In the past weeks, we’ve seen words (and pictures) regarding the college graduations of numerous webcomics creators. Congrats to all, although I feel like I’m supposed to say damn you, McConville for some reason.
This spate o’ graduatin’ puts one in mind of an oddity about this medium — it’s almost entirely dominated by kids. Meredith Gran and Ian Jones-Quartey have been pumping out webcomics to readers around the world since before they could drive. Flight? Three volumes in three years, and the median creator age seems to be about 22. The next generation of webcomics superstars have just started updating their sites from the womb.
I can’t think of another individual artistic endeavor that’s so dominated by the high-quality work of such young creators … and no, pop music doesn’t count: the songs, the production, the videos, the stage shows, and the very lives of the product are constructed by massive teams of grizzled, late-middle-aged marketers, and the pop tarts in question are little more than sock puppets, but thanks for asking.
The closest analogue in modern arts that I can come up with is the mad-talented indy filmmaker with a vision — most of whom will never be seen by anybody outside friends and family, sadly. The only historical precedent I can see for this situation is when a crazy visionary put together a radio theater company and grabbed the attention of a nation at the age of 23. Okay, he got wacky later on, but he also got to act with Muppets, so that turned out okay.
So in conclusion, as you young creators prepare to make your way in the world, let’s be grateful for this unique medium that allows anybody with talent and luck to find a world-wide audience. Now stay the hell off my lawn, you damn whippersnappers.