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Webcomics: Quantity vs. Quality

The internet provides a platform for indie artists and writers with limited resources to get their work out into the world. Webcomics were born of this freedom. Many popular webcomics choose to deliver their stories in a micro-serialized manner, often releasing only a single page of panels at a time. Additionally, many webcomics have no clear end in sight, but rather are stories that run indefinitely. Explore the strengths and weaknesses of webcomics as we see them today: the common formats and delivery approaches, the trends, how it relates to the quality of the stories being told, and what the future holds for creators and fans alike.

  • This sounds like it would be an examination that can be deeply investing. I would examine the webcomics Marvel & DC have been putting out as an example. – BMartin43 7 years ago
  • Some of the positives: Webcomic authors and artists alike being able to work at their own pace. Atomic Robo is a series that began as a published comic book, but made the switch to the webcomic format, now releasing pages in the way you described. Some of the negatives: Familiar setups/situations. For webcomics that focused on video games, it was common to have 2 males who would get into wild antics compared along with 1 female friend they have who was often stuck with the "straight man" and/or "voice of reason" role. – Christopher 7 years ago
  • I feel there are also a few webcomics out there that make a unique usage of their own digital medium, like Romantically Apocalyptic and some of the Emily Carroll horror comics. On the other hand, there are comics that literally post a page per update, roughly standard sized, and then run a kickstarter to print the collected volumes. Not that I don't love both, but I think it's exciting to see people using the fact that they're publishing digitally a bit more creatively. – sk8knight 7 years ago

The creative freedom of webcomics versus traditional comics.

Look at the difference in subject matter between webcomics compared to traditional comics. Does the lack of payment and corporate censorship alter how webcomics stories and art are crafted? Do webcomics cover darker/more controversial content than traditional comics?

A particularly interesting subsection of this would be to look at the racial/sexuality/gender representation in both webcomics and traditional comics.

  • Webcomics are not able to earn revenue in the traditional sense that traditional comics are able to, but I think webcomic artists ultimately have freedom of expression in how to tell their story and how it is crafted. Traditional comics may be looking for a number of things such as a particular style, topic, or issues the characters deal with and are allowed to deal with. Webcomics worry about none of those things, as the artist works as publisher and producer of the work in question and the only limitation is time and effort to make the comic. While they don't make money from "purchases" of the comic, ultimately there is a level of accessibility provided by being on the Web. Artists can also receive donations from fans who enjoy the work, or set up a system to receive money from viewed advertisements on whatever site the webcomic is published to. Good topic! Would be a nice topic for further research. – Nayr1230 8 years ago
  • A big problem for webcomics is that they tend to be written by one person which can limit the point of view of the work. One person's biases and social ideas will vary heavily from others, and that includes what should or should not be censored. One artist can be just as conservative as boardroom of people, and in addition that person has even less reason to try something new. Many of the webcomics I've seen or read about that deal with "darker" content tend to be rather shallow. Just because you are allowed to portray limitless gore doesn't mean you'll be doing it in an interesting way. – Arca 8 years ago