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The Web Comic Revolution.

By Inoshiro in Op-Ed
Sat Aug 11, 2001 at 01:21:11 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)

Comics have long been an excellent way of combining an interesting message with good artwork. The spectacular visuals of comics, such as the images of a dark and brooding hero guarding the light from the shadows of darkness, have captivated the minds of generations. While at the same time instilling values such as truth, fairness, and justice, it also provides art and entertainment. Webcomics are the latest incarnation of this form of communication. Thanks to the nature of the web, it allows for easier dissemination of the work to the public (as talked about in Scott McCloud's "The comic and the Internet.").

Webcomics cover a wide variety of issues and topics. Some of the comics/topics include Penny Arcade, a comic about gamers and the gaming industry; Megatokyo, a comic targeted at anime fans which also discusses Japanese Culture; and Ubersoft.net: Home of the Help Desk, a comic poking fun at MS, drawn by an OS/2 user. There is even a comic site about web forums ("The Slashdot/Kuro5hin Chronicles," written by Jin Wicked).

So what does the future hold for traditional comics? Dark Horse Studios has (or rather, had) a building across from SGI (the local equivalent of the US DMV) downtown in the city I live in, Saskatoon. This was the place where the Death of Superman was inked and coloured. As I implied earlier, the studio closed recently. Some "we're moving in" signs for some other business hang over the old Dark Horse Studio logo.

At a time when traditional comics have had their prices inflated 400% over the past 10 years, web comics are increasingly the entertainment of choice for online comic fans. Some comics which started online have grown considerably from their original 1:1 strip/joke setup, now having with large epic story arcs. Sluggy Freelance is an example of this. Because of how it's grown, and the fans that have support it, Sluggy has even been published in paper form. The book sales and hits have shown that you can make a decent living off of online comics. This is something many people seem to have missed in the climate of the slowing economy.

Penny-Arcade, as another example, is surviving off of donations since the collapse of the banner ad network that previously sustained it. Most of the web comics I've mentioned, while not being a huge money maker for some mega corp, help keep an author (or two) somewhere in a few extra dollars so they can continue to share their work with the public. Dan's Data, an Australian hardware review site I frequent, said it best with "Minnows 1, whales 0.," an essay about running a succesful site online. Essentially, without all the overhead of running a big business, individuals can be very succesful online -- a lesson that some people seem to be waking up to.

So it seems like Scott McCloud's dream of a world where comic fans are able to get their comics directly from the source, rather than through the dilution of middle men, is slowly coming to pass. While the traditional comics are still having to deal with the realities of printing, shipping, etc., small, tightly focused comics are finding fan bases that can sustain the authors involved. Perhaps in 20 years we'll find the concept of printed comics to be just a fun way of having an archived copy of your favourite comic around for power outages.


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Related Links
o Slashdot
o Kuro5hin
o The comic and the Internet.
o Penny Arcade
o Megatokyo
o Ubersoft.n et: Home of the Help Desk
o The Slashdot/Kuro5hin Chronicles
o Jin Wicked
o Death of Superman
o Sluggy Freelance
o published in paper form
o Dan's Data
o Minnows 1, whales 0.
o Also by Inoshiro

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The Web Comic Revolution. | 16 comments (12 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
+1 Section reluctantly (none / 0) (#2)
by AmberEyes on Sat Aug 11, 2001 at 09:06:37 AM EST

You didn't mention Sinfest.



"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
Sinfest? (none / 0) (#3)
by fluffy grue on Sat Aug 11, 2001 at 02:22:13 PM EST

Bleh. You know the joke that there's only 6 unique Garfield strips? The same can be said about Sinfest. "I'm a pimp/slut and I am cool because I define what cool is." "God is a hypocrite." "The devil is unlucky." "Preachy people are annoying." "Cats and dogs are funny." And I'm sure there's two more, but I can't think of them.

It was funny at first, but it just got monotonous. I don't bother reading it anymore.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

a little MLP! (none / 0) (#6)
by anonymous cowerd on Sat Aug 11, 2001 at 02:57:46 PM EST

You just gotta go see Living in Greytown. Dave Kelly was pretty good in a rough way even when he first started the strip, but since then he's steadily gotten so much better, it just knocks me out.

Also, go check out Cigarro and Cerveja. A really funny strip that's beautifully drawn in some of the nicest rapidograph work I've seen, maybe excepting that of my buddy Andy Seniska...

