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Has the Fun Been Sucked Out of Webcomics?

As a kid I used to daydream about my favorite television heroes. I mean, who, as a kid growing up in the 80's imagined Michael Knight teaming up with the A-Team or the Dukes of Hazzard to go up against the combined forces of evil. Or the G.I. Joe team mixing it up with the Transformers in a cartoon?

The fact that characters could crossover and interact was perhaps the most exciting thing I discovered when I got into 'superhero' comics. It was neat to see Moon Knight teaming up with the Punisher. The popular culture references, in-jokes and continuity were also big draws to me when reading comics. Which explains why I'm a fan of The Family Guy and The Simpsons.

The kind of magic I've referred to is rarely seen in webcomics these days. Sure, there have been a few crossovers and obligatory guest-stars - but given the nature of the medium, I would have thought there would have been much, much more interaction between creators out there.

Truth be told, I really enjoy putting in in-jokes as well as cameos of characters from another webcomic into my 'toon. I enjoy drawing other creator's characters - it gives me a chance to stretch a bit and break out of the routine. Pet Professional is one of my favorites, and you may have seen him in a cameo in a toon I drew earlier this week. I have others, some of which will appear this coming week in The PC Weenies.

So, have webcomic creators rigidly set their boundaries? I sure hope not. Let's see more experimentation - more nods and winks to pique the audience's interest and curiosity - let's reward 'em for reading. Are you ready to inject some good ol' fashion FUN back into webcomics? I am.


I remember I participated in

I remember I participated in a lot of crossovers, and even a three-way one. I'm such a slut.
To be honest, I made so many crossovers I kind of got bored of it. The last crossover I made was very satisfactory and I sort of thought, well, that was a good run.
Same thing happens with the April Fools swap. The interesting thing is to do something different every year. Keep surprising the reader. Swaps are cool, but if you do the same every year it's kind of boring.


When all we started in

algeya's picture

When all we started in smackjeeves there was lot of crossovers and comic swaps,
even we got a webcomic where each author worked making at least one page

I regret that I never cold get the chance to work on those projects because lack of time
and some of those artist are now retired or couldnt find the motivation or the time to make webcmics anymore

If anyone wants to cross0VER with Pilli Adventure , here its your chance


Trick with CrossoVer/Cameos Is

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

To get the characters right...

While this one here is funny - the character of Gabe would generally be the one at the store with no pants buying a videogame, not the sane, put-upon store cleck.



Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.


There's a two-plus-two-equals-five kind of illogic to this argument. Surely webcomics are fun to do (and to read!) even without an assortment of pop-culture references?

Sure, in some comics (especially gag strips) it can be fun to include references to other comics or media but to suggest "the fun has gone out of webcomics" just because many don't isn't an argument that makes any sense to me.

It implies that this is the only source of fun the medium is capable of and Heaven help us all if that's true!

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids


Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

Has the magic really gone?

I know I can think of plenty of little tips of the nib that have been made in comics I read. Why, check out the recent crowd scenes in Saturnalia! It's a veritable who's who!

And I've personally stuck quite a few cameos into the crowd scenes in Mythos and Magick. That's the whole point of crowd scenes, as far as I'm concerned. No one else seems to notice them, though. Maybe I don't draw them very well... I don't mind, since I'm mostly doing them for my own amusement, just to know they're there.

Maybe the winks and nods are still there, but just getting trickier to spot?

Dani Atkinson, wandering artist.

I've been doing it since December...

Perhaps you just haven't come across them. I know I've been adding hidden characters and references since my very first page. I've hidden characters ranging from Largo to Ozy and Millie to even referencing creators on signs, such as Greg Dean, David Willis, Poe, etc. Heck, tonight's update (at midnight) has a Kris Straub character hidden on it. There's a lot more hidden references and items besides those. Whenever the opportunity presents itself I try to do it.

I'm sure there are a lot more out there that do it. It's just there are so many more webcomics now it's harder to come across those that do. ^^'


Blue Sky: Ancient demons, destiny, and the horrors of high school!

Blue Sky: Ancient demons, destiny, and the horrors of high school!

in the first place

scarfman's picture

I can't speak for anyone else but having fun is why I do a webcomic. That said, sometimes I forget that among some of the other motivations there are, and it helps to be reminded.

As for crossovers ... I realized last year that my webcomic is pretty much crossover-proof, at least in terms of collaboration with another webcomic's creator(s). The whole premise of mine is that my characters don't meet other characters, they become them. But to that extent I already do crossovers.

Paul Gadzikowski,
Arthur, King of Time and Space New cartoons daily

Missing the point?

kjc's picture

I think ya'll are kinda missing the point. It's not "everybody should do cross-overs" it's "don't forget to have fun."

Pop culture references, winking references to other comics, cameos, cross-overs, etc. are all ways of amusing fans and honoring fellow creators. Few comickers seem to be doing those sorts of things these days.

