I would not consider myself much of a comic book or graphic novel enthusiast. In fact, before this class I had technically never read an entire comic book or graphic novel. I have seen snippets of Watchmen and some of The Walking Dead, but where I have read comics is in newspapers and online. These short yet hilarious works on the Internet (mostly from reddit and posts from Facebook) really entertain me and since this class have made me really appreciate the history of comics and how they’ve grown from single frame pictures, to fantastic little clips. The question for me in writing this is how did the Internet get infested with all these small comics?
Webcomics, for the most part, are not grandiose art products on countless months of work for a single strip. Most of these comics are low quality (in comparison to giant graphic novels). Some examples of webcomic groups that mass produce these simple yet massivly popular comics are The Oatmeal and xkcd. Both of which are circulated throughout the internet and churn quick comics almost daily. However that does not take away from the quality of the webcomics with less effort into the art side. Most webcomics (although short in the most part) really can entertain and hook the audience with subtle themes. The “No Girlfriend Comics”, as seen above, have always been a personal favorite since they express the hilarious and sometimes tragic things that occur after a break up. The quality and length of the strips may not be on par with monstrous novels, but the quality and simplicity keeps it fresh and amusing. However there are examples webcomics that break this mold.
One of my favorite webcomics that I have recently discovered is Dave Rapoza & Dan Warren’s Steve Lichman. This webcomic has not only broke the standard webcomic ideal of being short and simple, but has gotten so popular it is going to be made into its first real comic later this year. This comic follows an unlikely bunch of monsters such as Dracula, a wolfman named Jason, and a ghost police officer named Sargent O’Mally. Yet, throughout the several issues of the webcomic have had character development, tackles current political issues that don’t seem to fit the “dungeon” that all these monsters work and live in, and does so in a very dark and humorous way. The art behind this webcomic series is also much more detailed than the usual webcomic and it’s style is almost reminiscent of the hand drawn era. Even more impressive is the Kickstarter that got the authors, Dave Rapoza and Dan Warren the support and funding they needed to make this into a full fledge 200+ page comic book. I highly recommend checking it out right now! (https://rapozacomics.carbonmade.com/projects/5313679)
This is what I think is the coolest part about the Internet and webcomics. The freedom that the Internet has to offer let’s anybody potentially be that artist to get some Internet fame! You can post a single frame comic and if it’s good enough it’s all over reddit, then Twitter, then your Aunt’s Facebook! You might not have a lasting effect if it’s just a onetime deal but the possibility for you to be Internet famous, make a great cartoon, and have fun while you’re doing it. You look at Marvel or DC Comics, or any of the big name publishers and it’s very hard to compete with them. but here on the Internet you can produce something either super simple like this comic to the left, or something complex visually and story wise like Steve Lichman, and do something awesome with it. That’s why webcomics are so popular, because not only are they short and simple but anyone who creates the content can make something awesome and there will always be something new and fresh out there to grab your attention. That’s Internet power for you right there!