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

The one thing that really disturbs me about America is that people don't like to read. - Keith Richards

Shameless plug here (none / 0) (#7)
by MicroBerto on Sat Aug 11, 2001 at 03:52:56 PM EST

I posted a diary entry a while ago stating that I would be making a daily comic called Bertoline -- and I have stuck to my word, making new comics every day! Please check it out if you feel inclined... might not be your sense of humor, but let me know what you think!


- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip

re: bertoline (none / 0) (#13)
by stfrn on Tue Aug 14, 2001 at 02:21:51 PM EST

wow, that is without a doubt the worst comic i have ever read. but's kind of a southpark bad, i guess. well, atleast it's not costing you anything.

"Man, I'm going to bed. I can't even insult people properly tonight." - Imperfect
What would you recomend to someone who doesn't like SPAM?
[ Parent ]
LOL! (none / 0) (#14)
by MicroBerto on Tue Aug 14, 2001 at 04:19:40 PM EST

Thanks! Hehe, that's the funniest thing I've read today -- I don't know why, but it's just great to be the WORST! I'm not "almost the worst", or "second worst", but i'm WITHOUT A DOUBT the worst! Rock on my friend, and keep readin it (i know you will!)

- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
[ Parent ]
Um.... (none / 0) (#9)
by ASimPerson on Sat Aug 11, 2001 at 05:00:45 PM EST

Too bad Penny Arcade kinda took a shot at Scott McCould in Magic: It's What's For Dinner. Read the news for that day for details. Of course, a week or so later, Tycho talks to Scott, the results of which are seen in this newspost.

More good web comics (none / 0) (#10)
by khym on Sat Aug 11, 2001 at 09:27:24 PM EST

A few more good web-comics:

  • In Okashina Okashi (Strange Candy), an American exchange student in Japan, plus 5 other people, get snatched from Tokyo Tower into another world, full of bishonen and catgirls (and catboys too); borrows some characters from MegaTokyo.
  • Ozy and Millie, the story of the 10 year old arctic fox Ozy (whose adoptive father is a red dragon), 10 year old red fox Millie, and their various classmates (raccoons and sheep and cats and such). Obviously inspired by Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes.
  • Avalon, the story of everyday life at a Canadian high school.

Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Best Web comics. (none / 0) (#15)
by chipuni on Tue Aug 14, 2001 at 05:05:36 PM EST

I agree... Ozy and Millie is one of the best comics being made today, in or out of the newspapers. It follows early Bloom County's mold.

But, choosing a best web-comic is almost as much of a religious choice as choice of editors, hairstyle, dress code, or whatnot. Instead, visit some lists of comics.

Some good sources for comics are:

Perfection is not reached when nothing more can be added, but only when nothing more can be taken away.
Wisdom for short attention spans.
[ Parent ]
Sabrina (none / 0) (#11)
by WWWWolf on Sun Aug 12, 2001 at 06:40:28 AM EST

<enthusiast mode="Commodore">

While people are talking of good web comics, how can they forget Amy and Sabrina? =)


-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...

mindless comic link propagation (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by dogwalker on Mon Aug 13, 2001 at 02:45:51 PM EST

er, the propagation is mindless, not the comics.

so here they are , by name:

Bob the Angry Flower
Hound's Home
Penny Arcade
Sluggy Freelance
When I Grow Up

and by quote:

"Swearing? No shit, fuckface!! It's for kids, isn't it?"
"I can't believe I was rejected by a woman with a foot growing out of her face."
"Box." giggle.
"There are a lot of things you can eat that aren't food."
"Kick ass! Thanks Papa Smurf!"
"Holy shit! The bitch is armed!"
"Nice to know the ultimate battle between good and evil will be fought with missile launchers!"
"Eat! EAT IT for Christ's sake, you little freak!"
"Everybody likes pie... and I am no exception."
"I know that's wrong, but how come I think that's cool and it kinda turns me on?"

Of course, those are just the comics I like. You can find the ones you like at Keenspot or Big Panda, or anywhere .
share and enjoy

Sigh. I think most of you miss the point. (none / 0) (#16)
by Inoshiro on Wed Aug 15, 2001 at 07:05:31 PM EST

This article is not about "kewl comics." It is about the changing face of comics, and about how society -- how it communicates information, etc -- is slowly changing.

Example: most people I know who are my age group send only large parcels by mail. None of them have stamps. In 30 years, the post office will be more about tranporting goods between people (rather than the industrial shipping which does bulk between companies). Letter traffic will steadily decline. Because of how the technology is.

[ イノシロ ]
The Web Comic Revolution. | 16 comments (12 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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