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Drawing the Line

Chapter 11.
‘Teh Futar’

The Power of the Webcomic and the Potential of Web 2.0

Marianne Hicks, Monash South Africa, Johannesburg

The rise of digital media and the blurring of the lines between media production and consumption have seen the emergence and proliferation of the webcomic, as a more democratised form of older political and strip cartoons. There are literally thousands of webcomics available online, that is, comics produced primarily for the web, rather than for print, and encompassing everything from stick figures to complex graphic novels. The webcomic arguably surpasses both the political cartoon and the comic book in terms of audience size, with a number of webcomics read by over a quarter of a million people per day. While the popularity of the webcomic is both undeniable and growing, the medium is not predominantly used for political commentary. Rather, the webcomic exhibits the potential to step away from the traditions of the newspaper political cartoon, as well as the escapism and fantasy of the comic book, enabled by the lowering of the threshold for participation in cultural pursuits. Webcomics can encourage participatory culture and entrepreneurialism, challenge or reinforce dominant ideologies, censorship and self-censorship, and engage in activism for a variety of causes and issues, utilising the immediacy and possibility of subversion within the web. In this chapter I will be engaging with these major themes through the examination of a series of case studies, which both act as evidence to support the emergence of convergence culture and as a warning of potential pitfalls.

Introduction

The heyday of the newspaper political cartoon is, for better or worse, over. Newspaper circulations have been waning for over the last half century and the advent of the internet seems only to have hastened that decline. While the ‘death’ of the newspaper has been touted since the early parts of the twentieth century and the most pessimistic prognostications may be exaggerated, it seems that the newspaper no longer wields the social reach and political potency it commanded in earlier times.1 The birth of the internet and the emergence of Web 2.0, despite the hyperbole of early internet claims, has broadened the landscape in which it is possible to situate text and image combined in the form of the comic in order to make social, political and cultural commentary while entertaining and engaging the reader. Moreover, as indicators point to the rise in ‘global civil society’ and the decline in engagement of the general public in state-centric politics, and the increase of social fragmentation and interest in ‘niche’ or single issue interest groups, scholarly focus on sites of community, be they virtual or otherwise, allows a broader examination of the shifts within contemporary culture.2

The political cartoon may well have outlived its golden era in the medium of the daily newspaper. However, with the advent and expansion of the internet and GUI interfaces, allowing graphics to be displayed, uploaded and downloaded via a web browser, and the ever increasing speed of internet connections, the potential power of the cartoon to comment on the politics of the everyday and to shape what the ‘public’ (or at least some sections of it) thinks about continues to increase rapidly.3 With some webcomics maintaining readerships of upwards of 250,000 views per day, the audiences of these images are equal to many commercial newspapers.4 Consequently, the relevance of the images and ideas of webcomics are of concern to a global, albeit niche, audience. Moreover, if nothing else, the Danish cartoon controversy of 2005 brutally illustrated how potent the combination of text and image can be in a politically volatile climate.5 While the difference between political cartoons and comics designed to entertain has traditionally been entrenched, and the webcomic retains many of the attributes of the comic strip, within the webcomic community there exists the latency for and evidence of efforts to challenge, subvert and conduct dialogue around issues emerging within the discourse of the web. Finally, in an era where identity politics is yet to relinquish its dominance in the public sphere, ‘everything’ is political. That which entertains us, also informs us about the world and how we should understand it, perhaps to greater effect than the self-consciously and earnestly political.6 Consequently, the study of the webcomic, with its massive potential for engagement and activism by the creators and readership, presents a vast new landscape for scholarly examination, which is, as yet, understudied and under-theorised. This chapter is an attempt to outline some of the potential scope for academic exploration, but it is, by its nature, partial, limited and preliminary in its findings.

Convergence Culture and Web 2.0

The blurring of the lines between public and private life has long been recognised.7 Accompanying this breakdown has been the rise of civic society.8 From the emergence of the mass environmental movement to the fan cultures of Survivor, the internet has provided the tools and medium that has allowed for the rapid expansion of public civic and cultural engagement, codified in the term Web 2.0.9 The rise of citizen journalism, the blogosphere and the popularity and profitability of Web 2.0 initiatives, like Facebook and MySpace, have illustrated how the threshold for participating in civic society is lowering, at least for those who have not been left stranded on the other side of the digital divide.10 Within this eddying flow of information, debate, and dialogue, the webcomic has emerged as a medium with immense potential as both a conversation starter, cultural marker and point of information.

Webcomics, as situated within the discourse of Web 2.0, present room for increased (and increasing) democratisation, especially when compared to the syndicated, controlled and, often, censored political offerings described and critiqued in the rest of this volume. Webcomics offer a space that is relatively uncensored (although the Matt Boyd case study outlined below challenges that assumption), inexpensive and open to experimentation and activism. The webcomic offers a frame through which to explore ideas and issues that continue to concern scholars of comics, political cartoons and the media. This chapter will examine a series of case studies which offer deeper insight into the power of the webcomic in its ability to challenge, subvert and shift public opinion, at least, as it intersects with the digital world.

Defining Webcomics

So what do we mean by ‘webcomic’? When the internet was first created it was an entirely text based medium. It was not until Mosaic introduced the graphic user interface (GUI) for internet resources in 1993 that webcomic artists could use the internet to share their work.11 Scott Mc-Cloud, self-appointed intellectual and industry representative, defines a comic as ‘juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer’.12 For the purposes of this chapter, webcomics will be understood to be comics produced primarily for the web, rather than for print, and can encompass everything from stick figures to complex graphic novels.13 Moreover, they are made by an independent creator or creators, without an original ‘print version’ or corporate sponsorship.14

There are thousands of webcomics currently on the web, the diversity is in one sense incredible. There are comics that cater to the tastes of anyone interested in fan fiction, science fiction, generation x and y humour, gaming, hacking, gothic, independent, metal and emo music, manga, romance, straight, gay and alternative sexuality, politics and, of course, superheroes. On the other hand, as T. Campbell, a pioneer in the historiography of the medium, has noted, there is also a serious lack of diversity in terms of who produces webcomics and the kinds of characters they produce, with women and ethnic minorities largely underrepresented.15 Despite the anonymity of the online environment, research has shown that the social divisions operating in the physical environment often carry over into the digital realm, entrenching the ‘digital divide’.16 Artists from the United States remain the most prolific and popular of producers on the web and English continues as the lingua franca.17 While artistic and writing styles and quality varies, some prominent features have begun to appear on the uneven webcomics landscape. Although wholesale imitations of popular syndicated comics or elements of their work appear on the web, the most successful webcomics to date offer something beyond that which is available in the printed press, successfully appealing to a niche audience.18 A number of cartoonists, both artists and writers, have successfully negotiated the transition from amateur to professional, at least in terms of their art taking the place of, or a prominent position in, their paid work.19 From within the work of this much smaller group of ‘professional’ webcartoonists, this chapter will examine three themes within the webcomic medium that seem to this author to be of interest to scholars of web and print comics. The first is participation and the commercial imperative, the second is censorship and self-censorship. The third is the question of activism, immediacy and subversion. There are, of course, other questions, approaches and concerns that equally merit serious scholarly examination.

