Online

Any comic that’s available online for reading of the general public is referred to as a web comic, an online comic or an Internet comic. These comics are published on websites. While some of them may be published exclusively for online reading, others may also be present in physical forms like in newspapers, books or magazines. You can compare web comics to even self-published print comics as anyone and everyone is free to create his/her own online comic and publish it at will. The readership levels of web comics vary widely: the creator can make a web comic readable only to his immediate family and friends, while there are artists who have web comics with audiences exceeding 1 million readers! The range of web comics is also pretty vast, starting from the traditional comic strips, to amazing graphic novels, to the avant-garde comics, covering various subjects, styles and genres. It is only a very select few of web comics that have gained tremendous financial success as their print counterparts.

The medium
Web comics are very different from the print comics in the manner that there are no restrictions associated with conventional magazines and newspapers, enabling writers and artists to take maximum advantage of their unique capabilities.

Web comic styles
The freedom provided by web comics enables artists to work in nonconventional ways. Photo or clipart comics, also popularly referred to as fumetti, are couple of web comic types that don’t use any of the conventional artwork. Nevertheless, there are no restrictions on artists and they are free to use any of the conventional layouts and styles, same as the ones that are published regularly in offline comic books and/or newspapers.

About their content
Independently published web comics are generally never subjected to any sort of content restrictions, which is a commonplace in case of newspaper syndicates and book publishers. Thus, they provide tremendous artistic freedom, quite akin to the alternative and underground comics. It cannot be denied that some web comics even take distasteful liberties, taking undue advantage of the fact that there is no censorship of content on the Internet. However, problems have arisen whenever such boundaries have been crossed.

The format
The grand idea of an infinite canvas was pioneered by none other than Scott McCloud, a big advocate of the web comics from the earlier times. An infinite canvas implies that the artists and writers are not confined to the normal print dimensions, and can spread their creations out in any way or any direction indefinitely. Nevertheless, the style and format of several web comics still remains quite similar to that of conventional newspaper comic strips.