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Creators are gearing up to create captivating content for all genres and age groups to capitalize on the increasing popularity of webcomics and attract wider audiences. Comic books have been one of the most popular forms of low-tech environment for decades. However, the advent of comics, transformed by the internet, has revolutionized how comic content is consumed. Popularly known as online comics or internet comics, and even webtoons in some parts of the world, webcomics encompass graphic and written content published on an online website or smart devices. These comics are increasingly gaining traction from consumers of multiple demographics.
According to Fortune Business Insights™, the global market size for webcomics will rise from USD 7.36 billion in 2021 to USD 11.12 billion in 2028 at 6.1% CAGR over 2021-2028. Rise in internet penetration, wider adoption of digital technologies, and surge in the number of creators are identified as prominent factors contributing to the market growth.
The COVID-19 pandemic has favored the market growth due to increased usage of smart devices. India, for instance, saw nearly 40% surge in mobile browsing app activity during March 2020, reports Mint, India’s premium news publication. Data shows that demand for online books, comics, and gaming apps also skyrocketed during the pandemic.
The world of webcomics witnessed a surge in new consumers of all ages and from all parts of the world as people sought new ways to relieve anxiety and stress amid stay-at-home orders. The closure of educational institutions also fueled comic content consumption among children of various age groups. It is anticipated that even after COVID-19, online comics will continue to be highly sought-after across the world.
Fortune Business Insights™ Presents the Top 10 Most Popular Webcomics Creators Globally
A global leader in this industry, Penny Arcade is mainly involved in creating online comics, podcasts, and TV shows. The company is exploring strategies to expand its portfolio of internet comics. Highlighting an instance, in April 2021, Penny Arcade collaborated with fantasy gaming giant Dungeons & Dragons to expand its business in the U.S.
Gunnerkrigg Court offers science-fantasy genre-based webcomics to consumers across the U.K. and Ireland. Generating innovative and creative online comic content is a top priority for the company to strengthen its foothold in the market. Recently, Gunnerkrigg Court updated its internet comics portfolio with the launch of GUNNERKRIGG COURT HC VOLUME 08 CATALYSIS.
Scandinavia and the World is an emerging name in the world of online comics. The startup offers comic books, including Smoked Cheese, Elle and Thor, Odd House, Ask a Witch, and others. It is focusing on launching single picture-based comics to engage new audiences. Scandinavia and the World recently introduced various new webcomics, including A True Romantic, Too Top to be Gay, and We Are in a Hating Relationship.
Homestuck is a prominent name in the industry that develops pop-culture content. It is known for its animation, games, gifs, chat logs and music-based narrative online comics. Recently, Homestuck has been eying the gaming genre to attract gamers to its online comic content. In February 2021, the company rolled out the first chapter of its latest internet comic, Psychological, aimed at gamer audiences.
The Oatmeal is a webcomic and online gaming firm specializing in genre-based comics. As part of its strategy to market its gaming products, the company emphasizes gaming genre-based internet comics. In February 2021, Oatmeal published 13 new chapters for its mobile video game Kitty Letter.
Cucumber Quest, a notable player in the market, is gaining popularity due to its wide portfolio of fun and adventure genre-based content. The company is constantly bringing innovative comics for its readers. In 2017, for example, Cucumber Quest unveiled an online comic called Gigi D.G. at the Fall 2017 ready-to-wear fashion show.
Girl Genius offers subscription-based webcomics and novels, catering to the female consumer base. It explores collaboration opportunities with gaming companies to market its new gaming genre content. For instance, in October 2021, Girl Genius and Steve Jackson Games partnered to create a unique gaming comic called Girl Genius GURPS.
Based in Sweden, Stand Still, Stay Silent is an established company in the industry that offers adventure and mythology genre content. In August 2020, the company launched the second volume of its Nordic Fantasy comic.
Brawl in the Family is a gaming genre-based online comic company that offers Super Mario, Kirby, Donkey Kong, and other subscription-based services. It is partnering with gaming companies to market its gaming-related products. Recently, Brawl in the Family collaborated with Nintendo Co. Ltd. to roll out new NES comics across the world.
A key player in the global market, XKCD creates science and fiction-based online comics for international consumers. The company recently released a range of new internet comics, including Power Hour and Three Word Phrase.
Major Challenges and the Future of the Webcomics Industry
Although webcomics have gained tremendous popularity over the past few years, traditional comic books still hold a dominant market presence. With a wide preference for offline comics, internet comic content consumption could be affected slightly. However, as the penetration of the internet and smart devices continues to grow, the industry could witness a widespread shift toward online comics in the near future.