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Understanding Webcomics: the implications of Internet technologies for Editorial Cartoonists and Comics Journalists
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Since the establishment of the Club des Bande Dessinée in 1962, several scholars have focused their research on various aspects of the comic medium (Christiansen and Magnussen 2000). However, only a small number of these studies has been based on the research of comic that are produced and disseminated over the Internet, commonly known as webcomics.

This study aims at filling in the knowledge gap regarding the webcomic medium by investigating the changes that the Internet has introduced to the work of editorial cartoonists and comics journalists. The study sets its focus on the perspective of comic creators. Due to the multidimensional nature of the topic, the theoretical framework is represented by the combination of various theoretical concepts, including the main functions of editorial cartoons and comics journalism and discussions concerning the emancipatory potential of the Internet.

Given the purpose of this study, a qualitative approach, and in particular semi-structured interviews, was chosen as a methodological framework. Thus, 9 comic creators and editors representing 3 different webcomic platforms were and asked to share their experiences concerning the examined issues.

The participants pointed out that the Internet has allowed them to rapidly attract a bigger audience and gain greater visibility and global recognition, with minimum effort and money investments. As a result, comic creators can disseminate their works without the need to be associated with industry’s brokers. Thus, the study underlines that the Internet has enhanced the individual autonomy of comic creators. Moreover, interviewees highlighted that the web has changed the relationship with their audience. Due to the interactive nature of the Internet, readers have transformed from passive consumers to active contributors.

And finally, the study discovered that there is number of drawbacks when it comes to publishing online, including censorship in the form of governmental surveillance and online editorial policies and copyright infringement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 103 p.
Keyword [en]
webcomics, editorial cartoons, comics journalism, comic creators, Internet, emancipation
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-225381OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-225381DiVA: diva2:720810
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Available from: 2014-06-03 Created: 2014-06-02 Last updated: 2014-06-03Bibliographically approved

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