October 10, 2012
Comic strips are the best thing still embedded in the seemingly archaic Sunday paper. For some, it’s the first thing they flip to for their daily dose of chuckles from Family Circus and Peanuts.
While webcomics currently represent a high-quality form of content in the digital space, this online community currently has very little organization. Ink’d plans to create an app for both iOS and your favorite browser that will allow cartoonists to publish their work and viewers to read their favorite comics in one central location. From political cartoons and lovable classics, to spinoffs of Lord of the Rings, this centralized platform will provide organization, options for social sharing, and tools for discovering new genres. Readers won’t have to jump from website to website to view their favorite comic strips, allowing them to follow their favorites more habitually.
In September, Ink’d won Tech Cocktail’s poll for Bloomington’s hottest showcasing startup (with over 42 percent of the votes!) and has been growing ever since. Right now, cofounders Benedict Jones and Justin Salsburey are in the research and development stage, gathering valuable feedback from some of the largest webcomic authors. “Our main goal is to create a native format, both for publishers and readers. It will become a uniquely rich experience that’s better than webcomics 2.0,” Jones explains.
The other goal is to support the network of artists. Salsburey mentions, “No cartoonist starts out with the idea of making money in mind. They do it because they love it.” Authors can now publish their work on the Ink’d forum, a way to build a community alongside the publishing and viewing platform. The forum is visited by over 5,000 followers, which can increase an author’s following and desire to create.
“This is just a genius, highly creative, extremely funny wonderful piece of media,” shares Jones. “What we need to bring in social networks and in our pop culture media is highly creative work that covers social commentary and sparks a laugh.” Those types of webcomics can appeal to a much broader audience.
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