A Classic Tale

1 Oct

To my dear and loyal readers: I can no longer afford to produce new comic strips of “The Meaning of Lila” and have to stop, effective today. While the strip has seen a measure of success–being published in many newspapers throughout the country–it was not able to generate nearly enough for me to start making money. As you know, I write “Lila” and then pay two wonderful and talented illustrators to draw it. The money I made on “Lila” was less than the money I paid the illustrators and had to finally call it quits. The small good new is that “Lila” will continue to be published as classics and I will be updating, refining, and changing copy as the former strips are being published, so if you’re interested in how it all began with “Lila,” you may enjoy still reading about her. One final note, I’m sorry to end the strip on a cliffhanger, but there still may be hope that “Lila” as a new, serial strip can come back and I wanted to at least leave that option open for the future. Thank you all for reading “Lila,” for your wonderful comments online, and for your kind e-mails. It’s been a fun nine years and it’s all because of you. –John

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32 Responses to “A Classic Tale”

  1. arsmall73 October 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm #


  2. Sarah October 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    I am so sad to see it go! I have been following Lila for the past 4 years, and the story line keeps me coming back to read it every day. I read the comic in print until I moved and had to find an online source for the rest of the story. Good luck in all of your future endeavors, and I am sad to see Lila go.

  3. Robert Dingus-Deville October 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Oh, come on, John…artists are a dime a dozen nowadays. There’s a glut on the market. My daughter graduated with an MFA from the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, and she’s picking up freelancing work where she can to keep the wolf from the door, yet she is far more competent than the artists you have now. Do you have to pay union rates or something?

  4. nightgaunt49 October 1, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    I’m sorry for that. And artists are having enough trouble being under paid. I know. Considering we are in a Depression it is no wonder you are having trouble. some artist/writers who have their work only on the Internet sometimes have means of making money through donations. Ever read “Endtown” here on Gocomics? *Aaron Neatherly* has fans who are working to raise money by selling his art to gain things he needs to continue to produce his comic.

  5. roadtrip3500 October 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    JWF, thanks for all the hard work and dedication that made us laugh and think at the same time. I’ll enjoy seeing the classics from the beginning, and hope that you’ll get to that cliffhanger wrap-up one day.

    • nightgaunt49 October 2, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

      All of what you have been sending out have been coming to my address. Please see and correct. Randall

  6. Allison Hurst (@pinkfshbluefsh) October 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    So sorry to see it go – maybe a Kickstarter drive to keep it running for a time? I do love this strip.

  7. Joseph Nebus October 2, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    I’m disappointed that it’s stopped. I was quite enjoying the development of the characters and what seemed to me their natural and reasonable maturations.

  8. Ulan October 2, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    I’m really sad to see that the art that seemed to have been fun enough for you to keep it up such a long time cannot give you a sufficient income. But I’m glad that you are not such a doofus that would just try to look for an other artist to starve with minimum pay on coloring. If a business plan works only by exploiting people that plan didn’t work out at all and needs to be changed (how about trying that kickstart-idea?).
    Thanks for the entertainment up to now!

  9. Ben October 2, 2012 at 1:46 am #

    This is my favorite strip! How much do you need per month to continue? I would pay for this strip.

  10. Mathew Walls October 2, 2012 at 2:21 am #

    Oh my god, it took TWO artists to to create work that looked like it was copied and pasted every day? Get a copy of Photoshop (or Paint.net) and do your own copy and pasting and you won’t need to pay anyone, and no one will ever be able to tell the difference. Whatever you were paying the artists was clearly far, far too much.

  11. g2-e032c5bac38e89a48bb1ba16f5221daf October 2, 2012 at 2:22 am #

    Oh my god, it took TWO artists to to create work that looked like it was copied and pasted every day? Get a copy of Photoshop (or Paint.net) and do your own copy and pasting and you won’t need to pay anyone, and no one will ever be able to tell the difference. Whatever you were paying the artists was clearly far, far too much.

  12. Susan Koch October 2, 2012 at 4:32 am #

    If I could draw I would illustrate your comic for free. But I can’t. I am very sad to see Lila go. I enjoyed reading it everyday. I especially related to Annie being a leukemia survivor myself. Good luck to you John and I hope to see Lila back some day.

  13. Matthew Cawthorne October 2, 2012 at 5:01 am #

    Very sorry to see the end of Lila, Annie, Boyd and Co. This has been a great daily dose of morale for the last several years. Thank you, John, for bringing a lot of fun to our lives, and good luck for the future.

  14. Rex October 2, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    This is truly a sad day when an intelligent contemporary lifestyle strip can’t continue. I have read the strip daily for the last year and always enjoyed the humor & insights of life today that it has offered to us readers. I will hold out hope that it will return in the future.

  15. Rebecca Dauphinee October 3, 2012 at 2:03 am #

    I am so sorry. I’ve truly enjoyed meeeting Lila, Annie and all the rest of the cast. I hope thngs turn around and you will be able to continue regaling us with their stories.