Participation and the Commercial Imperative

The internet has been lauded as a revolutionary tool to democratise the public realm and allow for deeper engagement by groups usually marginalised by late capitalist liberal democracies: youth, ethnic and religious minorities, alternative lifestylers and geeks.20 While much of the promise of the web has failed to materialise, there still remains the potential to use the medium to challenge and change the world. The emergence of Web 2.0, as an approach that emphasises the network as platform and the role of creating and sharing content, has altered the way in which the web operates, creating space for the construction of a ‘global culture’.

The place of the webcomic is firmly within the realm of Web 2.0 ideology. The webcomic, unlike the notoriously male, middle class and white world of comic books, has the potential for greater involvement by people who are not ‘mainstream’, and the gender balance is slowly being rectified, especially amongst the readership.21 Nonetheless, the producers of webcomics are still predominantly white, middle class men, as the ‘digital divide’ in terms of ‘race’, class, religion and socio-economic status continues.22 Moreover, the medium is populated mostly by North Americans. Of those who are successful enough to support themselves from their work, only one lives outside of North America.23 While the limitations of space make it impossible to explore why it is that online comics are so overrepresented by North Americans, some superficial suggestions might include the sheer size of the population, the pervasiveness of online culture in that context, the ‘critical mass’ of webcomic lovers who can support the external community of conventions and the like. In the United Kingdom and Australia, while online life is engaging more of the population and Facebook and MySpace are increasingly popular, blogging and webcomics have both faced an uphill battle in finding a broader participatory audience.24

Webcomics are a relatively new and emerging field, consequently, the history of the webcomic is both understudied and under-theorised. Campbell outlines the rather inauspicious beginnings of graphic story telling on the internet. From the middle of the 1990s, with the lowering of the threshold for participation in online culture, there was a dramatic increase in the number and quality of comics appearing on the web.25 In time a number of comic artists began to make their living from their art. While such artists and writers are likely to remain an absolute minority, with perhaps fifty full-time comic artists out of the thousands of online comics worldwide, their success has provided role models and inspiration for their successors.26 The success of the Web 2.0 model suggests that the popularity and cultural diffusion of webcomics is only likely to expand. Moreover, the relative lack of expense in order to produce online comics suggests that the medium will continue to develop rapidly, as it has been over the past several years.

Webomics are useful to examine because of their independence, there is no editor, marketing or PR personnel to have to convince of the artistic or commercial merit of the enterprise. Umbrella organisations like Comic Genesis will even host new comics for free, taking on the burden of broadband costs, so the only expenses are the computer, software and internet connection.27 The lack of market pressures means that although the number of comics with very poor quality art, writing and even coherence overwhelm the more professional works, there is also a space for material, issues and ideas that simply would not get an airing in the commercial realm. By the same token, webcomic artists and writers have to perform the roles of businessperson and artist, negotiating the commercial sphere which in the syndicated and newspaper world is managed for cartoonists.

The emergence of creative commons licensing has resulted in some creators, like Ryan North of Daily Dinosaur Comics, allowing the free release of the clip art and template of his daily comic, encouraging his readers to create their own versions of his strip (Figure 11.1).28 North’s comic is innovative in its lack of ‘art’; the comic is based on six panels of clip art that for the largest part of his archives remains unchanged, with only the text altering daily. As a result, North can champion a community of readers to ‘play’ with his comic template to create their own versions. North plays a significant role in the comic community, creating the alternative advertising model of ‘Project Wonderful’ and the webcomic search engine, ‘OhNoRobot’.29 North also raised the ire of Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales with his facetious: ‘Every topic in the universe except chickens.com’ site which encouraged the deliberate vandalising of the ‘Chicken’ page in Wikipedia to contain the problem of deliberate falsification to one page, leaving ‘a consistently RELIABLE encyclopedia that covers every topic in the universe, except chickens’.30

Figure 11.1: Ryan North, ‘Reader Art’, quantz.com – Dinosaur Comics.

Accessed 26 March 2008. Available at: http://www.qwantz.com/peoplearecool.html.

Alongside North’s creative experimentation is the commercial entrepreneurialism that has led to the rise of creative merchandising from some sectors of the webcomic community. John Allison, of the very successful Scary Go Round, responded to the rather whimsical desires of his readership by creating a t-shirt based on what had been a facetious aside on his blog. In introducing his latest design in the lead up to Christmas, a comic version of the rock band Led Zeppelin, he commented that ‘If people like this one, I’ll take requests and do a series of creepy looking band shirts. If people don’t like this one, I’ll make some shirts w[i]th impenetrable phrases on them referring to sci-fi classics’. As a result of the readership’s response, he began production of shirt design featuring ‘Amy Acker ate my hamster’ (Figure 11.2).31 While the relationship between the reader and creator is complex and constantly negotiated, and the storytelling may not be influenced by readership contributions (other than in the negative, by not doing what the readers suggest), merchandising seems, on occasion, to be directed by the often capricious requests of the fan base.32

The creative industries model perhaps allows for a deeper understanding of the commercial experimentation that goes on within webcomics and the professionalisation of at least some sectors of the webcomics community.33 Within those sites that have successfully allowed the cartoonist to work in a full time capacity on their comics, some have introduced new and engaging ways to get their readers to buy their products.34 Others have also successfully held out their hands for donations, often rewarding their readers with exclusive art and materials for donations.35 Equally, although the purpose of webcomics is generally not to provide a launching pad to move into ‘dead tree’ production, many comics produce print editions and for a few artists a transition into mainly hard copy work has resulted.36 Thus, popularity on the web is for many producers the measure of success, although converting that popularity into profitability is also significant. The advantages of low costs and global (or close to) access can result in a critical mass readership base for even the most obscure of interests. The economic model that currently operates (although not without contestation), may not continue to be either the most popular or profitable for webcomics.37 As a new medium the profitability of the venture for its professional ‘elite’, where ‘average’ salaries are possible, seems to be increasing with longevity.38 As in the case for the media in general – the tensions between the ideal of freedom of expression and the commercial push is reconciled in a variety of ways. The real life pressures of jobs, studies and family mean that the largely voluntary workforce of web cartoonists do not necessarily prioritise their artistic endeavours over the rest of their lives, updates are often late, or fail to materialise at all.39

Figure 11.2: John Allison, ‘… and heavy friends’, A Hundred Dance Moves Per Minute, 6 November 2007.

Accessed 26 March 2008. Available at: http://sgrblog.blogspot.com/2007/11/and-heavy-friends.html.

