There was a question posed recently on the Chez Geek mailing list:

I’ve always been curious, why do these ($16) games all come in such flimsy little paper boxes? I mean, chez geek is a relatively expensive game, compared to something like set, which costs 11 bucks, and comes in a nice plastic case for all your cards…

…please don’t take this as bitching, or ranting/complaining. I’m honestly curious. like I said, a game like set which only costs 11/12 bucks comes with a nice plastic case. why don’t 20 dollar games do the same?

To which, one person replied:

I’ve seen this question on other groups. I believe I have an answer for you. Firstly, With John Kovalic artwork on the cards, it easily raises the prices of each of the cards….

So then I picked myself up off the floor, tried to suppress the torrents of unseemly guffawing, and replied thusly:

Wow, I hope not. :-) I like to think I work pretty reasonably…especially on stuff that I *love* working on.
I get a standard royalty on most games I do.

The Set/Chez Geek comparison is not a great one, because ANY artwork on a card will raise the price. Seriously, though, it’s not like I’ve ever asked for anything outrageous when illustrating a card game. My brother, who is a business man, tells me the reason you raise your rates is not to get more money, but to get less work.

The problem is, when I get approached with REALLY COOL PROJECTS (like Creatures and Cultists), it’s VERY hard for me to say no. Which I guess makes me a bad businessperson. Which I guess is why I need a business manager…or about 10 more hours in every day…

Another problem is, I get approached with a LOT of cool projects. I’m having a TON of fun on Dork Tower 27 (to press soon), new Out of the Box Games, and other sundries. Which is part of the reason I didn’t get an online cartoon up Wednesday. But I’m finishing off today’s now, so that should be up at dorktower.com and the LiveJournal DorkTowerFeed soon.

I really had a blast working on today’s Pyramid Online strip, as well…even IF I didn’t finish work until 11 pm last night, and had to skip my weekly gaming session. I hope Pyramid subscribers enjoy the strip. (This month, Dork Tower also appears in Dragon Magazine, Scrye Magazine and GAMES magazine. If you subscribe to any of these publications, and enjoy Dork Tower in them, please drop a note to the editors letting them know! I’d appreciate it!)

On top of all this, I’ve been doing a weekly edit ‘toon for the Daily Reporter in Milwaukee. These are mostly on Milwaukee and Wisconsin matters, but I wanted to stretch a bit and get back into an editorial cartooning groove. With luck, at some point, I’ll find a national client. But for now, I just need the practice: after three months at the Reporter, I’m only now doing cartoons that at least I’m not ashamed to show people.

Editorial cartooning, it turns out, is NOT like riding a bike. I was surprised it took me so long to get back to this point, and I’m still not where I was when I quit (disgusted by politics) three and a half years ago.

Anyhoo, though most folks outside of Milwaukee will not understand these issues, here are some recent ‘toons I’ve done for the Reporter…

John

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