January 26, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

While we’ve all been distracted by the promise of flashy, raunchy Web animations, a classic art form — the comic strip — has quietly hit the Web. Reading the funny pages online isn’t the smeared-ink ritual you remember: It’s better. Name a strip — the venerable Hagar the Horrible (kingfeatures. com/features/comics/hagar/about.htm) or indie favorite Red Meat (redmeat.com), or even Calvin & Hobbes (ucomics.com/cal vinandhobbes) — and it’s probably online. Some are posted in color every day, some dig back as far as 30 years (doonesbury. com), some arrive via e-mail. Others are housed within full-scale entertainment complexes (blondie.com). A few, like This Modern World (thismodernworld.com), have their own flashy Web animations. But that’s not what it’s all about, says Hilary B. Price, creator of Rhymes With Orange (rhymeswithorange.com). ”People just want comics. That’s why they’re there. I want to put more comics up there. Lots more.”

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