Ideology, Censorship and Self-Censorship

While the debate surrounding issues of the role of globalisation and the decline of the nation state is fierce and ongoing, what does seem to be clear is the increased fragmentation of civil society. Webcomics cater to a large number of niche audiences by providing for interest groups who would otherwise never receive the attention of the mainstream media. Despite this diversity in terms of genres, some proponents of webcomics have noted in online discussions that it seems impossible for anything but a liberal or even libertarian position to be posited.40 This raises the question of how the hegemonic discourse currently operating within webcomic communities shapes the ideology of webcomics, imposing some sort of self-censorship.41 Pushing at the edges of the liberal discourse are artists and writers such as Randal K. Milholland, who writes and draws Something Positive, a slice of life Gen-X comic about a group of friends, who are all cynical, sarcastic, disillusioned and with a morality that objects to the patronising platitudes of mainstream America. In the comic Milholland purposefully attempts to break every taboo and to insult every possible minority grouping. His work is perhaps the definition of political incorrectness. In his first comic he introduces the main character Davan, who has given his ex-girlfriend a coat hanger as a baby shower gift (Figure 11.3).42 Davan has the happy knack of being unafraid to offend and to stomp all over other people’s taboos. Milholland, through Davan, challenges ideas of middle class morality from the safety of an imagined world. He challenges the righteousness of Christianity, the triumph of capitalism and the moral taboos over suicide and euthanasia. Equally, the comic manages to insult other minority groups for what Milholland sees as their thoughtless stupidity or the hollowness of their rhetoric, ridiculing Wiccans, Goths, Cos-players and computer geeks. Milholland shows no fear in critiquing those who show themselves to be both selfish and unthinking, regardless of race, sexual preference, religion or class. In representing a group of deeply flawed individuals, Milholland injects a sense of humanity and even manages to rehabilitate (to some extent) characters he has managed to humiliate in the past. Through his complex narratives even those characters who seem to possess inherently unlikeable traits, such as social ineptness, narrow-minded opinions, or even sheer stupidity, are made human. Indeed, the only characteristic that is never seen in a positive light are bigotry, racially or sexually. Milholland demonstrates his liberal view of social norms in a manner that makes the actions of prejudiced people indefensible.

Milholland’s comic challenges at the edges, although not the centre, of liberal ideology, speaking to a niche audience who appreciate his ironic and satiric discourse. Despite his large readership, the quantitative changes he makes in the attitudes of his readers is difficult, if not impossible, to measure. Other activist organisations have, however, demonstrated the power of the internet through the successes of political campaigns such as Make Poverty History and GetUp.43 By the same token, the dangers inherent in a free, uncensored and global medium are apparent in the use by extremist groups of the internet as a medium for coordination, planning and execution of terrorist attacks.44 The threat posed by these groups has, however, been exaggerated. The result has been a series of draconian pieces of legislation have been passed into law in the United States, arguably threatening the internet as a platform for free speech.

On 20 April 2007, Matt Boyd (writer) and Ian McConville (artist) posted a representation in their comic of how Boyd came to lose his job. Boyd had been discussing with a co-worker on 16 April that he was planning to buy a .22 rifle, because ‘firing a rifle is a thing a dude ought to know how to do’ (Figure 11.4).45 He had decided on a .22 because ‘it’s hard to kill someone on purpose with that round. You’d practically have to put it in someone’s face and pull the trigger. And even then fire a few more times just to make sure the job is done’ (Figure 11.5).46 The timing of Boyd’s conversation, on the same day as the Virginia Tech Massacre, proved unfortunate. Another co-worker overheard the conversation and reported it to senior management, stating that she felt unsafe. The result was Boyd having his employment terminated (Figure 11.6). Boyd, having already lost his job, was then interviewed by detectives at his home and faced the prospect of charges of a ‘terroristic threat through a computer’ being laid by the St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney.47 The sole justification for both the interview and the threat of charges was that Boyd’s comic had been an accurate depiction of himself and some of his co-workers (although not the female co-worker who reported him). Boyd, as the writer, had constructed the text, but not, however, the images. McConville, living in California at the time, drew the illustrations and had never met the female co-worker who reported Boyd. Despite the fact that Boyd had not drawn the comic, the realistic portrayal of the people involved highlighted the contingent nature of the investigation. Had the comic presented the dialogue spoken by comic cats, aliens or some other form, the likelihood of Boyd being investigated would have been dramatically reduced. As Boyd noted in an interview with Gary Tyrell of the Fleen blog, ‘But yes, if it hadn’t looked so much like me (because it happened to me and it is me,) I might not have gotten a knock. Of course, you’d have to ask the State’s Attorney to be sure’.48

Figure 11.3: R. K. Milholland, ‘Enter Davan and PeeJee’, Something Positive.

Accessed 16 September 2008. Available at: http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp12192001.shtml.

Figure 11.4: Matt Boyd & Ian McConville, ‘On Dudity’, Three Panel Soul.

Accessed: 12 November 2007. Available at: http://www.threepanelsoul.com/view.php?date=2007-04-20.

Figure 11.5: Matt Boyd & Ian McConville, ‘On Close Quarters’, Three Panel Soul.

Accessed 12 November 2007. Available at: http://www.threepanelsoul.com/view.php?date=2007-04-24.

Figure 11.6: Matt Boyd & Ian McConville, ‘On Pink Slips’, Three Panel Soul.

Accessed 12 November 2007. Available at: http://www.threepanelsoul.com/view.php?date=2007-04-30.

The irony is, perhaps, that the ideology espoused almost without exception across webcomics is, according to one commentator at least, so ‘hardwired libertarian’ as to be ‘perversely … Soviet’.49 Undoubtedly, some degree of regulation on the internet is necessary, in order to discover and prosecute those intent on distributing paedophilic material, or organising and inciting hate crime and acts of terrorism. However, current domestic laws in the United States and elsewhere have been received with reservations, particularly in regards to how they contravene freedom of expression and civil liberties. The dangers to civil liberties posed by actions such as those by the St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney require constant vigilance and act, on some level at least, as a rallying point for those wishing to dismantle current United States legislation. The widespread support that Boyd received also points to the nature of the webcomics community and harks back to the furore unleashed within the more mainstream and vocal blogging world in response to the Trent Lott affair, Hurricane Katrina and ‘Rathergate’.50

