Even though technology has so changed the world we live in, some things never change. For example, comics — while we used to leaf through comic books or read newspaper strips like Garfield, now we swipe through digital comics (or webtoons) and read Garfield online.
Digital comics have a number of bells and whistles — audio, animation and hypertext to name a few — but they also work the same way as physical comics. You still flip through pages and admire the marriage of text and art. Likewise, you’re not going to get pages of nothing but text. (Well, aside from the occasional letters page, of course!)
Digital comics aren’t just a fad. Since the very first online comic, Witches and Stitches by Eric Millikin, started in 1985, the medium has evolved along with the rest of the Internet. In 2014, by the time the Naver Corporation launched the largest inventory of webtoons in South Korea, they had over 6 million readers daily.
The sales of physical comics have gone down — when it comes to paper comics, trade collections are thriving — and digital comics are very popular. Many people prefer to read digital comics. And best of all — no ink stains on your hands!
If you’re an aspiring cartoonist, you’re likely working online already. Not only do online comics go up instantly, meaning your readers can give you feedback immediately, it’s also cheap to do. Anyone can set up their own website and start publishing immediately. And since that’s the way the industry is going, it’s a good way to get experience.
And, of course, you can do so much more with the digital medium. If a character is listening to her favorite song, your readers can listen along with her. Your reader can even watch her dance if you so choose! Neither of those you can do with physical comics.
If you’re curious about the evolution of digital comics, the infographic below sketches out the history, from 1765 all the way to today. Who knew that digital comics could trace their lineage that far back?
The History of Digital Comics, Explained: