Mark Keppel High School

Webcomics: You are now connected

Comics are great. Whether they’re mint condition Marvel comic books or “Peanuts” comic strips, they’re fun, quick, and easy to read.

They have also evolved with our technology. Before webcomics, one would have to strut around with the morning paper or comic books, but now, they can be reached within several taps on, smart phones!

With this advancement, webcomic creators have a broader platform where they can better reach out to their audience and build their creations.

Webcomic creators all have different styles, inspirations and influences, and each share similar and contrasting experiences. Rob DenBleyker of “Cyanide and Happiness,” Dami Lee of  “Line Webtoon” and several others, and Nick Seluk of “Awkward Yeti” share their thoughts as webcomic creators. All three creators started off young, developed their skills through time, and eventually found themselves where they are today.

DenBleyker first launched himself into the passion in fourth grade by creating comic books on folded paper, which he shared with his friends.

“I think my mom still has all of them, if she hasn’t eBayed them yet.” DenBleyker said.

Rob DenBleyker//Cyanide and Happiness

Lee began with “doodling on [her] homework since [she] was little”. When she hit her sophomore year of college, she started drawing comics for the school paper and continued on with that. Although a bit shy, she found “communicating [her] thoughts out on paper” a good way for people to “get to know [her] even before [she has] to say anything.”

Dami Lee// Instagram

Seluk found his love for creating comics during middle school as a way to pass time, and would continue to do so in university with Psychology concepts as a means of studying. However, “despite the obvious love for comics, [he] ended up in graphic design and creative direction for many years before circling back to [his] true calling… which of course was drawing disembodied organs struggling with mundane daily decisions.”

Since then, he has developed the game “OrganATTACK” and published several books.

The Awkward Yeti// Instagram

Although the bottom line for all comics are ideas conveyed through images and dialogue, online comics and traditional comics differ.

“A creator can share whatever they want, typos and all, free from an editor or standard format.” Seluk said.

DenBleyker also shared this opinion, saying that “The best part of making an online comic versus a newspaper comic is that there is nobody to censor it. It’s a very direct experience; we make a thing and we give it directly to our audience.”

However, DenBleyker also said a downside of online comics is that occasionally, they may not be funny and “sometimes [he’ll] put up a comic that only [he] gets.” In addition, both Seluk and Lee mentioned that the Internet is heavy with critics, and can be “unforgiving and cold.”

Of course, like all things Internet-based, webcomics have quite an influence. These influences come from several aspects.

“Online comics can help everyone from kids to adults realize they’re not alone in their struggles,” Lee said.

Seluk also added, “I think online comics, much like many other forms of entertainment, allow creators to communicate ideas that might otherwise not be easy to talk about.”

Between the three artists, each enjoys a different aspect of webcomics, varying from the love of freedom and adventure to being able to express themselves creatively.

“I love how fast-paced the internet is. People are insanely creative, they can come up with jokes and memes in response to something that happened that morning and everyone will be in on the joke together. In a way, it’s very collaborative,” Lee said.

The Internet has spread its benefits everywhere, even to comic creators.

“There has never been a time in history where you can broadcast your ideas in the world, both in comic strip and in general,” DenBleyker said.

But now, not only is it possible to do so, but as DenBleyker said, “[Webcomics are] little bite sized [things] to read in the morning”, and are works of creativity that all three comic creators describe as relatable.

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