Web comics, or comic strips put up on the web, are made mostly by geeks, but are not only for geeks. Created using various computer applications, web comics are usually laden with in-jokes, although some of them merely deal with contemporary culture.
While most print comic strips tend to run themselves into a rut (Garfield is always sleeping, isn’t he?), web comics constantly re-invent themselves to keep up with a rapidly evolving online culture.
So what issues do they grapple with? Their audience is spread throughout the world, so all current events are grist for their mill.
Jesus and Mo, for example, deconstructs current events, like the controversy in Denmark over the caricature of Mohammed.
Xkcd taps scientific concepts that have penetrated pop culture, such as relativity and chaos theory.
Even Fly You Fools, an Indian web comic, has a strip that pokes fun at the worldwide mania of superstition spawned last year when the world’s largest and highest energy particle accelerator on the Franco-Swiss border began operating.
Web comics may sound like a hobby, but they can also make money for their creators. The creators of Xkcd and Ctrl Alt Del are self sufficient through the sale of merchandise.
Jesus and Mo
The creator of the comic calls himself Mohammed Jones and satirises the two prophets (Jesus is Christ, Mo is Mohammed), featured in the strip as inseparable friends rooming in present-day London.
It is poorly drawn but written with great wit. The clumsily drawn prophets bicker all day just as good friends do.
A web comic created by programmer Randall Munroe of the US, is known for its scientific and Internet in-jokes and its mockery of the information age. Xkcd is also one of the few web comics that have made the creator self-sufficient through the sale of souvenirs, which have Xkcd strips printed on them.
Fly you fools
An Indian web comic by Saad Akhtar, a Delhi resident, is made up of rotoscoped images and often gets its laughs by mocking the Indian predilection for superstition and love of pointless bureaucracy.
In one strip, a man gets his affairs in order after hearing about the supposedly apocalyptic Large Hadron Collider experiment. He sells his stock, and in a fit of social responsibility, generously shoots his mother-in-law.