Activism, Immediacy and Subversion

The convergence of culture has resulted in a deeper engagement from within some groups in society, often those who are most marginalised by the mainstream press and society. There have been altruistic responses directed to both the members of particular webcomic communities, and towards society in general. The Webcomic Telethon, run by Blank Comics, involving over 300 cartoonists running over four days updating with a new comic every 20 minutes, raised over twenty-eight thousand dollars for victims of Hurricane Katrina.51 Perhaps even more impressive is the children’s charity, Child’s Play, run by Penny Arcade, which has raised ‘over two million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children’s hospitals across North America and the world’ (Figure 11.7).52 The charity was initiated in response to an article with the sensationalist title of ‘Violent video games are training children to kill’ written by Bill France in The Daily Herald (Everett, Washington). In the article France compared the confession of serial killer Gary Ridgway to video game scripts. He claimed that ‘[i]f a parent wanted their children to develop attitudes like Gary Ridgway, the confessed killer of at least 48 women, these games might provide a good training ground’.53 France argued the simulative nature of gaming was encouraging behaviour where ‘young players practice cutting heads off. They rehearse shooting police officers and urinating on them … they [are] practising laughing at others’ pain and justifying murder’.54 The creators of Penny Arcade, Mike ‘Gabe’ Krahulik and Jerry ‘Tycho’ Holkins, responded angrily to charges that gamers are all ‘ticking time bombs just waiting to go off’. Gabe explained ‘If you are like me, every time you see an article like [France’s], where the author claims that video games are training our nation’s youth to kill you get angry’.55 Consequently, Gabe announced the launch of Child’s Play, explaining that the impetus behind the charity was a direct response to negative media stereotyping.56 Tycho and Gabe organised for toys bought through the online shopping site, Amazon, using their Wish List function, to be delivered to Seattle’s Children’s Hospital. In under a month, from the launch on 23 November until Christmas the charity raised over two hundred thousand dollars worth of toys and cash.57 In 2007 the charity raised over one million dollars from donations from the gaming community.58 Child’s Play is now a full-time organisation with an annual semi-formal fundraising dinner, corporate sponsors and recipient hospitals in six countries across the globe.59 The generosity of the gaming community in donating to Child’s Play has gone some way towards providing positive news stories and stereotypes of gamers. The success of the charity highlights the power of the internet as a platform to reach a niche audience to not only make a real difference in the world, but also to construct a sense of community based on civic engagement and philanthropy as well as a passion for video games.

Figure 11.7: Child’s Play Charity.

Accessed: 4 December 2007. Available at: http://www.childsplaycharity.org/.

Conclusion

Webcomics offer a vast potential landscape for scholars interested in the power of the comic, and the role of participatory culture and online communities and identity. The prospects for increased engagement by the readership, as Ryan North’s Daily Dinosaur Comic template shows, the scope for commercial expansion and entrepreneurialism, seen in the successes of John Allison’s Scary-Go-Round merchandising, and the possibilities of subversion and activism in an environment of immediacy, as examined through Penny Arcade’s response to the France article and Something Positive’s challenge to liberal hegemony, all present enticing opportunities for scholars of online material. As Matt Boyd’s encounter with law enforcement showed, while the dangers of censorship, self-censorship, and the reinforcement of the hegemonic discourse are also at hand, the power of participatory culture allows for a perhaps perpetual re-visioning and reimagining of web space and the civic society engaged in it. Moreover, subversion and ideology operate across all aspects of the web, as does the participatory nature of engagement with online communities. The decline of the newspaper and of ‘mass’ media and the fragmentation of audiences, both on and offline, has changed the nature of media scholarship. The rise of the webcomic presents the comics scholar with an incredible opportunity for investigation, one that requires far deeper exploration than has been possible here. The landscape of the web and of the webcomic is diverse and increasing in size, breadth and depth. Webcomics may not be the silver bullet to correct the flagging fortunes of syndicated comic strips, editorial cartoons or even the comic book industry. Nonetheless, the rise of the webcomic and its adaption to Web 2.0 suggests a new age of civic engagement and participation for an audience that far outnumbers those who had previously created or read comics or cartoons, and has the potential to challenge the nature of civil society in the twentyfirst century.

Endnotes

1    Roy Greenslade argues that the newspaper is dead, ‘there are going to be very, very far fewer of them, probably a paper of record in most societies, which will be accessed by relatively information-rich, actually affluent, political and media elite, largely unread by the Great Unwashed, no I don’t mean that, largely unread by most people who will get all their news comment and analysis through the net’. See: Antony Funnell, Roy Greenslade, Mark Scott, Max Uechtritz, Campbell Reid & Helen Dalley, 2008, ‘Survival of media platforms for journalism’, The Media Report, ABC Radio National. Aired: 8 May 2008. Accessed: 22 August 2008. Transcript available at: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/mediareport/stories/2008/2236747.htm.

2    For an introduction to the debate on global civil society see: R. Lipschutz, 1992, ‘Reconstructing World Politics: the emergence of global civil society’, Millennium, 21 (3): 389–420.

3    Media theorists recognise that the press (which can include webcomics in its broadest definition) has power in framing what the public thinks about, rather than changing what the public thinks. See: Bernard C. Cohen, 1972, in Maxwell E. McCombs, and Donald L. Shaw, ‘The Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media’, The Public Opinion Quarterly, 36 (2): 177.

4    Randy Milholland, ‘Advertise with us! We dare you!’, Something Positive. Accessed 12 November 2007. Available at: http://www.somethingpositive.net/advertise.shtml. Penny Arcade boasts 55 million page views per month. See: ‘PAX 2008 dates announced’. Accessed 4 December 2007. Available at: http://www.pennyarcadeexpo.com/pax08launch.pdf. The methodology for measuring readership varies across the web, although unique page views per month are often seen as the most reliable means of assessing market share. Large quality national newspapers such as The Times (London), The New York Times (New York) and The Guardian (London), as well as the very popular tabloids and popular newspapers have circulations that far outstrip the readerships of webcomics. However, many webcomics have readerships that outnumber the circulations of regional and even some smaller national papers. For example, The Australian (Canberra) and The Australian Financial Review (Sydney) both have a circulation of under 150,000, as do The Herald (London), The Scotsman (Edinburgh), and a large number of regional American papers. The difference between circulation and readership numbers notwithstanding, the success of the webcomic in garnering such an audience is in and of itself worthy of note. For a discussion of the problems associated with circulation and readership figures for newspapers see: Michele Levine, Gary Morgan, and Marcus Tarrant, 2003, ‘“Readers-Per-Copy”: Beyond the Phoney Figure Debate to Understanding Reader Choice and How to Drive It Your Way’, unpublished paper presented at the Worldwide Readership Research Symposium, Cambridge, MA, 26–29 October 2003.

For British newspaper circulation figures go to: ABC, ‘Newspaper Data’. Accessed: 12 February 2008. Available at: http://www.abc.org.uk/. For American circulation figures, go to: ‘ACCESS ABC: eCirc for newspapers’. Accessed 12 February 2008. Available at: http://abcas3.accessabc.com/ecirc/newsform.asp.

Circulation figures for Australian newspapers in 2007 can be accessed in: Australian Press Council, State of the News Print Media in Australia: A supplement to the 2006 report. Accessed 12 February 2008. Available at: http://www.presscouncil.org.au/snpma/snpma2007/ch02_3_snpma2007.html.

