From Digital to Physical, Webcomics.

From Digital to Physical, Webcomics. By John Anderson

As the internet finds its place in real world culture, real world items find their place in the internet culture.Comic book shops were once the place for those who loved comics, uncontested.

Now people await online comics and graphic novels, on websites, reading it the second the artist publishes.

The online webcomic “Nimona” is an example of this. Now, it has turned from a webcomic to a full fledged graphic novel sold in stores.

The idea for “Nimona” was originally meant for a senior thesis. It was made in June of 2012, by Noelle Stevenson. But Stevenson decided to make her idea into a comic, and started to post it on Tumblr, where it gained many fans. It was unique, and challenged gender tropes by featuring an independent woman as the main character.

HarperCollins saw potential in the story, and bought Nimona in its early stages. After three years Nimona went from being a Tumblr comic to being sold in bookstores across the country. Instantly, it won awards, proving webcomics can be successful.

There have been other examples of artists in the virtual world finding their way into the physical world. Artist Randall Munroe made an online comic called XKCD, with the tagline of “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.” Munroe also had a blog titled “What If?” where he answered scientific questions that fans asked. In September 2014, with the help of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Munroe was able to publish “What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions” answering fans’ questions.

It’s sold in many book stores, and Munroe sticks to his usual style and humor in XKCD. After this Munroe was successful enough to publish another book in 2015 with the title Thing Explainer.

James Rallison is also a famous web artist. He makes a comic called “TheOdd1sOut” (pronounced The Odd Ones Out) and posts his comics to Tumblr, iFunny and his website. Rallison also has a YouTube channel, where he posts stories and speed drawings. Though he doesn’t have a physical version of his comics out, Rallison says, “I’m working on [a comic book] right now, it’s still in its early stages so it won’t come out for a couple years”

Webcomics are becoming as popular as the comics found in a comic shop, or in the newspaper. And webcomics don’t need to be bought, typically. Artists publish them on websites, and let ad revenue pay for views.

Rallison said, “I think newspaper comics are on the decline. Because artists have to create a new comic everyday, the art is not as detailed and some of the jokes are not that good.”

Today’s internet driven society is no longer spending its days in a comic book shop, but online going through all the comics the artist has published. And the select few may even make it into the physical world.

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