Online vs. Newspaper Comics
Are webcomics better than newspaper comics?
This is a difficult question to answer. Both comics have their pros and cons. Basically,
there is no clear answer of which comic is better. It rather boils down to which of
the two piques your interest more.
A couple decades ago, the
only place one could find comics were in newspapers, magazines, and comic stores. Today,
the the emergence of the Internet, all those kinds of comics can be found online. But
there is a difference. Webcomics are completely unpredictable. There are no editors
to make sure that the content is suitable for viewing. There are no syndicates that
accept your comic and make it viewable to the public. All the rules and regulations
regarding a webcomic are created by only one person: the creator of the webcomic.
Numerous webcomic artists have experienced it at some point: their comic being
rejected from a syndicate or other comic publishing company. Webcomics are often the result
of comics that can get popularity no other way. It may seem as if the syndicate doesn't
like it, but newspaper syndicates receive hundreds of submissions every month. Only
a few are selected every year, and this ultra-selective approach is sometimes seen as
unsatisfactory to the up-and-coming cartoonist. Fortunately, the freedom of the Internet
helps relieve the tensions of rejection and exposure tremendously.
© 2005, Kent Mudle. Used with permission.
Anyone who picks up two different newspapers can see that no two papers have the exact
same comics. Some have only two or three comics, others have entire pages devoted to
comics. With webcomics, there's always one place where they can be viewed and also archived
so that people can read it from the very beginning. To counteract this, newspaper syndicates
have their own websites, like Comics.com
where newspaper comics can be viewed
on the Internet all at once. With some exceptions with online versions,
newspaper comics are published in black
and white or grayscale, while webcomics have the option of being in color all the time, although
some still retain the traditional black and white style.
So where exactly does one post a webcomic?
Anyone who has a website is capable of posting a webcomic if they have enough space. If
one is good at HTML, CSS, or Flash, they can design the entire site so that the comic
has an acceptable environment to be displayed. From there, a webcomic can be accepted
into comic communities such as the subscription-required site Modern Tales
the popular, invitation-only webcomic community
. Of course, if one doesn't feel like paying money to post a webcomic, there are
free webcomic hosting sites, such as Keenspace
addition to Keenspot, or Drunkduck
Because these services are free, however, anybody can theoretically post anything they
want onto these sites. Fortunately, all hosting sites have administrators that check
for user violations and other juvenile activites.
Last year, Keenspot began running some of their webcomics in a newspaper in California.
That, along with newspaper comics being posted online, means that the roles of
online and newspaper comics can be switched. In the future, the distinction between the
two will possibly become either nonexistant or one will emerge to become the more popular form of
© 2005, Brian Emling. Used with permission.