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Double-Checking the Wikipedia Entry for Webcomics

The entry for webcomics at the Wikipedia is getting longer. I have a few questions about the entry though that I wanted to see if the Comixpedia community knows the answers to:

Was the Polymer City Chronicles the "first regularly published webcomic"? The entry grants that Where the Buffalo Roam was the first comic online and that Doctor Fun was the first comic on the World Wide Web so I'm not even sure what "first" is being claimed for Polymer City Chronicles.

Was Bob and George the first "sprite comic" on the web?

Questions not answered at all: What was the first "infinite canvas" webcomic? What was the first "multimedia" webcomic? What was the first flash-driven webcomic? Others?

Re: Double-Checking the Wikipedia Entry for Webcomics

glych's picture

I believe that FRAMED!!! (Frank "Damonk" Cormier) might be the first to truely experiment with expanded canvas though I could be wrong. A close second could be some of Cat Garza's work, but Greg Stephens of Zwol or Scott McCloud would know better than I would. I believe the first hypercomic (not low grade animation) might be Vicious Souveniors (John Barber) on MT.

I used to experiment with .gif animations in my own comics in the early days, though I don't think I'm the first to do so there either.

-glych

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Panel2Panel.com

Re: Double-Checking the Wikipedia Entry for Webcomics

Well, here's the deal. PCC is irrefutably the first video gaming comic on the web, I know, I was the publisher for the strip while it was published in Game Zero magazine. Nobody else was doing any kind of gaming comics on the web at that time. Now, since PCC has gotten added to Wikipedia, I read through all of the other information about the other strips, and it's not a clean answer "who's first". Because it depends on how you define "web comic".

I have so far written Mr. Campbell (e-mail and posts to two of his blogs) who I would consider an athority on the subject, and invited him to stop by Wikipedia and help set down the delinations of what qualifies for what. So far he has not answered any of my messages (although I believe he has been out of town?).

As it stands, using the language that everyone is throwing around over there. PCC appears to be the first exclusively web based comic to publish regularly with reocurring cast members. And from that stand point, Argon Zark! was making the claim that they were first... but PCC beats AZ by several months, so...

Anyways after the PCC addition was made, someone came into the Wiki article and made the changes to the comments on Where the Buffalo Roam.

I think if TC would step in and put his thoughts down on the matter, that this would be cleared up pretty quick.

If you could get his attention from your end to help straighten this out, that would be great.

Re: Double-Checking the Wikipedia Entry for Webcomics

I thought Kevin and Kell was the first webcomic.

Re: Double-Checking the Wikipedia Entry for Webcomics

As far as I know, T's a pretty busy guy. You may be in for a long wait.

Then again, you may be able to find out thew information for yourself and post it on Wikipedia, it is editable.

Re: Double-Checking the Wikipedia Entry for Webcomics

It's unfortunate that I can't remember exactly how regular Rovers van Clwyd-Rhan was during its first online publication. I think I started with a buffer, back in late 1994, which would imply regularity for at least a few weeks...
First webcomic telling a long, planned story, definitely. But I don't have the evidence to challenge PCC's specific claim.

Re: Double-Checking the Wikipedia Entry for Webcomics

Got back in town a little while ago, and there have been a host of connectivity problems this week (well, okay, two, but they've both knocked me off the Web for days at a time. I'm typing this at Kinko's).

Reinder hits the nail on the head when he mentions "evidence." One of those little things about "history" that you need to patiently explain over and over is that history is not WHAT happened, just the best RECORD of what happened. I think the first online comic could have been some ASCII art thing at NASA that just never WENT anywhere.

So bearing in mind the caveat that I don't know about what I don't know about...

"First regularly published webcomic" has gotta go to Dr. Fun. Not only did it start in '93, but it's been pretty much CONTINUOUSLY published TO THE PRESENT. Yes, I know it's a one-panel comic and UNDERSTANDING COMICS says, etc., but I don't think that's as canon as some of Scott's definitions. If you INSIST, then sorry, Jax & Co., Netboy and the Web version of WtBR still launched before PCC.

The definition of "recurring characters" seems a bit woolly to me, and I would discourage its use. But if you're playing that way, then it probably goes to Jax & Co. Yeah, they only had a few strips, but you only need a few.

First infinite-canvas comic, far as I know, was NETBOY. This strip has pretty much disappeared now (though enough evidence of its existence remains in TIME magazine and the Internet Archive) and it was never Great Comics, but it was experimental well ahead of its time.

Multimedia's really such a catch-all concept it's like nailing Jell-O to a wall-- I mean, at one time combining hypertext, text and comics was so novel that it was considered "multimedia." J&C, ARGON ZARK and NETBOY all played with multimedia devices to some extent.

Flash, I have no idea. "FutureSplash Animator," the proto-Flash, launched in 1995, so probably early.

BOB AND GEORGE wasn't the first sprite comic. That honor goes to Neglected Mario Characters. B&G was much more of a trendsetter, though.

I see nothing in the records to contradict PCC's claim of being the first gaming comic online, and I'm grateful that it's been brought to my attention. But the Wikipedia entry doesn't hold up. I'll see about correcting it when I have better access.

Re: Double-Checking the Wikipedia Entry for Webcomics

I'll be honest, this is all I was ever hoping for. I never really thought that PCC was the first web comic, and over the years even up till the Wiki addition of PCC, there was never a claim to be anything more than first gaming web comic. But, when I started reading the Wiki entries everyone had written, it didn't seem like there was a clear definition. I couldn't seem to get anything straightned out except for the general "Well, I'm really first because" crap, so I figured I would press the issue and hopefully get this resolved.

Thanks again!

Re: Double-Checking the Wikipedia Entry for Webcomics

Bob and George was definitely not the first "sprite comic" on the web.

However, I would point out that Neglected Mario Characters might not be the first either. People probably put sprites into boxes before NMC came along, just as people were scanning their drawn comics onto the internet long before the first "webcomic" came along.

I usually say that all Bob and George can claim to possibly be the first "sprite-based webcomic", in which the main point of the website was the comic itself and nothing else, though I suppose that depends on the definition of a "webcomic".

If nothing else, Bob and George, along with 8-Bit Theater, is probably responsible for the majority of sprite comics out there today... though that may not be a good thing.