|Current status / schedule||Hiatus|
|Launch date||April 2002|
The web comic began in April 2002 in a much larger than usual square format. Except for the first strip, the comic is in color.
Format and schedule
The large format may account in part for the slow schedule - updates occur monthly at best. The comic went on a brief hiatus at the end of 2004 but resumed in March 2005. Each page tells a self-contained story, but there are a few recurring characters. Copper was named one of the best webcomics of 2004 by The Webcomics Examiner.
In May 2005 all of the 25 web strips that had been published to date were published as a series of 13" square archival prints by Nucleus, together with some other prints of Kibuishi's artwork.
In July 2006, Kibuishi put the comic on hiatus again due to work on his graphic novel, Amulet, among other projects, and it returned in September 2007. A single comic was posted in mid-2009, after which Copper saw no further updates until December 2016, a period of nearly 7 years.
The comic theme anthology Flight Volume One, edited by Kibuishi (ISBN 978-1-58240-381-6, 2004) contains two short Copper stories: the 18-page "Maiden Voyage", and the 4-page "Picnic". Along with: Mushroom Crossing in Flight Explorer:Volume One. All of these stories have also appeared on the website.
In each self-contained story the boy Copper and his talking dog Fred journey through a detailed but economically drawn landscape - sometimes beautiful, sometimes bleak, sometimes surreal. Fred usually has some concise and forcefully expressive comment to make on their circumstances, while Copper is generally more cheerfully optimistic. The first three strips suggest that their adventures are dreams. After that the question is usually left open.
Copper is haunted by three mysterious girls: a redhead who appears to be trapped inside a purple bubble that always floats just out of Copper's reach; a dark-haired girl with amber sunglasses who always taunts him from a distance, and a blond girl wearing a red shirt with a P on it. Fred also suffers girl trouble when, to his horror, he falls in love with a female dog owned by another girl.
The 18-page story Maiden Voyage sees Copper building an airplane from parts purchased at the local Plane*Mart supermarket, while Fred constantly frets that the plane might crash. In the end his fears turn out to be justified. In the 4-page Picnic Copper and Fred take an aerial picnic in an airship, which Fred manages to sleep through. In Mushroom Crossing Copper and Fred cross a bridge but Fred ends up falling off and finding himself with talking mushrooms who let him back up on the bridge after yelling at him.
January 2010 saw the publication of Copper in book form, containing all of the existing strips plus a new 8-page story "Lunch Pack" and a making-of article.