Comics on the Web
Introduction
Webcomic Categories
How I Make a Webcomic
Online vs. Newspaper
Additional Commentary

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.

Eggbert 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 and Ucomics.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?

Breakpoint City 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 or the popular, invitation-only webcomic community Keenspot. Of course, if one doesn't feel like paying money to post a webcomic, there are free webcomic hosting sites, such as Keenspace, an addition to Keenspot, or Drunkduck and others. 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 comic entertainment.


© 2005, Brian Emling. Used with permission.

Introduction | Webcomic Categories | How I Make a Webcomic | Online vs. Newspaper | Additional Commentary