5    As noted in the introduction to this volume, the Danish magazine Jyllands-Posten held a competition where Danish cartoonists where asked to represent ‘The Face of Muhammed [sic]’. As a result of the publication of the cartoons, violence broke out across the Muslim world. There were riots, resulting in the deaths of at least 139 people and the burning of the Norwegian and Danish embassies in Syria, and the destruction of European buildings and German and Danish flags in Gaza City. While a number of Muslim leaders called for peace, some radical leaders issued death threats against the cartoonists and the editor of the magazine. For more see ‘Cartoon Body Count/Death by Drawing’. Accessed: 10 September 2007. Available at: http://web.archive.org/web/20060326071135/http://www.cartoonbodycount.com/.

6    Studies have shown that there is a greater retention of political information when informed by satirical television shows such as The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, than by watching dedicated television news programs. For a discussion of information retention in soft news see: Matthew A. Baum, 2002, ‘Sex, Lies, and War: How Soft News Brings Foreign Policy to the Inattentive Public’, American Political Science Review, 96 (1): 91–109; Markus Prior, 2003, ‘Any Good news in soft news? The impact of soft news preference on political knowledge’, Political Communication, 20: 149–171; Matthew A. Baum, 2003, ‘Soft news and Political knowledge: Evidence of absence or absence of evidence?’, Political Communication, 20: 173–190.

7    Henri Lefebvre, 2002, Critique of Everyday Life: Foundations of a Sociology of the Everyday. John Moore, translator. II. London: Verso: 18–19.

8    See: Mary Kaldor, 2003, ‘The idea of global civil society’, International Affairs, 79 (3): 583–593; Ronaldo Munck, 2006, ‘Global Civil Society: Royal Road or Slippery Path?’, Voluntas, 17: 325–332.

9    Ulrich Beck, Mark Ritter & Scott Lash, 1992, Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, Beverley Hills: Sage; Henry Jenkins, 2006, Convergence Culture: Where old and new media collide, New York: NYU Press: chapter 1 passim. Tim O’Reilly refers to the ‘architecture of participation’ as fundamental to the functioning of Web 2.0 Tim O’Reilly, 2007, ‘What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software’, Communications & Strategies, 65: 22.

10   Henry Jenkins, Katie Clinton, Ravi Purushotma, Alice J. Robinson, and Margaret Weigel, 2006, ‘Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century’, Building the Field of Digital Media and Learning, The John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation: 3–4. Accessed: 24 October 2006. Available at: http://www.digitallearning.macfound.org/atf/cf/%7B7E45C7E0-A3E0-4B89-AC9C-E807E1B0AE4 E%7D/JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF.

11  T. Campbell, 2006, A History of Webcomics v1.0, San Antonio, TX: Antarctic Press: 14–15.

12  Scott McCloud, 1994, Understanding Comics, New York: Harper Paperbacks: 20.

13  Mark Bell, 2006, ‘The Salvation of Comics: Digital Prophets and Iconoclasts’, The Review of Communication, 6 (1–2): 132.

14  Sean Fenty, Trena Houp and Laurie Taylor, 2004, ‘Webcomics: The influence and continuation of the commix revolution’, ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies, 1 (2). Accessed: 10 September 2007. Available at: Dept of English, University of Florida, http://www.english.ufl.edu//imagetext/archives/v1_2/group/index.shtml.

15  Campbell, History of Webcomics: 147.

16  Jenkins et al., ‘Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture’: 13.

17  Campbell, History of Webcomics: 147. Of course, comics in languages other than English exist, including many in Asia and Continental Europe. However, despite providing a rich source for further research, these works sit outside the purview of this chapter.

18  Although Rich Stevens’ Diesel Sweeties, one of the more successful webcomics, was for a period syndicated. Stevens has since returned to a solely online model.

19  The number of ‘professional’ webcomic artists and writers is increasing daily, a comprehensive, but not exhaustive list might include: Pete Abrams of Sluggy Freelance (www.sluggy.com), John Allison of Scary Go Round (www.scarygoround.com), Tim Buckley of Ctrl+Alt+Del (www.ctrlaltdel-online.com), Mitch Clem of Nothing Nice to Say (www.mitchclem.com/nothingnice/), Brian Clevinger of 8-Bit Theater (http://www.nuklearpower.com/), Greg Dean of Real Life (www.reallifecomics.com), J.D. Frazer of User Friendly (www.userfriendly.org) , Fred Gallagher of Megatokyo (www.megatokyo.com), Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content (www.questionablecontent.net), Dave Kellett of Sheldon (www.sheldoncomics.com), Mike Krahulic and Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade (www.pennyarcade.com), Scott Kurtz of PvP (www.pvponline.com), R.K. Milholland of Something Positive (www.somethingpositive.net), Ryan North of Daily Dinosaur Comics (www.qwantz.com), Chris Onstad of Achewood (www.achewood.com), Michael Poe of Errant Story (www.errantstory.com) and Exploitation Now (www.exploitationnow.com), Jonathan Rosenberg of Goats (www.goats.com), Richard Stevens of Diesel Sweeties (www.dieselsweeties.com), Howard Taylor of Schlock Mercenary (www.schlockmercenary.com), and David Willis of Shortpacked! (www.shortpacked.com). Matt Boyd and Ian McConville do not work on their comic, Three Panel Soul (www.threepanelsoul.com), full-time, however the success of their previous comic MacHall (www.machall.com) and the controversy surrounding the Three Panel Soul strips detailed later mean they should also perhaps be included in the ‘professional’ group. There are, however, many other comic artists and writers that could also be included in the ‘professional’ cohort.

20  Jenkins argues that the provision of equipment is not the only problem in what has been identified as the digital divide. Jenkins et al., ‘Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture’: 13.

21  Campbell claims that the webcomic reader is ‘maler than the average Web user, but a lot less male than the average comic-book reader’. The number of women producing comics is increasing. They include, among many others: Aeire from Punch n’ Pie and the infamous and now defunct Queen of Wands (http://www.punchanpie.net/cgi-bin/autokeenlite.cgi); Jennie Breeden from The Devil’s Panties (http://devilspanties.keenspot.com/); J. Boeke from Catharsis (http://www.catharsiscomic.com/); Gina Biggs at Red String (http://redstring.strawberrycomics.com/); Otter from A Girl and her Fed (http://www.agirlandherfed.com/); Jin Wicked at Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break (http://crap.jinwicked.com/); Caroline Curtis at the 9thElsewhere (http://www.9thelsewhere.com/); Gisèle Lagacé at Penny and Aggie (http://www.pennyandaggie.com/); and Tiffany Ross and her numerous comics, including Alien Dice (http://aliendice.com/).

22  Notable exceptions include Hawk from Applegeeks who is a practicing Muslim; Randal Milholland portrays both black and Asian characters in his comic; John Allison also portrays Indian and black characters on occasion. For an exploration of the digital divide in terms of youth and participatory culture, see Jenkins et al. ‘Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture’.

