Speaking of things that K—B—– hath wrought, in the same post on Fleen that talks about Strong Females, Tyrrell also talks about the print/web divide:

After the rapprochement between the web and mainstream wings of comicdom at this year’s Reuben Awards, it is a little unusual to not have seen that conversation continuing in the weeks since. Then again, I meet somebody new, it takes a while for the conversation (without booze) to get to be spontaneous. I’m guessing this is a bit of inertia until everybody figures out who everybody else is online and continues that conversation. Hoping so, anyway.

There is indeed a fantastic divide between the print and webcomic worlds. As the record-shattering number of comments on my webcomics post shows, webcomics are perhaps the fastest growing and most engaged segment of the comics reading world — it’s just that those of us trained in print and BookScan don’t have a metric for talking about this.

In an earlier post, Tyrrell offers up the results of a recent survey about webcomics readers:

There were 441 completely-answered surveys
91% of respondents do (or would) read digital comics
45% have already purchased digital comics, 27% may do so, 19% never will
The genres most likely to be read digitally are
Science Fiction
The least-appealing aspects of digital comics are
Not actually owning the comic
Lack of physicality
File format incompatibility
Need to repurchase if file gets damaged

In all the talk of day and date, and getting traditional comics onto tablets, it’s been abundantly clear for quite a while that the real revolution in comics readership is already here.

Art from Cleopatra in Spaaace! by Mike Maihack.


  1. What’s with the sudden backlash against Kate Beaton? Everybody references her and her comic because it really is that good. When they’re writing the history of webcomics 100 years from now, her name may very well follow kolchalka in the first chapter.

  2. While I don’t consider myself a “dumbass” William George….

    But speaking for myself, I responded on that previous post in question, because, IMO, most of the recent links/stories here on The Beat, that discussed or referred to a web comic seemed to just mention Kate Beaton’s “Hark A Vagrant”.

    Knowing that there are many, many other web comics that are creative, fun and great reads and don’t get near the type of exposure that Kate’s site has had, I thought that that should be pointed out.

    And judging by the 200+ comments to the “Tell Us What Webcomics you’re reading” I can see that I wasn’t alone.

  3. I honestly don’t get the appeal of Ms. Beaton’s work. She is probably a wonderful human being, I just don’t see why people *love* her work so much. I mean, both Heidi *and* Dirk Deppey love her work and I think it’s the only thing they agree on, so there must be something there. I just never see it.

  4. I believe it’s a mixture of the humor, nostalgia for doodling in school notebooks and the appeal of the subject matter being based on history that gives her comics an edge.

    Not to mention, despite first appearances, Kate has an underlying understanding of composition that give her scribbly cartoons cred, and at least from me. I also give her props for the time and efforts she spends researching her subject matter.

  5. Hark, A Vagrant is too well drawn and not literate enough, so I prefer XKCD.

    I kid… I dabble in webcomics, but not regularly. Maybe once a month if I remember a certain strip or site. Otherwise, I’ll visit a site, read the entire archive, and then forget about it. And I do mean “forget”… I’ve enjoyed many webcomics, but never make the connection when I see them at MoCCA or SPX.

    I even have a comics page I get in my email from gocomics, but I rarely read even that. That may be based on how I read comicstrips as a kid… it’s in the daily paper, let’s see what’s going on. And probably because so few comicstrips have a continuing storyline.

    What do I like best about a webcomic? The ability to comment DIRECTLY below the daily strip. No needing to visit a message board, or log in. A Distant Soil does this very well (and has amazing blog content as well), as does Last Kiss. Last Kiss has the problem that it is on various sites, so comments on one will not appear on another.

  6. I checked out the recent post about Webcomics. There is some stunningly well done stuff out there! I haven’t checked every link yet, but plan to.

    In browsing, I notice that there are a lot of webcomics featuring talking animals.

    Not sure what that says about webcreators or their readers, but the web definitely has different comics than my newspaper or my LCS.