Infinite canvas

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Scott McCloud described the possibility of linking webcomic panels "trails", suggesting it offers distinct storytelling advantages.[1]

The infinite canvas is the idea that the size of a digital comics page is theoretically infinite, and that webcomics are therefore not limited by conventional page sizes. An artist could conceivably display a complete comics story of indefinite length on a single "page". Scott McCloud introduced the concept in his book Reinventing Comics.[2]

Artists known for their work in infinite canvas include Scott McCloud, Cayetano Garza, demian5, Patrick Farley, Tristan A. Farnon and David Gaddis.[3]


The "infinite canvas" of online comics had been experimented with years before McCloud coined the term. In the early 1990s, Stafford Huyler was the first to release comics on the World Wide Web in shapes and sizes not feasible in print. The "page turning" interface discouraging readers from skipping to later panels or strips was introduced by Mike Wean's Jax & Co in 1994, using JavaScript. This idea was soon reproduced by other webcomics using simple HTML.[3]

Infinite canvas has been used in comics such as Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, where artists are easily able to change their standard format from one line to two when desired. Likewise, Megatokyo made a smooth transition from traditional four-panel comic strip to full-page graphic novel.[4]

Felix Lambert proposed in 2015 to extend the notion of infinite canvas to an infinite number of surfaces including minimal surfaces, orientable, and non-orientable surfaces in order to produce stories that share common ground with sculptures and comics. As a result, topological graph theory can be used to extract information about stories when the story time line structure is perceived as a graph and the canvas is perceived as a topological space.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McCloud, Scott (2000). "Follow that Trail". I Can't Stop Thinking!. 
  2. ^ McCloud, Scott (July 25, 2000). "Reinventing Comics". Harper Paperbacks, Pg. 222
  3. ^ a b Campbell, T. (2006-06-08). The History of Webcomics. Antarctic Press. pp. 17–18, 30. ISBN 0976804395. 
  4. ^ Gallagher, Fred (2001-04-23). "1:1.5". Megatokyo. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  5. ^ Lambert, Felix (February 2015). "Narrative sculptures: graph theory, topology and new perspectives in narratology".