23  John Allison of Scary Go Round lives outside Manchester in the UK and is the only full-time webcomic artist this author is aware of outside of North America. Other prominent non-North American cartoonists include Huw ‘Lem’ Davies of Bunny, who is studying at university in England and Pontus Madsen of Little Gamers works full-time as a graphic designer in Sweden. While one can find webcomics from the Ukraine, Denmark, Australia and Chile (among others), none of these comics seem to have resulted in full-time employment for the cartoonist.

24  Ward and Cahill have noted that political and journalistic blogs have not prospered in Australia as they have in the USA. Ian Ward and James Cahill, 2007, ‘Old and New Media: Blogs in the third age of political communication’, APSA 2007– Refereed Papers. Accessed 26 March 2008. Available at: http://arts.monash.edu.au/psi/news-and-events/apsa/refereed-papers/.

25  Jenkins et al. ‘Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture’: 3.

26  John Allison reflected that ‘Once I had seen other people just above my level succeed, I knew that if I worked hard I could do it’ (Marianne Hicks, 2005, Interview with John Allison and Jeph Jacques, in Tama Leaver, Ponderance, 27 July 2005. Accessed 19 March 2008. Available at: http://ponderance.blogspot.com/2005/07/webcomics-interviews-with-john-allison.html.

27  ‘Signing up for a Comic Genesis Account’, Comic Genesis – New Worlds, New Dreams. Accessed 19 March 2008. Available at: http://www.comicgenesis.com/join.html.

28  Ryan North, ‘Reader Art’, quantz.com – Dinosaur Comics. Accessed 26 March 2008. Available at: http://www.qwantz.com/peoplearecool.html.

29  Ryan North, Oh No Robot. Accessed 28 March 2008. Available at: http://www.ohnorobot.com/.

30  Ryan North, Every Topic in the Universe Except Chickens. Accessed 28 March 2008. Available at: http://www.everytopicintheuniverseexceptchickens.com/.

31  John Allison, ‘… and heavy friends’, A Hundred Dance Moves Per Minute, 6 November 2007. Accessed 26 March 2008. Available at: http://sgrblog.blogspot.com/2007/11/and-heavy-friends.html. Amy Acker is the actor who played Winifred ‘Fred’ Burkle in Joss Whedon’s Angel.

32  Many webcomic artists produce shirts because their fans want the clothes the characters wear in the comic strip. See: Jeph Jacques ‘Teh’ shirt. Accessed: 26 March 2008. Available at: http://www.questionablecontent.net/merch.php.

33  John Hartley, 2005, editor. Creative Industries, Maldon: Blackwell: 1–4.

34  Penny Arcade has one of the most successful webcomics business models, achieved through the help of Robert Khoo, who had been a business analyst at a market strategy firm, and left his job in order to work with Krahulic and Holkins. Penny Arcade has a staff of 10 and currently hosts the Penny Arcade Expo, the largest of its kind in North America since the downscaling of E3. They also provide merchandising, creative services, book publishing and, of course, online ads. See: Chris Baker, ‘The Dorks Behind Penny Arcade, an Obscure Webcomic Turned Vidgame Empire’, Wired Magazine Accessed 15 September 2008. Available at: http://www.wired.com/gaming/virtualworlds/magazine/15-09/mf_pennyarcade?currentPage=all. Diesel Sweeties is particularly good at offering a large variety of merchandise, including baby wear, aprons, books, posters, tote bags and a Pixel Yourself t-shirt pack with a pen included in order to create your own pixel designs. Scary Go Round also offers very British tea towels with a new design annually. Randy Milholland created a series of Steve Jackson playing cards for Munchkin. Andy Bell offers a range of toys based on his Creatures in My Head site. Available at: http://www.creaturesinmyhead.com. Other comics have offered sculptures, original art, plush toys, calendars, and guest appearances in the comic itself.

35  The most notable donation drive was for Randy Milholland who was able to quit his job based on his appeal for money from his readers. Fred Gallagher has also had successful donation drives.

36  Rich Stevens syndicated his comic, Diesel Sweeties, between 8 January 2007 and 10 August 2008. Other syndicated comics include Sheldon, User Friendly and Perry Bible Fellowship, available at: http://www.pbfcomics.com. Ctrl+Alt+Del has its own animated series, Penny Arcade, as will be discussed below, has its own expo, video game and charity.

37  See: Gary Tyrell, ‘15 x$’, Fleen: Your Favourite Faux-Muckrakers Since 2005, initially posted: 18 March 2008 Accessed 26 March 2008. Available at: http://www.fleen.com/archives/2008/03/18/15/#comments.

38  Dave Kellett of Sheldon Comics claims that he ‘came close to six figures last year, and may end up making it this year’ (Tyrell, ‘15 x$’).

39  The trend seems to be that the more an artist is dependent on her site for her income, the more focus the comic receives. Rich Stevens, of Diesel Sweeties, takes dedication to his work to a whole new level. When asked how many hours Stevens works, his reply was ‘Not enough! I’d work 24/7 if I could’. His response was interpreted by Gary Tyrell of Fleen as meaning that Stevens considers sleep an ‘interrupt[ion to] his compulsion to work’ (Tyrell, ‘15 x$’). Often the pressures of producing consistently prove too much for even those who are employed full-time as webcomic artists. Fred Gallagher, despite working as a full-time on his webcomic and its consistent success, is renowned for his erratic updating schedule, substituting comic updates with filler-art called Dead Piro Days or stick-figure Shirt Guy Dom comics drawn (badly) by Dominic Nguyen, a friend of Gallagher who also works on the site.

40  Tyrell, ‘15 x$’.

41  A gap in the literature in terms of how the socialisation process occurs online remains to be addressed and is beyond the scope of this chapter.

42  R. K. Milholland, ‘Enter Davan and PeeJee’, Something Positive. Accessed 16 September 2008. Available at: http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp12192001.shtml.

43  Richard Kahn & Douglas Kellner, 2004, ‘New media and internet activism: from the “Battle of Seattle” to blogging’, New Media and Society, 6 (1): 87–95; Ronald J. Deibert, 2003, ‘International Plug ‘n Play? Citizen Activism, the Internet, and Global Public Policy’, International Studies Perspectives, 1 (3): 255–272.

44  Gabriel Weimann, 2004, ‘www.terror.net: How modern terrorism uses the internet’, Special Report for the United States Institute of Peace, 116. Accessed: 22 August 2008. Available at: http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr116.pdf.

45  Matt Boyd & Ian McConville, ‘On Dudity’, Three Panel Soul. Accessed: 12 November 2007. Available at: http://www.threepanelsoul.com/view.php?date=2007-04-20.

46  Emphasis in original: Matt Boyd & Ian McConville, ‘On Close Quarters’, Three Panel Soul. Accessed 12 November 2007. Available at: http://www.threepanelsoul.com/view.php?date=2007-04-24.

