Friday, October 26, 2007

A Webcomic Primer

This was originally going to be a post about "character fission" (when one character unexpectedly becomes two in the middle of writing a story), but said character fission took place while I was writing the first chapter of my webcomic (which you can find here!) and I realized that someone reading this might not realize what a webcomic is. D'oh!

So, here goes. A webcomic is a comic. On the Web. Shocking, I know. Don't stop there, though - there are a few differences between comics on the Internets (yes, all the Internets) and comics in general. If you live in the United States, I wouldn't be surprised if, on hearing the word "comic", you think one of two things:

1) Newspaper funnies! Oh, that Garfield.

2) Grown men and women flying, punching things, and wearing their underwear on the outside.

While this publishing paradigm is changing in our modern era (google "graphic novels" if you're curious), newspaper funnies and superhero periodicals do still make up the majority of comics material today. Now, "funnies" you'll find in great abundance on the Internets, although the popular ones are often different in genre and style than what you'd expect in a newspaper. (I recommend Dinosaur Comics; no, it's not what you think.) But superheroes... well, I don't actually know of any superhero webcomics. I'm sure there's many out there (Google gives me 1,190,000 results for 'superhero webcomic'; although oddly enough, the top results are lists of superhero webcomics, not actual comics) but they are certainly in the minority. The point? The variety out there is mind-numbing in degree, with the qualifier that since anything can be 'published' on the Web, the literary and/or artistic value of the comic may also be mind-numbing, though not necessarily in degree. On the other hand, comic gems that would never be published in today's world of ever-stricter publishing genres can gain huge readerships. (Not to mention that some popular webcomics have been picked up for publishing based solely on large web presence.)


Webcomics. They're not what you expect. You should read them. I'll probably elaborate more later, but for now, I have more papers to write.

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