80’s And 90’s Web Comics Were Insanely Geeky

Glimpse the odd and lovely nerd utopia of the 80s and 90s interweb. “T.H.E. Fox” came out on the GEnie network in 1986.

1. The world’s first web comics were made on these:

Before the World Wide Web, there was the Commodore 64 and General Electric’s GEnie network.

 

2. And one of the first web comics was a fart joke.

Joe Ekaitis

3.T.H.E. Fox” started in 1986. Every week, Joe would draw one panel and share it on GEnie.

4. Other comics, like Eric Millikin’s “Wizard of Oz” parody (1985) were shared on CompuServe.

Though few strips from that time are still online anymore.

5.Where The Buffalo Roam” (1991) was the first online comic about college life.

Since early internet access focused around campuses, many student comics were also shared on UseNet. College dorm dramadies would become the most popular genre of 90’s web comics.

Hans Bjordahl / Via shadowculture.com

Techies vs. non-techies was a big theme among the newly-anointed Silicon Valley overclass.

Hans Bjordahl / Via shadowculture.com

7. Then came the first days of the World Wide Web.

 

8. This is what the internet seemed like to most people:

Argon Zark!” (1995).

10. Unlike now, the 90’s internet was a specialist’s playground. You had to tattoo “LINUX IS PHAT + RULEZ” on your flesh, or something.

Sluggy Freelance” started in 1997 and Pete is the first artist who became popular enough to make comics full-time for a living.

11.Jerk City” (1998) was a big deal in IRC chat rooms.

12. People said “nuwbie” and “flame war.” The Bible promised that the geeks shall inherit the earth.

NetBoy” (1995)

13. Online dating and forums were kind of scandalous.

Kevin & Kell” (1995).

14. There were enough PhD students online to make a popular web comic about their lives.

Piled Higher and Deeper” (1997) is still going strong after 16 years.

15. Spice Girls was a thing.

16. The Early Internet: when nerds ran the roost and your mom totally couldn’t see drunk photos of you on Facebook.

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