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Hicks, Marianne. "‘Teh Futar’: The power of the webcomic and the potential of web 2.0." Drawing the Line. Using Cartoons as Historical Evidence. Eds. Richard Scully and Marian Quartly. Clayton: Monash Univ. ePress, 2009. 11.1–20. 
Added by: joachim (2/9/10, 3:56 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (2/12/14, 5:38 PM)
Resource type: Book Chapter
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Hicks2009
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Categories: General
Keywords: Politics, Popular culture, Webcomics
Creators: Hicks, Quartly, Scully
Publisher: Monash Univ. ePress (Clayton)
Collection: Drawing the Line. Using Cartoons as Historical Evidence
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The rise of digital media and the blurring of the lines between media production and consumption have seen the emergence and proliferation of the webcomic, as a more democratised form of older political and strip cartoons. There are literally thousands of webcomics available online, that is, comics produced primarily for the web, rather than for print, and encompassing everything from stick figures to complex graphic novels. The webcomic arguably surpasses both the political cartoon and the comic book in terms of audience size, with a number of webcomics read by over a quarter of a million people per day. While the popularity of the webcomic is both undeniable and growing, the medium is not predominantly used for political commentary. Rather, the webcomic exhibits the potential to step away from the traditions of the newspaper political cartoon, as well as the escapism and fantasy of the comic book, enabled by the lowering of the threshold for participation in cultural pursuits. Webcomics can encourage participatory culture and entrepreneurialism, challenge or reinforce dominant ideologies, censorship and self-censorship, and engage in activism for a variety of causes and issues, utilising the immediacy and possibility of subversion within the web. In this chapter I will be engaging with these major themes through the examination of a series of case studies, which both act as evidence to support the emergence of convergence culture and as a warning of potential pitfalls.
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