Articles

Storytelling with digital media: webcomics

In Uncategorized on 2009-07-13 by Kyle Maxwell

Third in a series.


Web comics have taken off tremendously, to the point that traditional print comics and cartoons (particularly those in the moribund newspaper industry) see them as a real threat. As more and more people have access to the tools to create and distribute, we see far more perspectives, types of stories, and humor.

Even more nascent than their humorous brethren, serious web comics have started to make an appearance as well. These play a role similar to graphic novels: while the art may bear a passing resemblance, the themes, story structures, and characters often have little to no humor except the occasional comic relief.

What makes web comics really stand out? The actual art form itself hasn’t changed dramatically, but the ease of distribution, the circumventing of traditional gatekeepers (like the large publishing syndicates), and the freedom to explore new themes and stories have radicalized the entire genre. Many web comic artists have drawing skills that compare favorably with traditional professionals, but in many cases the comic plays to particular audiences or becomes well-known for specialized humor despite simple art.

Tomorrow: Presentations

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