We used to do an irregularly recurring bit here at ComixTALK called "First and Last" which seemed like a good idea to revive. Particularly with a comic like Anders Loves Maria where creator Rene Engström has not only constantly improved but also taken several stylistic leaps during the comic.
Nukees by Darren Bleuel started in 1997 following the wacky adventures of the main character Gav, a perpetual nuclear engineering graduate student. Here's an excerpt from the very first strip in the archives:
A more recent excerpt from this month below:
Actually the punchline to the above excerpt is a pretty good distillation of the Gav character (might not be a bad t-shirt either!):
Zortic by Mark Mekkes started on Keenspace in 2000 before getting snapped up by Keenspot. Here's a snapshot of artwork from the beginning and very recently:
(Above, part of the very first Zortic. Below a very recent Zortic)
And just as a bonus here's a Zortic from a storyline parodying the DaVinci Code which works in a Websnark essay.
PvP has been around since May 4, 1998. Scott Kurtz's strip had one major change when he redesigned the characters but otherwise the art style has evolved incrementally. Although Kurtz does drop in color from time to time the bulk of the comic is black and white.
First PvP from 1998 featuring characters Francis and Robbie
PvP from 2006 featuring characters Robbie and Jase
Recent PvP featuring characters Francis, Cole and Marcie.
Pete Abram's Sluggy Freelance is one of the longest running webcomics out there. In some ways it hasn't changed dramatically – looking at our first from 1999 and our last from 2006 next to each other the changes seem evolutionary and not revolutionary.
Of course for certain storylines such as "Oceans Unmoving", Pete Abrams has also ventured far from his usual style and produced more elaborate artwork for Sluggy.
I forgot to post this last Friday – another look at evolution in webcomics art, this time in the series Gaming Guardians. The changes here are dramatic and due to a change in artist on writer/co-creator Graveyard Greg's superhero series. The early series was drawn by co-creator Andrew Babb and while the "'last" example below is drawn by current artist "Webtroll".
Matt Shepherd and James Duncan's Man Man might be the longest running superhero webcomic now that the Japanese Beatle is retired. Man Man has run so long it's even had its own reboot (pre-boot is version 1 and post-boot is version 2). Here's one of the very first one from version 1 (up top) and one of the latest from version 2 (on bottom):
First (Version 1)
Last (Version 2) Continue Reading
Justin Pierce has crafted a fun tale of superheroes, aliens and fantasical elements called Killroy and Tina. Here's a snapshot of one of the very first ones from when Killroy and Tina appeared on Keenspace (top) and one of the more recent editions (bottom).
(We interviewed Justin about a year ago – you can read it here.)