Happy 20 Years, Ryan North

By | Thursday, February 02, 2023 Leave a Comment
Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Dinosaur Comics. Ryan North has been posting his daily -- daily -- webcomic using the exact same panel and clip art figure configuration for two decades now. All of my nieces and nephews can't remember a time when Dinosaur Comics wasn't a thing. Only a handful of webcomikers out there can claim similar lineage.

He notes on his site that his life has been indelibly changed from his webcomic. I can't speak to which specific opportunities are a direct result of it, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have worked on IPs like Adventure Time, Star Trek, Jughead, and Slaughterhouse-Five without it. And now, he's currently writing Marvel's flagship title, The Fantastic Four. His books have won Eisner and Harvey Awards. I can pretty well guarantee he hadn't considered any of that as remotely feasible back in 2003.

And, sad to say, it's probably not feasible ever again. I think it was PvP's Scott Kurtz who, when asked how a newcomer coming to webcomics might emulate his success, responded, "Start in 1998." The internet has changed a dozen times over in the past couple decades and whatever opportunities were there even a few years ago have withered away. Even just looking back in my own professional career on the web, every job I've had since 1996 was one that didn't exist anywhere five years before I took it.

Working on webcomics is an exceptionally hard gig; it always has been. So whatever you think of North and/or his work, he's put in a level of work that only a small handful of creators have been able to match. And he's done for twenty years, using the exact same six panels that he drew up in MS Paint all those years ago.

Congratulations, Ryan!
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