47  Gary Tyrell, ‘Interview With The Vampire Terror Suspect’, Fleen: The webcomics blog about webcomics. Accessed 13 November 2007. Available at: http://www.fleen.com/archives/2007/05/04/interview-with-the-vampire-terror-suspect/.

48  Tyrell, ‘Interview With The Vampire Terror Suspect’.

49  Ted Rall is a highly awarded syndicated editorial cartoonist, columnist and radio announcer. See: http://www.rall.com/about.htm.

50  See: Tama Leaver, 2006, ‘The Blogging of Everyday Life’, Reconstruction, 6.4. Accessed 28 March 2008. Available at: http://reconstruction.eserver.org/064/leaver.shtml.

51  ‘Webcomics Telethon’, Blank Comics. Accessed: 4 December 2007. Available at: http://www.webcomictelethon.com/.

52  Child’s Play Charity. Accessed: 4 December 2007. Available at: http://www.childsplaycharity.org/.

53  Bill France, ‘Violent video games are training children to kill’, HeraldNet. Accessed 5 December 2007. Available at: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20031118/LIVING/311180742.

54  France, ‘Violent video games are training children to kill’.

55  Mike ‘Gabe’ Krahulik, ‘Child’s Play’, 23 November 2003. Accessed 5 December 2007. Available at: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2003/11/24.

56  Krahulik, ‘Child’s Play’.

57  Krahulik, ‘Child’s Play’; Jerry ‘Tycho’ Holkins, ‘Perhaps best unsaid’, 3 January 2004. Accessed: 5 December 2007. Available at: http://www.penny-arcade.com/news.php3?date=2004-01-03.

58  Child’s Play Charity. Accessed: 28 March 2008. Available at: http://www.childsplaycharity.org/index.php. The charity raised over two million dollars in 2006, according to: Jerry ‘Tycho’Holkins, ‘Definition Theatre’, Penny Arcade. Accessed: 5 December 2007. Available at: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2006/12/15#1166171280.

59  Child’s Play Charity.

Webcomics and Primary Sources

Abrams, Pete, Sluggy Freelance. Available at: http://www.sluggy.com.

Aeire, Punch n’ Pie. Available at: http://www.punchanpie.net/cgi-bin/autokeenlite.cgi.

Allison, John, Scary Go Round. Available at: http://www.scarygoround.com.

Allison, John, ‘… and heavy friends’, A Hundred Dance Moves Per Minute, 6 November 2007. Accessed 26 March 2008. Available at: http://sgrblog.blogspot.com/2007/11/and-hea vy-friends.html.

Baker, Chris, ‘The Dorks Behind Penny Arcade, an Obscure Webcomic Turned Vidgame Empire’, Wired Magazine. Accessed 15 September 2008. Available at: http://www.wired.com/gam ing/virtualworlds/magazine/15-09/mf_pennyarcade?currentPage=all.

Bell, Andrew, ‘The Creatures in my Head’. Available at: http://www.creaturesinmyhead.com.

Biggs, Gina, Red String. Available at: http://redstring.strawberrycomics.com/.

Boeke, J., Catharsis. Available at: http://www.catharsiscomic.com/.

Boyd, Matt, and Ian McConville, Three Panel Soul. Available at: http://www.threepanelsoul.com.

Boyd, Matt, and Ian McConville, MacHall. Available at: http://www.machall.com.

Breeden, Jennie, The Devil’s Panties. Available at: http://devilspanties.keenspot.com/.

Buckley, Tim, Ctrl+Alt+Del. Available at: http://www.ctrlaltdel-online.com.

Child’s Play. Accessed: 4 December 2007. Available at: http://www.childsplaycharity.org/.

Clem, Mitch, Nothing Nice to Say. Available at: http://www.mitchclem.com/nothingnice/.

Clevinger, Brian, 8-Bit Theater. Available at: http://www.nuklearpower.com/.

Curtis, Caroline, 9th Elsewhere. Available at: http://www.9thelsewhere.com/.

Davies, Huw, ‘Lem’, Bunny. Available at: http://www.bunny-comic.com.

Dean, Greg, Real Life. Available at: http://www.reallifecomics.com.

Frazer, J. D., User Friendly. Available at: http://www.userfriendly.org.

Gallagher, Fred, Megatokyo. Available at: http://www.megatokyo.com.

Gurewitch, Nicholas, ‘The Perry Bible Fellowship’. Available at: http://www.pbfcomics.com.

Hawk, Applegeeks. Available at: http://www.applegeeks.com.

Hicks, Marianne, 2005, Interview with John Allison and Jeph Jacques, in Tama Leaver, Ponderance, 27 July 2005. Accessed 19 March 2008. Available at: http://ponderance.blogspot.com/2005/07/webcomics-interviews-with-john-allison.html.

Jacques, Jeph, Questionable Content. Available at: http://www.questionablecontent.net.

Kellett, Dave, Sheldon. Available at: http://www.sheldoncomics.com.

Krahulic, Mike, and Jerry Holkins, Penny Arcade. Available at: http://www.pennyarcade.com.

Krahulik, Mike, ‘Gabe’, ‘Child’s Play’, 23 November 2003. Accessed 5 December 2007. Available at: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2003/11/24.

Kurtz, Scott, PvP. Available at: http://www.pvponline.com.

Lagacé, Gisèle, Penny and Aggie. Available at: http://www.pennyandaggie.com/.

Madsen, Pontus, Little Gamers. Available at: http://www.little-gamers.com.

Milholland, R. K., Something Positive. Available at: http://www.somethingpositive.net.

North, Ryan, Daily Dinosaur Comics. Available at: http://www.qwantz.com.

North, Ryan, Every Topic in the Universe Except Chickens. Accessed 28 March 2008. Available at: http://www.everytopicintheuniverseexceptchickens.com/.

North, Ryan, Oh No Robot. Accessed 28 March 2008. Available at: http://www.ohnorobot.com/.

Onstad, Chris, Achewood. Available at: http://www.achewood.com.

Otter, A Girl and Her Fed. Available at: http://www.agirlandherfed.com/.

Poe, Michael, Errant Story. Available at: http://www.errantstory.com.

Poe, Michael, Exploitation Now. Available at: http://www.exploitationnow.com.

Rall, Ted, Available at: http://www.rall.com/about.htm.

Rosenberg, Jonathan, Goats. Available at: http://www.goats.com.

Ross, Tiffany, Alien Dice. Available at: http://aliendice.com/.

Stevens, Richard, Diesel Sweeties. Available at: http://www.dieselsweeties.com.

Taylor, Howard, Schlock Mercenary. Available at: http://www.schlockmercenary.com.

Tyrell, Gary, ‘Interview With The Vampire Terror Suspect’, Fleen: The Webcomics Blog About Webcomics. Accessed 13 November 2007. Available at: http://www.fleen.com/archives/2 007/05/04/interview-with-the-vampire-terror-suspect/.

