Monday, July 13, 2009

Share Your Story: How Did You Get into Webcomics?

As you know, I run this blog because I enjoy talking about webcomics--not just to you, but with you. Thus, from time to time I invite you to speak your bit about comics.

Today, I'd like to hear how you got into webcomics. What was your first webcomic? How were you introduced to it? When and how did you start following webcomics regularly? Tell me your stories--I'd love to hear 'em.

Also, you have about one week left to vote in the Review Requestion Poll above. In case you're curious about some of the comics up for possible review, here's a handful of links:

So, vote in the poll, drop a comment, interact. We welcome your input. And by "we" I guess I just mean me.


Luke Surl said...

Very first webcomic I read was "Men in Hats" on Keenspot which ws recommended by a friend.

A misclick one day sent me to the next comic (alphabetically) on Keenspot which was Melonpool. I devoured the 9-year archives over the course of a couple of afternoons and was hooked.

A couple of weeks later, Melonpool left Keenspot to form Blank Label Comics, and I ended up reading some of those (inc. Shortpacked which I still read today)

About this time a freind (who was a big fan of CAD) offered to take my paltry black and white sketches I was putting on a crappy geocities page, colour them and design a proper looking webcomic site. We joined small and now defunct webcomic hosting service called GutterflyComix which got me into the wider webcomics community.

From then on my reading list gradually expanded - especially as with my second and third (current) foray into creating a comic got more serious. Once I discoved RSS readers and StumbleUpon the number of comics I read went stratospheric, (currently at 65 and rising)

El Santo said...

My first webcomic was Argon Zark!, apparently. I think I encountered a sample on one of those old BBS sites while I was working programming in college. I remember it being on those clunky old Sun stations, since they were the only computers in school that were internet capable. I don't think term "webcomic" had been coined yet; it was just this online comic that had neat-o GIF animations. I revisited that comic last year and I still remember the main character popping in to the old Yahoo site and how that stuck with me through the years. It was like breaking the fifth wall, dude!

Then there was a sprinkling of suggestions from my online pals. I was way into a fantasy literature messageboard at the time. Everyone was trying to get me into Sluggy Freelance. (Being someone from a cartooning background, I couldn't get into the comic due to its weak illustrations). There were the random 8-Bit Theater links from video game sites. There was the very pleasant Irregular Webcomic.

But that was about it. I'd never heard of Keenspot, Penny Arcade, CAD, etc.

I didn't really start jumping into webcomics, though, until John Solomon's blog. That's when I realized that there were actual passionate fans of webcomics. I was running a personal blog, and I thought, well, why not devote a little space to just reading some webcomics? I could wedge that in between the spaces where I just run my mouth about Transformers.

If you read my earlier reviews, they have a very newbie feel to them ... because, frankly, webcomics were STILL new to me!

So, to sum it up, writing a blog might not have been the first thing to introduce me to webcomics, but it was the thing that turned it into an unhealthy obsession. And frankly, it was David Morgan-Mar's fault it became so full blown. He linked my site at his Irregular Webcomic page, and I racked up more page hits than ever before. So it was like, "Well, might as well waste my time writing stuff that people actually read!"

Ed Contradictory said...

I first started reading regularly webcomics with Perry Bible Fellowship. At that time I writing for a website that covered traditional print comics. But we did a lot of parody articles and we did one that I guess you could consider a webcomic, called Galactus Is Coming.

And about a year after that I started my own webcomic as a creative outlet and to force myself to write and draw once a week. Eventually I renamed it Ed Contradictory and haven't missed a week in the nearly two years since.

I also really enjoy Nedroid, Toothpaste For Dinner, High Moon, and Sin Titulo. There's so much great stuff out there right now.

fluffy said...

I believe the first webcomic I read regularly was Kevin & Kell, although before then I was aware of several web-available non-mainstream comics such as Bob the Angry Flower and Too Much Coffee Man.

DJ Trousdale said...

The first one I read was Bob and George. Someone had a link to it in their signature at a website dedicated to the game Descent.

A few years later I had the idea to make my own comic. It was called Planet Barhug. I learned a lot from making it, but I hope it never sees the light of day again. @_@

Since I found Google reader, I've been able to keep up with tons more comics than I ever thought possible. It's amaaaaazing

Andre said...

First webcomic I ever read was Megatokyo.

Don't exactly remember how, but I think I clicked on some banner ad for MT on some art site (could be deviantART? Don't really remember.) I was hooked (this was before Rodney Caston left).

All I really know is the concept of letting people read your whole comic for free on the internet seemed so great to me at that time.

Eventually, I started looking for other webcomics via google. During that time, most of the search results would really only lead you to webcomic top lists. From there I discovered PVP, VGCats, PA, and most of the other well-known webcomics.

Meself, I never really planned to get into webcomics. I originally started out wanting to get a comic strip in the newspaper, but got rejected. So I just posted my first comic project on the Internet, and got some reasonably good feedback.

Years later, I'm now doing a comic that's printed in a broadsheet while still having it be free to read on the Internet as well.

Aoede said...

My webcomic-first was Wicked Alchemy, whose creator recently died at the ripe old age of twenty-eight. I later realized that it actually wasn't that good compared to a lot of other stuff out there, but WA didn't just start me on webcomics, it also started me on a lot of different creative paths.


John S. said...

My first webcomic was Chippy and Loopus, the comic I am doing now. I kind of stumbled into webcomicing sideways. I'm an animation story artist, and back in 2005, I was working at Sony Feature animation. A bunch of us started a blog called Storyboredom, where we could post artwork that we either doodled in meetings or did in our off-hours.
One day, the blog ringleader, a talented board artist named Jeff Ranjo, took a 2"x8" dialogue strip, a strip of paper we used solely for writing dialogue under our drawings, and drew a little comic strip. I was so inspired by what he did that I tried it myself. My strip involved an angry little rabbit named Chippy and a stupid Wolf. One of the things that made the strip distictive is that Chippy dropped the F-bomb right there in panel 4. Instead of offending people, they were delighted to see a cute little rabbit swear. People enjoyed the strip so much, that Ranjo challenged me to draw one a day and continue to post them online.
I continued this way for a while, drawing the strips on 2"x8" strips of paper. I had to start a new blog because the strips took over Storyboredom, and the strip developed a small but loyal following. As time went on, I abandoned the 2"x8" strips and began working on perfecting my craft. Today, I have a dedicated website designed with the ComicPress/Wordpress system and hosted by Hostmonster. My audience continues to grow. Everyone seems to enjoy the antics of a brawling, swearing rabbit named Chippy and his faithful companion Loopus, the supernaturally stupid wolf/dog.
Check it out for yourself:
John Sanford

3Twins said...

It's not a webcomic, but I got interested in the genre when I started watching and then started searching for other stuff like that. From there I found Penny Arcade and 8-bit Theater, which I really enjoyed as well.

Alex H. said...

The first webcomic I ever read was 8-Bit Theater, and it was sometime in 2000. Someone linked to it from a Sailor Moon fan forum I was on at the time.

The second webcomic I ever read was The Jar, which was linked from 8BT. Kittyhawk, artist of The Jar, has gone on to fame and fortune with her comic SGVY.