Today, Heidi over at the The Beat posted a great article up discussing the tech of digital comics. She has some great links showcasing what comics might be in the future. Give it a read and join in the conversation– pretty insightful stuff.

It’s particularly interesting to me after reading El Santo’s great article on The Webcomic Overlook, “When is a webcomic not a webcomic?” The article echos a lot of the things I’ve been thinking about lately in terms of webcomic definition. Let’s face it, the term “comic” has only recently shaken off the negative connotation of being “for kids”– In my opinion, a lot of that has to do with the invention of the term: Graphic Novel.

Even now, if you look at advertising for comic-based film properties, the voice over guy will always say: “From the critically acclaimed Graphic Novel…” never will you hear: “From the awesome comic…” Why? Because comics are for kids, NOVELS are for grown ups.

A lot of the issue still stems from the public perception that comics are 3 panel gags you read in a newspaper– yeah, a lot has changed in terms of correcting that, but a specter still looms over the word “comic.” (As a sidenote: I have much love for many of those works, I own Fantagraphics incredible¬† Peanuts collection, and Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes is¬† one of my favorite things)– I’d argue that the vast majority of current webcomics are based off that particular format– but what about comics like ours? Besides distributing on the web, are we a webcomic?

No doubt you’ve been seeing the words “Digital Comic” being bandied about. All the majors are releasing screen based versions of their print comics for various readers, everything from an Ipad/phone to the PS3. To me, that’s what a digital comic is: A comic that you read on a screen. But by that definition, you’re still reading Spy6teen on a screen– except we live on the internet…(for the time being…)

There’s a lot of power in naming something. A name is a label, a definition of what something is. The word “Comic” meant something to people, but when it was rebranded “Graphic Novel,” it meant something else. Then along came “OGNs,” Original Graphic Novels– and that meant something else as well: A new work, not repackaged story arcs from floppies.

Non-gag based webcomics need a name, something that differentiates a comic like Sin Titulo from Sinfest. I’m proposing OnGN, or Online Graphic Novel. Sure, it may sound a tad pretentious, but at least it rolls off the tongue easy enough. Thoughts?


Been a busy few weeks for me, as I’ve been working on a spec TV pilot in between all my other stuff. I know return comments have been a bit slow, and I apologize for that. I just realized that I didn’t update this week’s Top Web Comics preview image– again, sorry…it’ll get better soon.

I did have some lofty plans to revamp the links section– but again, that was a victim of time this week. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to soon. I do owe Prestwick a link exchange for Hard Graft (which you guys should really check out!) and I want to get Drezz’s El Cuervo up there too– in the meantime, make sure you check these comics out! Great stuff!

The one minor page modification I did make was based off my friend (and Spy6teen reader!) Akela’s suggestion to have access to recent pages on the sidebar. So, that’s been added in. If you miss more than 5 pages, the archive pulldown is located beneath it.

In other news, our own DJ Keawekane has been busy on some Marvel samples on his DeviantArt page! Go check ’em out and drop him a comment there! They look great!

Also, if you caught the page earlier in the week, we did a slight update on it. Totally my bad, as I revised the dialouge without CCing our Editor Fantastico, DJ Kirkbride. Lesson Learned: A) Have an Editor! B) ALWAYS CC your Editor!!
DJ tells me the bruises are little purple reminder notes.

That’s it for this week, folks! I have a truckload of typetypetyping to do before the weekend gets here!

Seeya on Monday for a brand new page!!