Indy cartoonist elated to find torrents of his work

Dubber sez, "NZ cartoonist Dylan Horrocks stumbled across a torrent of all 10 issues of his independent comic 'Pickle' on Demonoid. Rather than issue a takedown notice or complain, he left a complimentary note on the site and linked to it on his blog. Share and enjoy." (Thanks, Dubber, via Submitterator)


  1. Now if only more creators thought like this. Though I agree that as an indie cartoonist, he owns all the rights to his work and so it’s easier for him to allow people to distribute it (not to mention the publicity and goodwill such a move generates).
    Someone working for Marvel or DC might think it a good idea too, but would run into trouble for endorsing the view in public.

    1. This happened to me the other day! I’m a fan of an indie band called Beirut. A few years ago, they filmed a DVD of them walking around Paris playing all of their songs live for people. But the DVD has been sold out for years.

      I contacted their label this year and asked if they could make me a copy of the DVD. They demurred, but sent me one of the two remaining copies of the DVD on the condition that I burn it and distribute it as widely as possible, so that any fans who couldn’t buy it could still acquire it.

      Pretty cool!

      Here’s the content:

  2. With the relative ease of copying in the modern world, I think that artists who complain about their work being ‘pirated’ show disrespect for their own art.

    Artists (generally musicians) who speak out against piracy come off as corporate shills, to me anyway.

    Mr Horrocks shows a commendable measured and cool attitude, makes me wanna read the comics.

  3. Cool dude indeed.

    As an indie cartoonist myself I can only agree completely. I have through the many years I’ve done comics deliberately avoided anything that remotely resembles copyright of my comics. I just don’t believe in it and often encourage my buyers to copy all they want. It would make me so proud, but I haven’t come across anybody doing it yet.

    My thought has always been that if anyone steals an idea of mine I’ll just come up with a new one. What I have is not my comics as much as my ability to create comics and that can’t be stolen.

    (if you are curious you can see a preview of my latest effort, some in danish some in english, here : )

  4. A few years ago I discovered that one of my published short stories had been adapted as material for a Cthulhu Mythos crossover take on the pencil-and-paper RPG Unknown Armies. It remains the single biggest compliment I’ve ever received as an author.

  5. i did the same thing when i found torrents of my work online. Would i prefer people bought it? well, yes, of course. But i’d also rather people read it and talk about it than to just skip it altogether. It’s a lot of creators’ fallacy to treat each download as a potential lost sale, as the tracker numbers usually add up to something that would make a project a real success if translated into meat-world sales figures. It broke my heart when my Vertigo book The Exterminators got cancelled, especially seeing that the tracker figures were showing it was doing quite well among freeloaders. But, them’s the breaks. That fact is, people are going to find a way to get what they want. in this age of information, it is a fact of life and it cannot be stopped. the key is to find a way to not fight it, but give them what they want and find a way to get yours in the process.

    Our medium is still kind of searching for that magic answer, but webcomics guys appear to be cracking the nut. In the meantime, i put up a Paypal donation button on my site’s Store, for anyone who downloaded my stuff and enjoyed it enough to feel like they could toss a little scratch my way for the trouble.

  6. I’m the guy who made the torrent of Pickle 1-10 on While I don’t have a set of Pickle 1-10, I do have a paperback copy of Hicksville.

    @Tony Moore: I do have a paperback copy of Exterminators volume 3 and I enjoyed the series although from #19 onwards I kind of got a little lost. I think it read better in a trade collection than as monthly singles, which caused me to wait until several issues came out before I read an arc. I think the current model of serialising stories in floppy singles might be a little redundant for certain stories, which just read better as an entire novel. I am also a huge fan of Fear Agent although it is hard to get the trades (forget about the singles)of FA in India so I rely on scans to keep up-to-date and am waiting on an omnibus (or some large collected edition). A lot of people I known who read comic scans also actively purchase comics, limited only by their budgets not by their intent, so I don’t know how far the argument about comic scan readers not being buyers go. In a lot of Asian countries, India in particular, a dollar is a lot of money and a single trade costs the equivalent of several days pay. I’m in a position to buy a few books monthly, mostly second hand from ebay, but they’re still costly and there’s so much I enjoy, so buying any books becomes a matter of shortlisting from dozens of books whose scans I’ve enjoyed. The irony of comics scans being read by comics readers is that most of the comic readers I know are rabid Marvel and DC fans and they own hundreds of Marvel and DC books. Ironically they discover the new ‘directions’ that Marvel and DC go in through the monthly scans. I think Marvel and DC would loose a whole lot of business by restricting scans or bothering readers who download them. But that’s just my 2 pice.

    Thanks again to Dylan Horrocks, ever the gentleman for being so gracious in his support.

  7. I was going to post that his work is safe enough on Demonoid as they haven’t enabled registration for new accounts in well, what seems like forever. But then I followed the link in the blog post to their new domain ( where lo and behold they’ve enabled registration. Get an account while you can.

  8. What an intelligent attitude!

    I’ve searched widely for some authors I loved in my younger days who are long out of print, like Leonard Wibberley, Thomas Burnett Swann, Dennis Schmidt or T.J. Bass, and you can’t find anything at all, except maybe some used copies at astronomical prices

    Is there some hidden benefit to the author to have his or her works disappear and be forgotten?

    My personal choice for copyright modification would be that any book that goes, say, 5 years without a printing, gets released, for electronic distribution only, via Gutenberg or something similar, for free.

    Maybe something like copyright for 14 or 28 years from FIRST publication, and after that, print it or let Gutenberg share it.


    With ebooks, this could get ugly, since there is no “first, second…12th printing”, so Amazon, B&N, etc can just keep their ebooks available for sale for as long as the publishers can bribe Congress into extending copyright.

    Since they’ve outlawed “used” ebook sales, and locked their own stock into these stupid DRM formats, the book market is going to go through some major changes in the coming decades.

  9. INDIE, not “Indy”.

    Indie = short for “independent”
    Indy = short for Indianapolis, or an archeologist / treasure hunter

  10. I made a decision when I obtained disposable income to stop pirating comics, as I wanted my money to support (even if only indirectly) the creators.

    However, while I think there are strong arguments for buying currently released comics rather than pirating them, for anything more than a couple years old that wasn’t collected in a trade there’s little point in NOT pirating them. For one thing, tracking down legitimate copies of old issues can be quite difficult if it wasn’t a best seller. Also, you’re more likely than not going to end up buying it used from someone, which has the same benefit to the creators as straight up piracy (no benefit at all).

    It’s a different story if it was ever put in a trade. Those are a lot easier to get your hands on legally. But say I wanted to go back and read the classic Deadpool series, which was never put in a trade (a fact for which I still hold a grudge against Marvel). My only options are track it down on ebay or pirate it.

    Piracy is a complicated issue for comics, because the situation is not always strictly analogous to industries like music or movies.

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