The History and Future of Webcomics

by Matthew Russell - Posted 1 year ago

Welcome my CryptoComics Compatriots. As many of you know (and as evident by the fact that I am a Co-Creator of the CryptoComics Marketplace) you can probably guess that I love comics, webcomics included. 

I have always been fascinated by the fact that many creators are avoiding the mainstream publication and skirting much of the publishing cost by branching out on their own and finding creative ways to tell their stories. I present to you, webcomics.

Webcomics, also known as online comics or digital comics, is a form of comic art that is created and published primarily on the internet. This new medium of comic creation and distribution has a relatively short history, but has already had a profound impact on the comic industry.

The earliest examples of webcomics can be traced back to the early days of the internet in the 1990s. At this time, webcomics were typically created by amateur artists who used the internet as a platform to showcase their work. 

The first webcomics were simple in nature, often consisting of a few static images accompanied by brief captions or dialogue. Over time, however, webcomics evolved to become more complex and sophisticated, incorporating animation, multimedia elements, and interactive features.


Webcomics, also known as online comics or digital comics, are comic strips or comic books that are created and published on the internet. This new form of comic art offered a unique combination of accessibility and creativity and quickly gained a following among comic fans and creators alike.

One of the defining features of webcomics in the late 90s was their accessibility. With the widespread availability of high-speed internet, webcomics were able to reach a large and diverse audience, bypassing the limitations of traditional print comics. This allowed webcomic creators to showcase their work to a global audience, and opened up new opportunities for independent artists and writers to reach readers without the need for traditional publishers or agents.

Another key feature of webcomics in the late 90s was their creativity. Webcomics offered artists and writers a new canvas to experiment with, and many took advantage of this opportunity to push the boundaries of what was possible in the medium. Webcomics of this era often incorporated multimedia elements, such as animation, sound effects, and interactive features, and explored new narrative structures and storytelling techniques.

One of the most notable examples of webcomics was the popular online comic strip, Penny Arcade. Created by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, Penny Arcade quickly gained a large and loyal following and remains one of the most well-known webcomics of all time. 

Other notable webcomics included PVP Online, User Friendly, and Bob and George, which showcased the diverse range of styles, themes, and voices that could be found in webcomics.

THE 90s

The late 90s was a time of great change and innovation in the world of comics, as the rise of the World Wide Web brought about the emergence of webcomics to the mainstream. People began to talk about the adventures of Busser Beater or Bruno almost as much as the X-Men and JLA.

The rise of the World Wide Web in the late 1990s and early 2000s marked a major turning point for webcomics. With the widespread availability of high-speed internet, webcomics became more accessible and popular, attracting a growing audience of readers. 

The increased popularity of webcomics also led to the development of new comic hosting and distribution platforms, such as Keenspot and Modern Tales, which made it easier for artists to publish and monetize their work.

One of the key advantages of webcomics is the ability to reach a global audience. With webcomics, artists can publish their work to a worldwide audience without the limitations imposed by traditional print comics. 

This has given rise to a vibrant online community of comic creators, who collaborate, share ideas, and provide support to each other. Webcomics have also provided a platform for independent artists and writers to showcase their work, bypassing the need for traditional publishers or agents.

The late 90s also saw the development of new comic hosting and distribution platforms, such as Keenspot and Modern Tales, which made it easier for artists to publish and monetize their work. 

This was a significant development, as it provided creators with a new revenue stream, and helped to establish webcomics as a legitimate and profitable form of comic art.

The late 90s was a pivotal time in the history of webcomics. The legacy of these early webcomics can still be seen today, as many of the innovative techniques and styles that were developed during this time continue to influence modern industry.


In recent years, webcomics have continued to evolve and grow in popularity, with new technologies such as smartphones and tablets providing new opportunities for creators to reach their audience. Many webcomics have also become successful, attracting large numbers of readers and even being adapted into print or animated form.

With the invention of the Kindle, the platform “WebToons” and so much more, we as a collective have been graced with millions of hours worth of content of every genre. But, the print world has been plagued with copyright issues as well as financial ones. 

Many chose to host their own comics on a personal site, in order to not get lost in the wave of comics on the various webcomic platforms. There were some inherent problems with this approach as well.

In order to make a decent living by creating a comic based on the web, not only you have to master the art of storytelling, but that of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). 

It wasn’t until VERY recently that search engines such as Google could find text within an image, meaning that you had to go above and beyond describing exactly what is in every panel or page in order to get found.

Then you had to get popular enough to allow ads on your site. This led to an abundance of ads, making your site look almost impossible to read. 

So how does one make a living creating comics independently today…in walks the newest technological breakthrough; blockchain technology.


Webcomics on the blockchain represent a novel and exciting way for creators to monetize their work and maintain control over their intellectual property. By leveraging the decentralized nature of blockchain technology, webcomic creators can issue their work as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), allowing them to retain ownership and control over the distribution of their art. 

This approach creates a new level of transparency and trust between creators and their fans, as well as a potentially lucrative new revenue stream.

In addition to the financial benefits, webcomics on the blockchain offer a level of permanence and authenticity that is difficult to achieve through traditional publishing methods. By leveraging the tamper-proof nature of blockchain technology, creators can ensure that their work is accurately attributed to them and that it cannot be replicated or distributed without their consent. 

Blockchain-based webcomics can enable a more direct and interactive relationship between creators and their fans, allowing for new ways to engage with audiences and build a community around shared interests. 

Overall, the combination of webcomics and the blockchain is an exciting new frontier in the world of digital art and content creation, with the potential to revolutionize the way we create and consume media.


The history of webcomics is a story of creativity, innovation, and accessibility. From their humble beginnings as simple online sketches, webcomics have grown to become a major force in the comic industry, providing a platform for artists to reach a global audience and tell their stories in new and exciting ways. 

With the ongoing evolution of technology, webcomics will continue to play an important role in the future of the comic industry. Now is your chance to become part of this newest movement by submitting your comic to the marketplace and stand with the greats.