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PW Beat: Webcomics among top stories of 2008

Heidi MacDonald’s PW Beat, one of the best comic resources on the net, asked several creators what the biggest story of 2008 was, and what stories will be big in 2009. Unsurprisingly, digital comics came up numerous times. Here’s a sampling:

Peggy Burns, Associate publisher, Drawn and Quarterly

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2009? What Marvel does with the $10 million they’ve put aside for digital. Mind you, they’re already doing paid download in Europe with cellphones as the platform. While Marvel’s officially expecting to reap the rewards in 2010, by Q4 we have a chance of seeing 1) expansion of the digital subscription program, 2) shorter waits from print to digital, 3) some form of paid, single-issue downloads. If the downloads are in Europe, you can consider it in field-testing for the U.S.


Jeff Parker, writer, artist

What was the biggest story in comics in 2008? That one of the big companies (Marvel) started getting serious about providing online content. When we’re all one day buying serials cheap in digital form to read on some flexible interface and later getting the collections as real books, this is where it started. Looking at last year’s prediction, I see that I started to talk about this and then switched to the more exciting “tragedy at Comicon” prognostication. I was almost right for once! Well, by my own measure.


Shaenon K. Garrity, cartoonist, editor

What was the biggest story in comics in 2008? Webcomics seemed to come into their own as a legitimate business model, although I’m not sure if they actually became a legitimate business model, or if the rest of the comics industry is so confused and floundering that flinging crap at the Internet and hoping something sticks makes as much sense as anything else.

Other items mentioned when asked about the “Biggest Story In Comics In 2008″ included cross-over fatigue, the box-office dominance of incredibly well-done superhero movies, and general snarkiness that you can sort of expect from these comic types. (A ha ha ha! Just kidding! Please do not kill me, Jim Starlin.)

This is also just Part I of the article. Will other print media veterans chime in on webcomics? Stay tuned.

Posted in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics