The Move to the Web

Cartoons - they're not just for kids! Grown-up women and men, as well as younger people, appreciate the humor, the feeling, the storytelling, and the artistic talent represented in this great communcation art form.

On America Online, I had been working to make the forum an inviting place for people of all ages who appreciate the cartooning arts - a place where amateur and professional cartoonists, collectors, and fans could share ideas, instruction, encouragement and debate about the business, the fun, and the future of this special form of communication.

In 1996 there were close to 8 million people on America Online. Many of them love cartoons. But there was an even bigger audience here on the Internet - more connected people out working in the cartoon biz who could appreciate a forum like this. The universe of people with an interest in cartooning, both on AOL and on the Internet, could be better served by a forum on the World Wide Web.

I had always enjoyed hosting the Cartoons Forum on America Online, but we were ignoring a whole population of other Internet users who weren't members of AOL. So in May 1996 I resigned my job as forum host on AOL, and began building the Internet Cartoons Forum on the Web.

On the technology side, a web-built forum gives me, the online host, more flexible capabilities in presenting cartoon features and building interaction among our forum visitors.

On the personal side, I was starting to burn out. I had been managing and hosting an online forum in my spare time, on top of a full-time job, for over five years. Tired and in need of a break, I decided in July 1996 to quit my "day job," where I was Senior Graphic Designer at Videodiscovery, Inc. in Seattle. It was a great job, with wonderful people to work with, but I was drawn by the siren call of cartooning community, and wanted to give it my full attention.