Shaenon Garrity’s webcomics column debuts at the new online Comics Journal and gives a nice sense of perspective:
In the end, everyone talking about webcomics in 2003 was wrong. Experimenting with the vast visual and structural possibilities of the digital realm, as McCloud dreamed, has turned out to be less popular than doodling gags that readers can send around to their friends, or, barring that, stuff with furries. Webcomics didn’t whore themselves out to telecom companies because it was the only way to drive traffic; they whored themselves out to video-game companies because webcartoonists are nerds. Serializer.net hasn’t updated since 2007, and blogs are probably not even a thing anymore. Now you have to whore for iPad.
She also wonders if a Bill Blackbeard for Webcomics is necessary since so much that is on the web is entirely ephemeral and can disappear in the blink of an eye. We’d argue: yes. The Wayback Machine isn’t enough. Look at Tokyopop’s website — a couple of no-follows and you’re lost forever.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.