selling more stormhoek

[UPDATE: February, 2010: Due to a rapidly-evolving business model, the stuff below no longer applies. For current terms, go see my Creative Commons License here, Thanks.]

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Like I’ve said many times before, I much prefer giving away my cartoons for free, rather than trying to sell them. It saves everybody a lot of hassle, myself included.
Which is why I’m now letting people download my stuff in high-resolution, print it out and stick it on their wall etc. Which is why I have a Creative Commons license.
Hey, if you want to put the work up on your website, blog, or stick it on paper, t-shirts, business cards, stickers, homemade greeting cards, Powerpoint slides, or whatever, as far as I’m concerned, as long as it’s just for your own personal use, as long as you’re not trying to make money off it directly, and you’re giving me due attribution, I’m totally cool with the idea.
[NB: If you see a gapingvoid cartoon that you like, and you fancy it as a piece of schwag, all you have to do is download the high-resolution image off this site, then upload it here onto Cafepress. I make no money at this, everything on Cafepress I sell at cost. Easy.]
So, if people aren’t paying me for my work, then how do I make a living? Good question.
Well, years of messing around in various enterprises have led me to the following conclusion: People don’t buy art. Not really. But they do buy wine.
Which is why I have a commercial interest in the Stormhoek winery. Basically, the more cases that sell, the bigger a car I get to drive. It’s that simple.
So to the kind folks who download and use my stuff, I say thank you very much, but if you want to support what I’m doing, please keep your money.
Instead, if you’re ever in wine-drinking mode, walking down a supermarket aisle, and you see a bottle of Stormhoek on the shelf, I hope you might consider giving it a try. No worries if you’d rather not, but I’d appreciate it if you did.
The other thing you can do to help the cause is add the gapingvoid widget to your blog, but again, no worries if you’d rather not etc.
I guess this all ties in with my “indirect marketing” schtick, of which I am a huge advocate.
Sounds like a plan?
[NB:] Stormhoek is now available in San Francisco and Silicon Valley at K&L Wine.

[BACKGROUND READING:] The “about gapingvoid” page. Also carries some of my favorite cartoons, and what inspired them etc.


  1. said it before – Google Maps – especially in US

  2. Hugh MacLeod says:

    D’accord, Dennis ūüėČ

  3. Nice one Hugh! Thanks.

  4. As soon as I see Stormhoek Down Under, in any shops in Brisbane, I’ll be giving this one a taste or three.
    Any plans in that regard?

  5. Hugh, if you ask them to make a kosher version as well you have a deal!

  6. We’re still waiting in Canada…

  7. it’s a bit of a stretch, and the prohibition laws that are still in effect would probably prevent this, but some Stormhoek in tulsa, OK would be great.

  8. Just be careful of the laws about the 3 tier distribution, the ones that say that a manufacturer/importer of alcohol can’t advertise where to buy the product. It definitely applies to spirits, but not sure about wine

  9. FWIW, they served Stormhoek at one of the receptions at the NewComm Forum and I enjoyed it.

  10. Hugh, speaking of free distribution, what do you make of the project launched today where they are coinciding the publishing of a book in print with its networked delivery of the full content serialized via RSS, blog-posts, and e-mail? I’ve seen similar done before but this seems more ambitious.
    Any posibilities of distributing Stormhoek free via RSS?

  11. Well if I HAVE to buy vats of wine to support you, go on then, twist my arm.
    Storm-hawk it to me!
    the U.S. of A.

  12. In England, I buy it in Sainsbury’s. At

  13. hugh macleod says:

    Sounds like it’s the Shiraz, Andrew. That’s what I usually get as well.
    Thanks for the kind words, Everybody =)

  14. Two years ago I followed a link to a blog with cool cartoons, I liked them and I subscribed.

  15. I want some Stormhoek in the Philippines.
    Heck, I’ve been trying to convince the Philippines’ top wine distributor to get a web site since 2000.

  16. That’s a deal!
    Where can I buy Stormhoek in Hamburg?

  17. the US distribution tracker will be obviously done on a wiki/clustrs type of affair, so the community builds the map?

  18. Henry Hoffmann says:

    I’ve posted a comment a while ago on the Stormhoek blog, asking if I could buy a bottle anywhere in South Africa, but nobody even bothered to answer. I’ve also sent an e-mail, with no response either.

  19. Hugh MacLeod says:

    Sorry about that, Henry. I’ll look into that. Usually Graham Knox responds to that… unlike him not to.
    [Update:] Henry, you e-mail was responded to. Not sure why you never got it. Again, sorry about that.

  20. Henry Hoffmann says:

    Thanks for following up on that Hugh. Maybe some spam filter ate the mail. Anyway, I’ll still buy a few bottles if I ever find it somewhere.

  21. hugh macleod says:

    Henry, I believe Stormhoek is available in Jo’burg…

  22. What if I wanted to change the colours to put one of your images on a black T-Shirt?

  23. Hugh, would you like a laptop skin with one of these on it? (Like I promised you in Paris before Christmas.) Just let me know what size, what cartoon and where to send it.

  24. Saw some bottles at Bottoms Up and snapped ’em up. As the guy in Sideways says “Tastes good to me” – pretty good for the price…

  25. I was thinking about asking my local wine/spirits shop (it’s a wonderful little place only locals seem to know about) to order Stormhoek but I wasn’t even sure if this is possible for them to do yet… Got any info on that?

  26. hugh macleod says:

    “What if I wanted to change the colours to put one of your images on a black T-Shirt?”
    Go right ahead ūüėČ

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark