAD cartoonist Sergio Aragones and Comic book writer (and Harvey Award Keynote speaker) Mark Waid over free content – the topic of Mark’s speech.
It was mostly pep talk, partly an entreaty “not to be afraid of the future when we can still affect it.” On that part, it was hard to find fault.
But at least one other attendee, namely Sergio Aragones, a cartoonist whose name is regularly preceded by the word “legendary,” took issue with Waid’s idea that ideas should be free. After the speech, according to witnesses, Aragones went over to Waid and the two had a heated exchange. While we heard several reports of various folks storming out and slamming doors, we also heard that after all was said and done, Aragones and Waid literally hugged and made up.
We had a chance to talk to Sergio later on – it was an off the cuff conversation in the middle of a rather chaotic night (the Hyatt bar was shut down early and everyone was in a tizzy). Paraphrasing here a bit, but Sergio was advocating more for the idea that the spread of free content has devalued content, making it harder for people to make a living at it. He said a couple of things that I tried to jot down, one that (I’m paraphrasing) “quality has to be considered again” and the one I tweeted “If you give everything away for free, you have ruined everything.”