Comics and Webcomics

At one point, the world of storytelling using pictures was limited to print. But even then, this genre allowed for all kinds of cool things.

Superhero Comics




Comics in the Sunday Paper

Graphic Novels

But as the internet grew larger, many comic artists and storytellers moved to the digital realm. We’re seeing a rise in webcomics more and more every day.

When Watterson stopped writing Calvin and Hobbes, one of his reasons was that he was unhappy with the increasing restrictions on the form of comics. Because their size became more restricted in the paper, there was less possibility for large scenes, for creative arrangement, and for storytelling in general.

However, webcomics suggest an entirely new world for this genre. On websites, artists are not limited in terms of space, and they are their own publishers most of the time, allowing for these works to be as creative as the artists can make them. Even better– webcomic artists make money through views, so the audience has access to the work for free, and the artists are compensated. (Just make sure you link people to the actual artist’s site instead of rehosting the image!)

Perhaps the most famous webcomic right now is xkcd. 

Known for its simple style (stick figures) it at first appears like an even more simplistic comic than the worst fears for the Sunday Paper, but once you read a few it’s easy to see that this is an aesthetic choice that allows for absolutely incredible levels of creativity.

(Click this picture to explore an entire world on Randall Monroe’s page.)

Another artist, Allie Brosh, created a style of art made to look sloppy and childlike to mimic her tone.

(Click this picture to read about the Alot on Allie Brosh’s page)

While many of her comics seem like just funny stories from her life, she also uses her work to approach complicated, personal issues like identity and depression (Note: Some of her comics use strong language, so reader discretion is advised!) 

Other comics use much more detail, but the important part is that it’s up to the artist. There are artists who aim for one-panel jokes and others who continue long narratives that last years in real time.

The enviornment of webcomics allows for diversity in many ways. We’re seeing many more women creating art online than we did in paper, and artists are able to get started younger too.

Sarah Andersen, a twenty-one year old cartoonist, has started posting her comics right on tumblr.

(Click the image to read more!)

So whether you’re a comic reader or an aspiring artist or storyteller, don’t miss out on this genre!

What webcomics do you follow?


About Petit Branch Library

We are a branch of Onondaga County Public Library located in the Westcott area of Syracuse, NY. We love our community and especially our teens!

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