23 year-old Randall Munroe worked on robotics for NASA after graduating from Christopher Newport University with a degree in physics and minors in computer science and math, but evetually the doodles he drew in the margins ended up on the web and began attracting lots of visitors. He eventually created his own web site which he claims averages 350,000 visitors a day. He supports the site and himself selling t-shrits and other products with his cartoon on it.
The webcomic community has opened up many doors for aspiring artists who, like Munroe, might have never had a chance in the comic strip world. Without the Web, Munroe said, his comic may have had a chance of survival only in trade or technical school newspapers. Instead, the webcomic is accessible to everyone for free three times a week, and for Munroe, this makes all the difference.
While Munroe writes his comic strip for everyone, he says it relates especially to computer hackers or engineers who have “a very specific way of looking at the world … It’s cool for me to find other people like me and they latch on to it and read it religiously.
“A lot of the comic is inside jokes or things that only 1 percent of the population will find funny. But the thing about the Internet is that you can write something … for a very narrow audience and make a living at it,” Munroe said.
The Boston Globe highlights Randall, but talks about the rise of webcomics in general.