Web Comic Strips Market Emerging

Posted on September 3, 1999

The online comic strip market is still in its infancy but there are hundreds of alternative offerings as evidenced at MyComix.com, an index of online comics. User Friendly a comic about techies working at an ISP and Sluggy Freelance a story-line based comic that includes a switchblade wielding bunny get millions of hits a month and their artists are on the verge of making a living doing it. They sell T-Shirts, books, advertising space, and other merchandise from their website.

"People always told me I should create a comic strip but I was too serious at the time to give it consideration. I had some free time last year. Once I started I could not stop," said Richard Dana Interlandi, creator of smallgreY. smallgreY, Richard's daily online comic strip has performed well since a fortunate nexus of new ink pens, paper, a digital scanner, and time between moves gave him the opportunity to get serious about it.

"I wasn't sure how it was going to be received. My background is in Anthropology. While it takes place on Mars and can get zany at times a lot of the things I try to express are founded in cultural criticism, finding humor in cultural differences and universals, as well as seeing how my characters react to loss and change; human issues. I have been overwhelmed by the response. I've found that a lot of people have identified with it. I get email from all over the world and inquiries for syndication every week. I'm hopeful. This would have never happened without the internet. Geez, I even had to consult with a lawyer!"

There is more to do at the sites than just read comic strips. Clip art, digital postcards, screensavers, coloring books, and links to news or other sites of the day are common. Richard observes, "Virtual communities can sprout up around a comic strip." Many have their own newsgroups, message boards, chat rooms, and even personals.