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History of Webcomics 1985 to present

Shaenon Garrity has posted a nice concise history of webcomics over on The Comics Journal. She breaks it up into five eras: 1985-1992: The Stone Age, 1993-1995: The Bronze Age, 1996-2000: The Singularity, 2001-2006: The Age of Sh– Getting Real, and 2007-Present: The Age of This Whole App Thing.

Community Comments

#1 David Jones
@ 2:47 pm

I can’t wait to read this tonight.

I see us Web Cartoonists living through only three Ages…

1. The Dark Ages 1985 -1997 — This is the first time I launch my strip and NO ONE read web comics online. Well, I am sure some people did, but the audience was pretty much non-existent.

2. The Age of Enlightenment 1998 – 2006 — Web cartoonists stared getting some attention but were not making money or taken seriously by the syndicates.

3. The Age of Opportunity 2007 to Present — I now see the edgier web strips having so many more possibilities now that TV has embraced such shows as Family Guy and South Park. Also with the dawn of this exciting electronic age, there are even more possibilities out on the web for us to make a little cash… even though I have yet to succeed at this myself. To limit this to the “Age of the App” is too narrow.

I believe we are at the time when we will see some of us little web guys get some BIG TIME breaks in the way of maybe television or online media.

It is an exciting time to be a simple web cartoonist!

#2 donna lewis
@ 11:09 pm

Some of us are living in The Age of Old Age.

Can’t wait to read it, Shaenon!!

#3 Shannon Wheeler
@ 1:52 am

what makes it a ‘web comic’? I’ve been posting my comics online since 1995 (captured on the wayback in ’96) – back when we used 256 colors.

Does this make me an early web comic?

#4 b.j. Dewey
@ 6:33 pm

The Stone Age stuff was really interesting, as was the whole article. Where will Webcomics be in another five or ten years? Or even next year?

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