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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Web Comics

...or; what you can do with some toys, photoshop, and a digital camera!

While the classic newspaper comics page is undergoing changes due to economics, the internet has allowed a new breed of artist to break out in a medium that is unrestrained by the dictums of others....

Comics artists have been distributing their work online since before the official "World Wide Web". Most have used a traditional ink brush and paper to create the comic, and scanners to upload files for emails and web sites.

Of course, software technology improvements provided opportunities for the artist to exploit... Graphics editing software has made hand lettering dialogue unnecessary in many instances, as computer fonts allow for many types of expression. Coloring the artwork could be done digitally, and even drawing could be done digitally by wacom tablet.

The cultural embracement of the "LOL cats" meme stimulated a fumetti movement in creating comics from photoshopped imagery. Drawn figures could be embedded into photo backgrounds, posed photos could have written dialogue inserted.... Even photos of posed figurines could be utilized to create imagery.

And the subject matter! Freed from restrictions of publication, utilizing a NSFW label, comics artists could use vulgarity, pornographic imagery... The Underground comix movement, like pornography before it, was freed from the ghettos of head shops and the back of the comics stores and brought to your computer screen.

The traditional comics distributors took notice. Web sites like GoComics, with content mostly made of comic strips supplied by King Features syndicate supplemented by comics exclusive to the Web, allows you to customize your own comics page. Comic Book publishers Marvel and DC have begun distributing new issues of their titles directly on the internet, via their respective web sites...

Since comics have long been a staple of cross media promotional efforts, TV shows with "long tail" internet engagement with their viewers now offer digital "graphic novels" to complement their story lines.

Let me give you some examples of my favorite web comics:

Traditional style web comics-

Computer Art web comics-

Photoshopped web comics-

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