A reflection on webcomics from ’98 to ’08 that will probably only make sense to a handful of people:

pushing at teh boundaries of teh intertubezcomixI’ve been going through some times of extreme personal change (too personal to get into here) so please, as always, be patient with my output. I promise to make something of a cartoonist of myself someday.

Speaking of which, I stumbled across a thread from a couple years ago on a forum that I haven’t frequented in even more time than that. The thread in question basically points out the non-readability of an old strip of mine: here.

Ok, did you read it? (Believe me, it’s ok if you didn’t)

The thing is, it made me think a bit about how different browsing the internet was in those days and how lower screen resolutions made images gigantic if you weren’t careful. A lot of those types of websites are gone now, but there was a time when people (like me) who were still learning how to REALLY master Photoshop had real sizing issues with their first attempts at displaying things online (versus someone else’s screen resolution settings).

Interesting thing about that strip (and most of the “one image” webcomics in that archive) is that most of them ran on a site called AnotherUniverse.com’s MANIA Magazine alongside Chris Crosby (with Snap! the Punk Turtle) and Shannon Wheeler‘s Too Much Coffee Man (who was a personal hero of mine at the time and part of the amazing explosion of great Texas comics in the 90′s… the first person I considered a “pro” at the time to talk to me about comics and give me advice).

I think that was a paying gig… I remember the site was mega popular at the time. Didn’t last long, tho. Iugh! ugh! that looks dirty! moved everything over to “magicinkwell.com” officially in ’98 (after stalling a year and using my university’s server to host my personal comics site in its infancy — ’96 through ’97) and copyrighted the crap out of everything I was posting with ©98.

ANYWAY, for the record that comic sucked. I did it in ’96 for print and re-purposed it for web at the time I had my MANIA magazine gig (’97? ’98??). Screen resolution was a big factor in those days as well as how much of an image could get to your browser with a reasonable amount of time passing, but it didn’t help that strip much in readability either way. The lettering was horrible and hard to read. Even in print. ;)

I’ve been a web cartoonist longer than I care to remember and a lot of my development is still floating around out there for everyone to see without any of the context of the YEARS that passed as it was being put online. A lot has changed and a lot really hasn’t changed much. We’re STILL posting single image files as comics on the web all these years later. That always seemed kinda “old school” and “pre-web” to me. I always thought making the web-page the comic (the page you’re on now.. no buttons except in service of the story..) was the whole point of doing a comic with this technology. Of course, I’m too old to fight that battle anymore, so

i wanna get off!

here I am posting a long winded something or other about the early days of web-comics on my site run by some blogging software that has room to post single image files as comics and keep those RSS feeds running which is all the craze with the young’ns these days. (Why, oh, why can’t it be HTML or FLASH or something with interactivity within that window/space/table cell?!)

_things have definitely changed_