Tyrell, Gary, ‘15 x$’, Fleen: Your Favourite Faux-Muckrakers Since 2005, initially posted: 18 March 2008. Accessed 26 March 2008. Available at: http://www.fleen.com/archive s/2008/03/18/15/#comments.

Wicked, Jin, Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break. Available at: http://crap.jinwicked.com/.

Willis, David, Shortpacked! Available at: http://www.shortpacked.com.

Secondary Sources

ABC, ‘Newspaper Data’. Accessed: 12 February 2008. Available at: http://www.abc.org.uk/.

‘ACCESS ABC: eCirc for newspapers’. Accessed 12 February 2008. Available at: http://abcas3.accessabc.com/ecirc/newsform.asp.

Australian Press Council, State of the News Print Media in Australia: A Supplement to the 2006 Report. Accessed 12 February 2008. Available at: http://www.presscouncil.org.au/snpma/snpma2007/ch02_3_snpma2007.html.

Baum, Matthew A., 2002, ‘Sex, Lies, and War: How Soft News Brings Foreign Policy to the Inattentive Public’, American Political Science Review, 96 (1): 91–109.

Baum, Matthew A., 2003, ‘Soft news and Political knowledge: Evidence of absence or absence of evidence?’ Political Communication, 20: 173–190.

Beck, Ulrich, Mark Ritter & Scott Lash, 1992, Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, Beverley Hills: Sage.

Bell, Mark, 2006, ‘The Salvation of Comics: Digital Prophets and Iconoclasts’, The Review of Communication, 6 (1–2): 132.

Campbell, T., 2006, A History of Webcomics v1.0, San Antonio, TX: Antarctic Press.

‘Cartoon Body Count/Death by Drawing’. Accessed: 10 September 2007. Available at: http://web.archive.org/web/20060326071135/http://www.cartoonbodycount.com/.

Cohen, Bernard C., 1972, in Maxwell E. McCombs & Donald L. Shaw, ‘The Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media’, The Public Opinion Quarterly, 36 (2): 177.

Deibert 2003 Deibert, Ronald J., 2003, ‘International Plug ‘n Play? Citizen Activism, the Internet, and Global Public Policy’, International Studies Perspectives, 1 (3): 255–272.

Fenty, Sean, Trena Houp & Laurie Taylor, 2004, ‘Webcomics: The influence and continuation of the commix revolution’, ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies, 1 (2). Accessed: 10 September 2007. Available at: Dept of English, University of Florida, http://www.english.ufl.edu//imagetext/archives/v1_2/group/index.shtml.

France, Bill, ‘Violent video games are training children to kill’, HeraldNet. Accessed 5 December 2007. Available at: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20031118/LIVING/311180742.

Funnell, Antony, Roy Greenslade, Mark Scott, Max Uechtritz, Campbell Reid & Helen Dalley, 2008, ‘Survival of media platforms for journalism’, The Media Report, ABC Radio National. Aired: 8 May 2008. Accessed: 22 August 2008. Transcript available at: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/mediareport/stories/2008/2236747.htm.

Hartley, John, 2005, editor. Creative Industries, Maldon: Blackwell.

Jenkins, Henry, Katie Clinton, Ravi Purushotma, Alice J. Robinson & Margaret Weigel, 2006, ‘Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century’, Building the Field of Digital Media and Learning, The John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation. Accessed: 24 October 2006. Available at: http://www.digitallearning.macfound.org/atf/cf/%7B7E45C7E0-A3E0 -4B89-AC9C-E807E1B0AE4E%7D/JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF.

Jenkins, Henry, 2006, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, New York: NYU Press.

Kahn, Richard; Kellner, Douglas, 2004, ‘New media and internet activism: from the “Battle of Seattle” to blogging’, New Media and Society, 6 (1): 87–95.

Kaldor, Mary, 2003, ‘The idea of global civil society’, International Affairs, 79 (3): 583–593.

Leaver, Tama, 2006, ‘The Blogging of Everyday Life’, Reconstruction, 6.4. Accessed 28 March 2008. Available at: http://reconstruction.eserver.org/064/leaver.shtml.

Lefebvre, Henri, 2002, Critique of Everyday Life: Foundations of a Sociology of the Everyday. John Moore, translator. Volume II. London: Verso.

Levine, Michele, Gary Morgan & Marcus Tarrant, 2003, ‘“Readers-Per-Copy”: Beyond the Phoney Figure Debate to Understanding Reader Choice and How to Drive It Your Way’, unpublished paper presented at the Worldwide Readership Research Symposium, Cambridge, MA, 26–29 October 2003.

Lip schutz, R., 1992, ‘Reconstructing World Politics: the emergence of global civil society’, Millennium, 21 (3): 389–420.

McCloud, Scott, 1994, Understanding Comics, New York: Harper Paperbacks.

Munck, Ronaldo, 2006, ‘Global Civil Society: Royal Road or Slippery Path?’ Voluntas, 17: 325–332.

O’Reilly, Tim, 2007, ‘What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software’, Communications & Strategies, 65: 22.

‘PAX 2008 dates announced’. Accessed 4 December 2007. Available at: http://www.pennyarcadeexpo.com/pax08launch.pdf.

Prior, Markus, 2003, ‘Any Good news in soft news? The impact of soft news preference on political knowledge’, Political Communication, 20: 149–171.

Signing up for a Comic Genesis Account’, Comic Genesis- New Worlds, New Dreams. Accessed 19 March 2008. Available at: http://www.comicgenesis.com/join.html.

Ward, Ian & James Cahill, 2007, ‘Old and New Media: Blogs in the third age of political communication’, APSA 2007– Refereed Papers. Accessed 26 March 2008. Available at: http://arts.monash.edu.au/psi/news-and-events/apsa/refereed-papers/.

Weimann, Gabriel, 2004, ‘www.terror.net: How modern terrorism uses the internet’, Special Report for the United States Institute of Peace, 116. Accessed: 22 August 2008. Available at: http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr116.pdf.

 

Cite this chapter as: Hicks, Marianne. 2009. ‘“Teh futar”: The power of the webcomic and the potential of Web 2.0’. Drawing the Line: Using Cartoons as Historical Evidence, edited by Scully, Richard; Quartly, Marian. Melbourne: Monash University ePress. pp. 11.1 to 11.20.

© Copyright 2009 Marianne Hicks

All rights reserved. Apart from any uses permitted by Australia’s Copyright Act 1968, no part of this book may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission of the copyright owners. The fact that this book is published online does not mean that any part of it can be reproduced without first obtaining written permission: copyright laws do still apply. Inquiries should be directed to the publisher, Monash University ePress: http://www.epress.monash.edu/contacts.html.

Drawing the Line

   by Richard Scully, Marian Quartly