Not content with becoming a verb, noun and ultra-profitable media conglomerate, Google is about to launch a browser, and it will be called Chrome. How do we know? Well, it seems Scott McCloud drew a 38 page comic all about Chrome, which was inadvertently leaked to the Internet yesterday. Jeff Trexler revels:

Old media heralding the new–in biblical terms, it’s like Moses showing Joshua the Promised Land or John the Baptist preaching Jesus. Sure, in these stories the old one dies, but as Google’s initiative illustrates, paper comics aren’t going away quite yet. As one commenter notes, “What a great way to communicate complex ideas!”

It seems a few copies of the comic went out to Europe, and in a few moments the whole thing was scanned and up on the Web. (Beware heavy traffic load times!) (Also beware excitement over global data structures, etc etc.)

UPDATE: Here’s the official download site.

McCloud already has his own FAQ page:

Yes, it’s true: I drew a comic for Google explaining the inner workings of their new open source browser Google Chrome. Details have been leaking all over the Web since a few copies apparently went out pre-launch by mistake, so here’s the skinny on my small part of this very cool software project.


  1. Interesting… the Google Books download link doesn’t work, and nobody translated the word balloons into plain text. Nice logo, though.

    I’ll invoke the Microsoft Dot Zero rule. If a software version ends in “.0” (for example: Windows 3.0), wait for the update.

    I will also wait for the first malware to hit Chrome, to see how everything works.

    As for the comics, it’s pretty darn cool. I think we’ll be seeing more of this sort of thing. Not too surprizing, as there are many “graphic” computer manuals out there which are almost all completely screen snapshots with a simple mascot explaining each process.

    (Those little web crawlers (heh) on page nine are kinda creepy.

    Wow… Page 22: Your homepage looks like a sunday comic! I hereby invent: GOOGLE COMICS! Create a tab page with your nine most visited websites, so that they create a narative of some sort. (Sort of like those postage stamp naratives MAD Magazine ran in the 1980s.)

    Google Chrome is audacious. I’m fairly computer savy, but there’s some stuff here I don’t understand fully, but the comic does a pretty good job of explaing the intention, even if I don’t fully understand the background. In other words, I know how to drive a car, know that the engine runs on a synchronized series of explosions, but I couldn’t change the oil or tell you which hose goes where.

  2. I love McCloud’s comics, but Jesus, talk about the most yawn-inducing subject matter. Unless you’re a programmer or a huge computer nerd, this is gonna be as boring as… Well, Understand Comics for people who have no interest in comics, I’d imagine.

  3. I still find it funny that I learned about this yesterday through the comics blogs I follow, and not all the tech blogs I follow. I mean, I’m a web developer, and a browser activist for lack of a better term (basically encouraging people to use more than just IE, and encouraging developers to make stuff that’s compatible with more than just IE and Firefox — and a few years ago, getting even that much was tricky) — so I’d have expected to see a lot more commentary from the other half of my blogroll.

  4. If I had a dollar for every time a person suggested that I set up a table at Union Square or Astor Place to sell comics…I wouldn’t need to set up that table in the first place.

    Go Scott McCloud, get that paper.

  5. I always get a big kick out of people calling out artistic types for “selling out”.

    Guess they’d rather see us barefoot, poor and selling our drawings on street corners.

    Actually, Scott McCloud should be making his living off of micropayments.

  6. That was cool! Now I know WHAT I should be cursing when my browser sputters and idles: they have one-track minds.

    OT: Rereading the b&w ZOT! tales this month was a treat.

  7. Cool and interesting comic, but I’m also a web developer and have a good understanding of the topics raised in the comic.

    As for McCloud “selling out”, I find that hard to see when dealing with a topic that Scott McCloud is so obviously fascinated with. I imagine he had a lot of fun doing this type of project (which is why I imagine Google approached him for it).

    That said, I think the browser kind of sucks. It feels like a very early alpha product than a public beta product. It’s suppose to be fast, but everything just takes FOREVER to load with it. To the point that while waiting for pages I was able to open a new tab in Firefox, type in the URL have the page load and start reading before any content has loaded in Chrome. On top of that there’s the the lack of home button, lousy way of dealing with bookmarks, non-OS GUI (I’m using Windows XP but get the Vista GUI with Chrome) and overall lack of customization that Firefox has.

    Some cool ideas with threading individual web pages, tabs on the top and other features, but overall I think it’s a really poor implementation, which I found quite surprising coming from Google. I’ll definitely be sticking with Firefox and see if Google’s Chrome gets better with time.

  8. Frankly, I don’t care if Google Crome is any good or not. I just think it’s cool that Scott’s comics were the chosen vehicle used to launch a major product for a forward-thinking, multi-billion-dollar corporation.

    Google’s marketing folks could have gone in any number of directions with the launch, but they chose comics.

    For comics aficionados, it doesn’t get any better than this.

    Congrats to Scott! I hope your wallet is substantially fatter now!

  9. It’s pretty awesome to see McCloud working on something so big. Plus, now I finally know what Chrome is all about. Between what little I’ve weened off a handful of computer classes and comp sci major friends and the clear way this comic describes Chrome, I’m very much looking forward to it. I’m a total memory hog when browsing sites and this new design seems to work perfect for me. I treat Mozilla Firefox like a mule and crash it a lot. Chrome sounds like it was designed for my mad browsing.

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