Monday, January 14, 2013

Internet cartoons -- triumph of the nerds

xkcd.com
The Economist published a neat article on Internet cartoons. It begins with a quick history of cartoons, from their origin in the caricatures and illustrations of early modern Europe to Punch in Britain, where the term “cartoon” was coined in 1843. The modern comic strip emerged as a by-product of the New York newspaper wars between Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst in the late 19th century, but cartoons became bland with large-scale syndication.

Then the Internet came along -- Punch went out of business, newspapers declined and the quirky, individual comic was reborn online.

The article goes on the highlight several online cartoons: SMBC, XKCD (and its companion blog What If?), The Oatmeal, Hark, a Vagrant, Dinosaur Comics, Megatokyo, Ctrl+Alt+Del, Penny Arcade and Bear Nuts,

Check these out -- if you are the slightest bit nerdy, you are guaranteed to find some you like. The Internet may have zapped newspapers, but it has revitalized comic strips.

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Update 5/9/2013

XKCD has published a weird cartoon called "Time" at http://xkcd.com/1190/. It appears to be a still image,but just leave your browser open and come back half an hour later and you will see that the image has changed. It goes on and on and on and on. You can read more about this and see the sequence speeded up at: http://econ.st/11ltc8A.