Comics History

Webcomics

by Scott McCloud

Since the early 1990s the growth of the World Wide Web has had its impact on comics. Not only has it proved an infinite platform for comic artists to show their work, it also provided a whole new canvas for comic artists to draw their comics on, using new computer techniques such as 3D and animation. One of the first to signal this development was Scott McCloud, whose 'Understanding Comics' and 'Reinventing Comics' have become standard works. He has opened the eyes of many comic artists to the possibilities technology provides for the comics medium.

When I Am King, by Demian5

One of the comic artists who has created comics especially suited to the Internet is the Swiss Demian5, who created 'When I am King' between 1999 and 2001. It has become a classic for its inventive use of modern technologies, in combination with an entertaining storyline. Another artist who has experimented succesfully with Internet's possibilities is Patrick Farley, whose work can be seen on www.e-sheep.com.

Spiders, by Patrick Farley

www.moderntales.comMainly though, comic artists use the Internet for displaying their work. Instead of putting energy and money into self-publishing and distributing, they invest a relatively low amount of money in their own site, by which they can reach a vast audience of comic lovers and colleagues. The first comic to appear online was 'Where the Buffalo Roam', by Hans Bjordahl in 1991, and it has been followed by countless comics all over the world.

As soon as Internet caught on, artists started making comics with the sole purpose of displaying them digitally. These are the so-called "webcomics", and early examples are 'Netboy' by Stafford Huyler and 'Argon Zark!' by Charley Parker. Many artists use this format to display their ability to produce a consistent, regularly appearing comic strip (which might interest syndicats in taking them on board for distribution to newspapers). Apart from the individual sites, there are also sites which provide a collection of webcomics, such as www.moderntales.com.

Argon Zark, by Charley Parker