A webcomic is exactly what it sounds like
, a comic on the World Wide Web.
They vary in format from gag-a-day Garfield
-style strips, to dramatic, romantic graphic novels, to Japanese-inspired manga-style comics, to actual manga. Some of the most popular webcomics tend to have a computer game theme
, giving an idea of who their key audience are (or, perhaps, where the author is coming from
The medium as a whole suffers from the same problems as Fan Fic
with regards to Sturgeon's Law
: a low barrier to entry means that the entire 90% of crap is visible. While many of the webcomics — particularly those on free community sites like Smackjeeves, Drunk Duck, Comic Genesis
and Comic Fury
— are considered low quality, there are many high-quality comics out there.
Some webcomics, such as Penny Arcade
have even gained sufficient popular and critical acclaim to earn their creators a living wage from their work, usually via selling The Merch
. As was noted on the Newspaper Comics
page, the bar for success in sequential art was set fairly low by the old newspaper syndicates and comics publishers, so "a living wage" rather than movie/rock star extravagance is all anyone ever expected to begin with.
Webcomics work on a very different set of standards than other fiction. Almost all webcomic authors are working pretty much entirely alone as they both draw and script their comics and most do not plan any further along than to the end of their current story — sometimes not even that far.
Many of them try to adhere to a schedule they aren't really capable of meeting, resulting in them rushing to meet their deadline and making mistakes that should be avoidable. So many of the good 10% lack qualities standard in traditionally professional works. This can be because of the lack of editorial input as well as the lack of lead time. Not all webcomics suffer from this, though, and even the ones that do can still be interesting. Arguably, some strips benefit from their rawness.
Growing in popularity in recent years, webcomics use tropes
just like any other media, and thus can be seen cited throughout the wiki.
Due to the ever-increasing size of this article, it has been split into several different sub-lists. These lists are not exclusive, so individual comics may show up on multiple lists as appropriate.
Other webcomic types which cut across and overlap with the above genres: