Webcomic Platform Tapas Media Suspends Fees for Creators

Tapas Crowd Art - Publicity - H 2020
Lisa Ou/Tapas Media
The aim is to help comic artists and writers earn more income amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Following an earlier announcement that it would suspend support and advertising fees throughout April to help creators maximize earnings, webcomic platform Tapas Media will suspend all publishing support fees indefinitely.

The decision to indefinitely suspend the fees — typically around 15 percent of a creator’s income from the site — is the result of the feedback Tapas received from the monthlong “InThisTogether” program that trialed the idea last month.

“We owe a tremendous amount of thanks to our global creator and reader community, who showed so much generosity in supporting creators and independent storytelling during our InThisTogether event,” editor-in-chief Michael Son told The Hollywood Reporter. “While we are incredibly proud of this achievement and saw a record-high number of creators getting paid, the world around us is still very much impacted by COVID-19. Inspired by the generosity of the community, we've decided to waive our crowdfunding Support Program fees indefinitely. We hope to continue in making bold company decisions like these in order to better serve the storytelling community.”

The move has been welcomed by Tapas creators, including the pseudonymous Vel, whose latest series DPS Only! launched during the April suspension. “With cons and other big events being canceled, a lot of artists (like me) are losing a big chunk of their income,” Vel said in a statement released by Tapas. “This initiative is a good opportunity to show some support for artists during this time. Every bit of ink means a lot to us, and we’re super appreciative of the readers and Tapas for allowing us to keep making stories for others to enjoy.”

Tapas features more than 50,000 independent creators publishing upward of 70,000 webcomics and novels for both web and mobile platforms, read by more than 2.7 million readers monthly. In addition, Tapas has partnered with publishers including Vault Comics, Boom! Studios, Hachette Book Group and Ten Speed Press.