  16. Tinarogers October 3, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    There goes the humor out of my life, I wish the author would have asked for donations and i am sure many would have paid( including myself) , Because nothing comes for free. Even Wikipedia did ask for donation many time, but again i do understand that there is something called as self respect, Hat’s off to the author , i Will miss Lila, Atleast let us know if Anne was intended to survive or not and was lila destined to get married.

  17. Lucero October 3, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    I so loved you comic, I’ve been following it for 3 years :_( I hope the future will bring an opportunity for you to continue it. Best wishes from France.

  18. Scott October 3, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    First Cul de sac and now Lila. I wonder sometimes how the successful money making comics get picked – or perhaps there actually is no such thing? Good luck with your endeavors – Lila was one of my reasons to visit GoComics – and if doesn’t start up again, may Annie be OK in the comic universe! I first saw Lila in the LA Times, and was sorry and surprised they didn’t take it.

    I’d donate to a kickstart. Your comic made my life more entertaining – I’d be willing to give back to help keep the fun going.

  19. Lety October 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    I’m very sad to find out today that you are no longer creating strips for Lila…I discovered your comic through Comic.com and I will continue to read vintage strips that I’ve missed out on in the past. I have not doubt that you will be back in the future and will be watching for it. Maybe a book can be created and sold to make some money back on your sacrifice. Have a great life and hope there continues to be meaning for it too!

    • nightgaunt49 October 3, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

      You need to check and see who you are sending them too because they are all coming to me not those other addresses. Night-Gaunt

  20. Sam October 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    I never thiught this day would come..I’ve been reading Lila religiously and it became a part of me..She made me laugh, smile, cry, worry… Your comic became a part of my daily dosage.. I hope we could do something to make Lila stay..

  21. debra October 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    I’m so sorry to see this strip go. What I do find unfair is the cliffhanger. Loyal fans need a way to have a proper good bye. Just like the comic strip For Better or Worse did for their fans. If you want to continue the strip later it can always be added. but to leave Annie sick going the hospital is unfair

  22. Ather October 4, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    Can’t you do just one more where Annie is given an experimental drug and is cured?

  23. Philippa October 4, 2012 at 3:37 am #

    I think my heart just broke :’(
    Thank you for all your talented work, just know you have lots of truly diehard fans :)

  24. Pete Rogan October 4, 2012 at 4:26 am #

    I’m sorry to hear the news, but comforted that it is not quite extinct, just in hibernation.

    As Number Six might say….. be seeing you.

  25. justin benedict October 11, 2012 at 2:40 am #

    It shocks me that you were not supporting yourself with “Lila” Especially as it got more and more compelling…I wrote a comic strip and paid someone to illustrate, and we got a book out, and it’s on my blog, but sadly…it didn’t make it (and wasn’t nearly as funny as Lila, anyway) What I can’t believe is, the comics that I really like, like “Big Nate” and “The Meaning of Lila” strangely never really make it into books or anything. You’re a good sport, John! Sorry things didn’t work out. Lila and Luann were the only reason I went to gocomics.

  26. Marsha Nelson Carr October 11, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    I sure hope we’ll see more of Lila, Annie, Boyd, Drew, Mr. Payne, Dr. Fine and Alan again!! This is totally wrong. You should be able to make a living out of this. It was a good comic strip. Thank you.

  27. oldgrumpysteve December 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    LOVE Lila, even in reprints. Even if you can’t do new strips, surely there must be enough Lila out there for a book or two! Anxious to buy it/them.

    • jwforgetta December 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

      Thank you oldgrumpysteve. Haven’t had time at this point to think about a book and not sure a publisher would be interested in one, but you never know. Right now, I’m trying to think about how I can continue the strip…

  28. Richard Plunkett July 10, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    John a “Lila” book should be a done deal in your mind at this time. I assume you own or control most of your characters and content? Take advantage of it! It’s the one good point of leverage with “Lila” that you have. “Lila” is excellent, this is a problem of marketing not content. That may seem to be insurmountable right now, but you may be surprised by it’s success. Ever hear of Amazon?, use the net, don’t suffer because of it. If not? It’s the publisher’s money! Shop it around! How much could it be for “the right” publisher to take a chance on you? If it sells, then maybe a daily strip could be revived, Leverage. But no matter what the endeavour is, it’s faulty thinking that continuing to do what’s not working today is somehow going to work out tomorrow. Also, please consider my suggestion of shopping “Lila” around as as adult aimed animated show…a la Daria on Logo. It’d be perfect. It’d be a hit, and make you rich. Of course you’d have to be willing to let go of your characters to do so, but then again find a good contract lawyer and lay down the Law! Good Luck!

    • jwforgetta September 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

      I really should do that. I just haven’t had time. Thanks for the great advice, though. Mostly these days, I’m working at a new job in Erie, which has me going back and forth between Erie and Cleveland. And still working on refreshing the classics. Someday, though, I’ll get my act together and move forward with that book.

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