I started publishing Rebus comics way back in 1995 while I was still in college. See, Syracuse University, my alma mater, gave everyone a couple MB of webspace to put up whatever website they wanted. After first putting up the typical “here’s all the stuff I like” website from 1994, I decided to do something more useful with the space, and started putting up experimental comics.
Rebus features the tales of three mercenaries and their divers missions, everything from stealing a can of salsa for a competitor to saving the universe from an impending apocalypse. Rick, the leader of the team, is a newbie to the mercenary world with no real discernible skills aside from the gift of gab and bones seemingly made of rubber. Emily is the smart one, with computer hacking and problem-solving abilities and a short temper. Roy brings the muscles, and is a mercenary veteran, always ready to jump into battle without a second (or first) thought.
This all was done before the term “webcomics” was coined. Comics on the web was practically unheard of, and nobody had figured out a useful navigation scheme. So, Rebus was an experiment. The first few “episodes” were standard ten-page comics as you would see now-a-days. Episode 5 brought in panel animation and sound to spice things up. Episode 6 was completely animated, with voices and everything. Then, I redid Episode 1 and completed the last 4 episodes in the animated-panel format, just in Flash instead of Shockwave.
Episodes took a few months to put together, and because of which wasn’t bringing in much of a consistent audience. The trick to building a Website’s audience is to keep them coming back every day or so. So, with my next comic, Angel Moxie, I aimed to meet that goal.