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Webheads: how the internet is transforming the creation, production and distribution of comics.

Ray Murray, Padmini; Boswell, Daniel Kennedy


Padmini Ray Murray

Daniel Kennedy Boswell


The Internet has created an environment that fosters new and interesting ways to repackage and present text — the form of the traditional novel, for example, has been reinvented online as hypertext fiction that allows for reader participation, autonomy and sometimes, a demystification of the creative process. Sequential art and comic books, too, have been profoundly influenced and transformed by the “infinite canvas” (McCloud) that digital spaces allow, as well as by a flourishing download culture. This encounter between traditional print comics and an emerging virtual comic culture challenges creators and producers to find ways in which to exploit this medium, especially with the advent of Web 2.0 technologies and ubiquitous mobile devices that allow consumers to access material any time, anywhere. These shifts are reshaping both comic book culture and audiences, and how readers and consumers relate to comics, image and text. This paper will examine the phenomenon of the webcomic and how its growing success has important implications for corporate giants like Marvel and DC, who are responding by creating digital platforms for delivery to counter this trend as well as to perceived piracy. This examination will address how webcomic artists are challenging the role of producer-publishers by directly accessing their fanbases online and are consequently moving closer to a model where readers and consumers can be considered their patrons, and have increasing influence on what is being produced, thus changing the nature of the market radically.


Ray Murray, P., & Boswell, D. K. (2009, October). Webheads: how the internet is transforming the creation, production and distribution of comics. Paper presented at 7th International Conference on the Book

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name 7th International Conference on the Book
Start Date Oct 16, 2009
End Date Oct 18, 2009
Publication Date 2009-10
Deposit Date Mar 31, 2010
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Comics; internet; publishing; graphic novels; web 2.0; webcomics;
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