Mindful Webworks at 24

The blog is old enough to buy alcohol.

Before March, 2020, becomes a memory, here's a reflection on twenty-four years of webworking. I would have had this post up on the day, but, in my discombobulated way, I had some new webworks that took priority. (See all webworks.) As commented on the Ace of Spades Art Thread on March 17, illustrated:

But is it art?

ON THIS DAY, IN 1996, I published a webpage for the first time.

Days of ink and staples

CynicalmanAt the time, my hobby creative outlet was mini-comics, as inspired by the great cartoonist Matt Faezell, creator of Cynicalman. (mattfeazell.net) Mini-comic: One sheet of typing paper, print both sides, cut, fold, staple = 8-page booklet. It was a format that was a good fit for my simplistic doodles and short-attention-span stories. Sometimes I got fancy and did 16-pagers.

My audience was limited to handing out or mailing copies to friends, neighbors, and relatives (most of whom were polite enough not to say anything about them). I did have a 'display' at ChicagoCon, once - a fellow in the independent publishers area let me have a corner of his table. Other than that, well, even with small 'press runs,' I have a whole big bunch of copies left, here in this shoebox.

Big Potato #1 coverWWWOW! signal

I thought, this new web thing might be a good place to advertise my little comics. I put up a list. I even created a VRML 3D old-fash-looking comics 'spinner' to display them. (Alas, poor old VRML, we hardly knew ye.) I had fun, anyway.

Then I decided to put up a sample.

I took the original artwork on one mini-comic, scanned it with my 300dpi hand-held grayscale scanner, and created the GIFs (hadn't yet learned about .PNG) using good old Deluxe Paint IIe. Colored in with a sixteen-color palette.

All in Your MindThe moment that full-color "sample" page was uploaded, it hit me — this — the wwweb — was the new framework for everything. Text, pix, audio, video, 3D-VR, all in one system. No more trips to the photocopy place. No more black-and-white printing, cutting, folding, stapling. No mailing lists or stamps or wrappers! I went out of the self-print-publishing business and proceeded to scan and color and upload all my comics. Then made new ones. "Print is dead."

Income comes in where?I addressed the copyright and income issues in a brief attempt at a daily comic, Mind Fuel. I realized there was no protection from data theft, no paywall that couldn't be breached or reached-around (!). It's been amusing, over the subsequent two dozen years, to watch 'real' publishers try to deal with matters I figured out immediately. (Well, before the web there was CompuServe, which had its limits, but still taught me about the universal accessibility of web stuff.)

The PayPal donation button does work.


Twenty-four years, and some twelve hundred webworks.

The old mindfulwebworks.com website has not had as much new stuff in recent years as in the past, as personal and computer problems have been seriously thwarting me. I still have many short and tall tales to tell.

I do hope to spruce the place up a bit before the big 25 next year.

Guru Radd Dadd sweeps


"Please don't take it personally, but your site kinda sucks."
logprof on Ace of Spades
October 17, 2012 12:20 AM