Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Daniel Fogel


This thesis details the effects that the encroachment of content platforms has had on the structure of webcomics, in addition to the related economic pressures. Previous academic writing on webcomics has shown a desire for the space to revolutionize comics structure outside of the bounds of the physical page. This thesis finds that this has already happened though the effects are not as extravagant or obvious as previous scholars were hoping for, in part due to the influence of content platforms. Webcomics scholarship has primarily taken a formalist approach influenced by the writing of Scott McCloud at the turn of the century. This thesis continues this tradition, seeking to understand why webcomics are structured the way they are, and to demonstrate the ways in which they are structurally unique when compared to print counterparts. This thesis contains five chapters exploring the origins of webcomics, exemplary texts and why they are not the standard, the rise of webcomic specific platforms, the influence of print media on web-cartoonists, and finally how web-cartoonists have adapted their comics for social media. This thesis finds that despite the constraints placed on webcomics through the rise of platforms, and sometimes because of them, webcomics have developed a unique form that is worthy of further study.



Number of Pages

80 p.