Pop culture references,

The William G's picture

Pop culture references, winking references to other comics, cameos, cross-overs, etc. are all ways of amusing fans and honoring fellow creators. Few comickers seem to be doing those sorts of things these days.

There are ten million webcomics now, and they're pretty much all based on pop-culture. Unless it's meant to wank the "names" these things add no value to a comic.

Webcomics is just too big now. The "Crossover/ we're a happy family" thing is only suited for the various comminities like CG or Keen.


The William G - Romantic Drama, Post-Apocalyptic Monsters, and More Comic Experimentation

Bingo - you've got the idea

bobweiner's picture

Bingo - you've got the idea I was going for, kjc.

Krishna M. Sadasivam Cartoonist, "The PC Weenies"

My character has crossed

My character has crossed over with many webcomics, especially in one large storyline---but also with CLAN OF THE CATS and MAGELLAN and others. Of course, the fact that she has a way to travel across realities helps...and each time I was careful to ask for permission---Al

Crossovers seem to work

Chris Cantrell's picture

Crossovers seem to work better if the story is a sidestep from the main story continuity. Something like a special holiday story or just a "what if" added as a bonus to the regular comic. Of course, you also run into the problem many people have blending two universes - each creator wants total control over their IP which can lead to bruised egos.

I've done a "cross over" one time with The Asylumantics and it just kind of happened by accident one day while talking with Derrick Fish (Dandy & Co.). In that case however, I was more of a writer while he drew the strips which turned out great.


Please Rewind - Pop culture humor in bite-sized chunks!

Haunted Pixel Studios

I hope you like crossovers, becasue this is one.

Tim  Demeter's picture

For a good time call:
or here

Tim Demeter
Reckless Life

Tim Demeter
does a bunch of neato stuff.
Bustout Odds

Uh, how about the Something

RemusShepherd's picture

Uh, how about the Something Positive / Queen of Wands crossover(s)? It spilled into several other webcomics as well.

It's a few years old, but the Schlock Mercenary / Under the Lemon Tree crossover is one of the best crossovers I've read in any medium. It's a long crossover story...I think it starts about here.

Within collectives I think crossovers happen quite a bit. Even my comic, which is in a world very different than others' worlds that I know, has had cameo appearances from a few ComicGen folks.

Krishna, is it possible that you're just not reading the comics that have the spark for which you're looking? I think the comics you describe are out there. You may just not know about them.




We all used to do it every

PvP's picture

We all used to do it every April 1st. Take over the writing and art chores of another comic. And there was some halloween thing a couple years in a row. Who did that again? My memory is shot.

Terrence Marks started both

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

April Fools Swaps still go on but in smaller groups - it doesn't seem to be a web-wide thing anymore.

I took over organizing Fright Night and we had it for several years but enthusiasm for that fizzled a few years back and we skipped last year.  Might try to restart it again though...



Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Personally, I would love to

Tom Brazelton's picture

Personally, I would love to do more crossovers. I haven't done one since my 50th comic - over 500 comics ago. I'm long past due.

I think the problem with doing crossovers is that it's difficult to brainstorm over e-mail. You really have to find someone on the same wavelength AND you have to be familiar with their cannon of work as they are with yours.

Another challenge may be trying to find a way to fit the storyline in continuity. Some people can be really picky about that.

I can say that I've been in talks to do a crossover with a couple of people recently and I'm excited about it. The challenge is trying to find the right timing.

Theater Hopper -::- Comics about movies every Monday, Wednesday and Friday -::- A href=""">

Theater Hopper -::- Comics about movies every Monday, Wednesday and Friday -::-

I avoid crossovers. I really

I avoid crossovers. I really don't care to see people interact unless they're in the same world already. So its fine for Marvel heroes to interact since there are so many of them all fighting to defend New York city... but I don't think Punisher really needed to meet Archie.

Kiwis by beat!

<a xhref="" target=blank>Kiwis by beat!</a>

It's not just crossovers I

bobweiner's picture

It's not just crossovers I was referring to (although I do enjoy them) - it's the little details, in-jokes, and references to other works (whether they be other webcomics, TV shows, literature, etc.) done in such a subtle manner that the reader picks it up after careful observation.

Krishna M. Sadasivam Cartoonist, "The PC Weenies"

Post on Eary Days Crossovers

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I think crossovers done well can be fun.  A crossover between Goats and Bobbins was great.  I wrote a post on several good ones from the early days of webcomics - it's on Comixpedia somewhere - probably a search for crossover would find it.



Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Cross-overs are great for

Fabricari's picture

Cross-overs are great for single gag-strips, but it's more dangerous than breaking the 4th wall in a long-form comic. In my opinion.

Fabricari - Sexy Robots and Violent Cyberpunk Comics

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison