Last week I had an experience that showed me first hand, why Web comics are fundamentally different than print comics. At least different from the kind you'll read in a newspaper. It wasn't really anything I didn't already know, but it came such a way that I can now more clearly explain the difference between the two mediums as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the two.
As I've said in the past, I'm an editor at my campus paper. One of my columnists turned in a humor column. At one point in the piece, he made a joke about midgets. It wasn't super offensive, but I've worked for the paper long enough to know that something doesn't have to be offensive for people to get offended. The editor in chief and I discussed it and decided that not only was the joke not funny enough for us to go to town for, but it could easily be changed and still be the same joke, so we did.
???????? Naturally the columnist was upset to have his content changed. I would be too. The problem was ' and this was my epiphany ' if something's in the paper it's not entirely his content. A newspaper is a group effort and everyone involved has stake in everything printed.
???????? On the Web this is entirely different. Every Web comic creator has complete control over his content and is the only one who will be held accountable for it. This gives an unequaled level of freedom. They are a completely individual effort while paper comics are necessarily a group project.
???????? Like I said, nothing earth-shattering but I think it's a very clear example.