## ON LINE COMICS

I use the term, ‘on line comics’ to designate original comics designed to be read on line, and not collections of previously published comics such as found on GoComics, King Features,  or newspaper on line editions.

I guess the term could also be applied to hybrid comics, such as Swamp©, where Gary Clark will publish the daily cartoon on his website, while it also  runs in newspapers.  The same could probably be said of Liberty Meadows©, which can be viewed on GoComics, but the complete collection can be found on Frank Cho’s site.

Well, with that said, let us dive into on line comics.

Aaron the Ogre left a comment some time ago. This was the first that I realized there are cartoonists/authors with their own blog dedicated to their artistry.

However, as you can see from his blog the site is called “Our Process.”  The Ogre is also known as Aaron Guile, who is a substitute teacher, at least I think he is a substitute, in Utah.  The following cartoon is easier to understand if you note that it takes place in an English class discussing “The Outsiders,” and the “Me” in the box in the second panel is Aaron, the teacher.

Well, onward.

Here is another comic courtesy of a commenter on this site.    Her name is Marti, and here is one of her cartoons.  But first some information on Marti.

My name’s Marti and I’m an engineer. Late 2011, I embarked upon a new challenge (I just can’t help it, I can’t sit idle). I wanted to become a cartoonist too. Yes, I know.  This was going to be a difficult journey as engineers aren’t known for their humour.

And in case you are wondering about the genesis of this cartoon, Marti provides the following:  “And this time, it’s the mathematical branch determining the formula to calculate the most aesthetically pleasing Christmas tree.

A couple of students from the UK Sheffield University set upon the challenge of determining the ideal number of baubles, length of tinsel and lights necessary to decorate the picture perfect tree. The magical formulas are:

• Number of Baubles = ( √17 / 20 ) x h
• Tinsel length = { (13 x pi) / 8 } x h
• Length of lights = pi x h
• Height of star/angel = h / 10

Where: h is the height of your tree in cm.

If you don’t believe me, check out the Uni site for full details, including a cool on line calculator.

Well, leaving Australia, and heading to sunny southern California, we have the following interesting online site, featuring still and animated cartoons by Matt, who says:

##### Location, San Diego, CA

The site mainly features, “Cyanide and Happiness”, and also a section called, “Stuff we Like” which features a link to, another site.  When I looked at it, the link brought up, “Creased Comics.”  It had animated and still comics.  However, we are talking about Cyanide and Happiness, so here is an offering.

Well, let us leave San Diego, and journey northward to Newbury Park, an unincorporated area of Thousand Oaks, CA.  Acording to Wikipedia, this area has,   the 11th highest per capita income and the 4th highest median household income in the nation (against all other cities with a population of 50,000 or more).

Well, what better place for the following.

This site is interesting not only for the comics, but because the author/owner (Scott McCloud) talks about early online comics, and how to make print comic books.  For online comics, he discusses “…the idea of treating the screen as a window rather than a page (the so-called “infinite canvas” style,…”  Take a look at the whole discussion.  Also, watch his comic, and I do mean, ‘watch’.  I cannot remember seeing this type of online comic before.  However, I am still learning what is out there.

The Right Number

Here is another stand alone site, which seems to actually have a business model and revenue stream.

And for those of you curious about Randall Munroe, the  cartoonist/author, we have in his own words,

I’m just this guy, you know? I’m a CNU graduate with a degree in physics. Before starting xkcd, I worked on robots at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia. As of June 2007 I live in Massachusetts. In my spare time I climb things, open strange doors, and go to goth clubs dressed as a frat guy so I can stand around and look terribly uncomfortable. At frat parties I do the same thing, but the other way around.”  And, also in his own words, how his business model works.  “I was going through old math/sketching graph paper notebooks and didn’t want to lose some of the work in them, so I started scanning pages. I took the more comic-y ones and put them up on a server I was testing out, and got a bunch of readers when BoingBoing linked to me. I started drawing more seriously, gained a lot more readers, started selling t-shirts on the site, and am currently shipping t-shirts and drawing this comic full-time. It’s immensely fun and I really appreciate y’all’s support.”

One of  xkcd comics.

Here is an odd site.

Well, the above says it all.  Sorry that it is no longer, however, here is one of the comics.

In a June 20, 2004 interview by Xaviar Xerexes, on comixtalk.com, we find an in-depth interview of Aaron Farber.  I have excerpted the following,

##### The first printed collection of Men in Hats strips is coming out in June. I actually just sent the final pages to Chris [Crosby] the other day. It includes the first 150 strips as well as 20 pages of original material. You can find it on amazon.com now, but if you buy it direct from theMiH website in June, I make more profit. So do that!

So, Mr. Farber also seems to have a revenue model which works.

Well, let us move on to aggregator sites of on line only comics.

###### In addition to listing thousands of online comics, we also track and report comic updates (this is when comics publish new pages/strips to their Web sites), and comic news. We also provide an impressive array of features designed for both comic creators and fans.

So, I was not quite correct when I said they were an aggregator, as they claim they do not actually publish, rather list.  Clear?

Smack Jeeves l says that they have 44K+ comics.

ComicGenesis,  states they have 13.5K and breaks them down by various means.  I found the country listing interesting.  It is a bit obscure, but worth locating it on the site.  If you try clicking on “By Country” it takes you off into the bozone of in the bowels of the site.

Here is another site, evidently devoted to snippets of the top web comic (TWC)s.  Or so they say.

From the site FAQ.

###### We’ll be expanding this in the future, and as we do so, we’ll expand this page to match

So, they do not really run the strips, but give the author exposure and a link back to the comic’s site.  Such a deal.

If you follow on line comics, there is a site (probably one of many) which will keep your interest in a strip, or strips, up-to-date.

From this site:

###### The Webcomic List primarily helps you keep track of which of your favourite online comics have updated. To do this we monitor over 21000 online comics, checking them several times a day; this enables us to keep you updated as fast as possible.

Some things you should check out while you are here:

• ###### Submit Your Comic – Do you have a webcomic that isn’t on this list? Well get it added!

All in all, sounds like an interesting place.  You could probably spend a few weeks just poking around.  Have at it.

Then there is this site,

which seems to have a funding process, but it is beyond me.  I guess you could put up a comic and see if money comes rolling in.

And, for your fund of useless knowledge, Wikipedia (2007) states there are about 38,000 web comics.

Well, I started off with the cartoon collections of two people who had commented on this site, and ended up with many, many more sites.

I have had fun researching the above.  I will cheerfully admit that I have only scratched the surface, and meant no disrespect to anybody who did not get mentioned.

Ted